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Image: a sample jasmine formula made from synthetic components by AromaX
It’s interesting to notice that the first formula of a jasmine base seemed to be an attempt to reconstruct the jasmine absolute. It has was build from the same components in the similar proportions as it was known about hundred years ago. Here is the formula I found in a perfumery book. Its name is Jasmine base No.1:
Benzyl acetate – 130 (65%)
Benzyl alcohol – 40 (20%)
Linalool – 20 (10%)
Methyl anthranilate – 10 (5%)
There are some reasons why you can’t see cis-Jasmone and Indole there although they make a part of jasmine absolute formula as it was known in 1912. cis-Jasmone was synthesized in 1932, but it was a very expensive synthetic material. Even now it’s four times more expensive than ylang-ylang oil or ten times more expensive than lavender, bergamot or basil oils.
The biggest problem of Indole is discoloration. Exposed to light it acquires reddish brown colour and is often substituted with other components. Without Indole this jasmine base has a larger application spectrum.
So far I don’t have any suggestions why linalyl acetate is not used there.
The Jasmine base No.1 is not really a jasmine – it’s a jasmine giant. Smelling it is like standing in the middle of a giant jasmine flower covered with a sticky and acrid nectar. The sharpness of benzyl acetate is almost hurting the nose’s mucous membrane. The base has recognisable fruity floral character of jasmine, but recalls an urge either to dilute it or to smell it from far far away. It still can be used as a jasmine component of a complex fragrance.
To me it was a challenge to experiment with this base and to try to make it more close to the jasmine absolute formula from 1912. I did noticed that:
Linalool increases the freshness of the base, but can’t beat the sharpness of benzyl acetate unless you take too much of linalool. But than it totally kills the jasmine character of the base.
Linalyl acetate in combination with Linalool gives an interesting fresh note reminding me of the tannic bitterness of green tea. Is also easy to overdose, because at the certain concentration it becomes an independent note that doesn’t makes a part of jasmine anymore.
cis-Jasmone – is a nice material that tames the sharpness of benzyl acetate. But not its strength. The base loses its acridness and the giant jasmine becomes smaller. Although it still remains to be a mutant jasmine, it’s not the raptorial flower anymore that stupefies you with its smell and digest your flesh with its acrid nectar.
Indole – it was interesting to notice, that small quantities of indole couldn’t really compete with benzyl acetate. And it was easy to overdose. Although this aromachemical gave some idolic properties to the base, it couldn’t really blend with the rest into give a dark narcotic note of jasmine.
After a small make-over the base became more tempered. Although it still wasn’t a real jasmine flower, but rather a decaying mutant flower as big as my hand. The notes of linalool with linalyl acetate as well as indole were not completely blended into the jasmine smell.
Some synthetic materials could help me to tame the beast of benzyl acetate, but I did want to stay close to a jasmine absolute formula from 1912. So, for some finishing touch I decided to use some naturals.
One drop of Bergamot oil was a nice blender for linalool and linalyl acetate. And two drops of Ylang Ylang oil helped Indole to feel home and also tempered benzyle acetate. I am satisfied with the final result. Of course it’s not a jasmine soliflore, but it is similar to some jasmine perfume oils and it can be a jasmine base in a floral heart of a complex perfume giving it a fruity floral jasmine nuances. Of course, the use of some modern aromachemicals could help to improve this formula in a much easier way.