Jasmine, the Absolute of Duality

Feb 16, 10:16 PM

by Katharine Koeppen, RA

The intoxicating jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) is frequently called the "King of Flowers", although it possesses intensely feminine qualities. Jasmine, more than any other fragrance, symbolizes the union of opposites: yin/yang, masculine/feminine, carnal lust/divine love, wisdom/foolhardiness, earth/sky, fire/water, fragility/sturdiness. All are parts of a whole.


This tiny, lovely blossom was renowned as an aphrodisiac in ancient Persia, India and China. The Indian love god Kama was said to have tipped his arrows in jasmine to pierce the hearts of his victims. Sufi literature extolls the praises of jasmine to ease longing for Divine Love.


The fragrance of this captivating flower is released only at night. Blossoms are so extremely fragile that they cannot be successfully steam distilled, and must be processed via solvent extraction to yield a concrete, which in turn yields the desirable absolute. Despite jasmine's fragility, it has incredibly high odor intensity and need be used only in very small amounts.


Jasmine is best employed for somato-emotional and spiritual healing, where it is useful for fear of expressing healthy sexuality, such as occurs in instances of emotional frigidity or impotence. It can be used to discourage emotional coldness, boost confidence and courage, and allay general feelings of mistrust and anxiety. This heavy, sweet floral can be blended with rose otto (Rosa damascena) to ease the deep heartache that often results from a failed romantic relationship.


Spiritually, jasmine is very helpful for balancing male and female energies, within oneself or between two individuals. It facilitates states of divine bliss and euphoria, deepens sensitivity and encourages the user to trust their innate inner wisdom and creativity.


Because the absolute is so associated with emotional and esoteric applications, aromatherapists often overlook jasmine's effects on the physical body. Not surprisingly, jasmine is a parturient and can be successfully employed during labor and delivery to ease the pain of childbirth. It makes a lovely addition to skin preparations geared toward mature or devitalized complexions.


Truly fine quality jasmine absolute is difficult to obtain, since much of it is purchased by the fragrance industry for use in high-end perfumes. A poorly extracted jasmine is easy to identify as it often has a discernible petrochemical or solvent odor. Many completely fabricated versions of jasmine exist. Thin and sickeningly sweet, these are easy to spot since they usually bear no resemblance to the real thing.


Complex and unpredictable, jasmine transcends its dual nature to become the floral world's highest expression of pure, unbridled joy.


Pour Milad, avec voeux te apaiser.


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