In India the jasmine plant is called “queen of the night” or “moonshine in the garden.” This plant with blossoms the color of moonlight generously emits, especially at night, a magical fragrance. Like the waters of a sweet river, this fragrance penetrates the deepest layers of our soul, opening the doors to our emotions. ~Susanne Fischer-Rizzi, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook
The one thing in our yard that gives me the most pleasure is our Confederate Jasmine, also known as Star Jasmine. It’s in full bloom now on our arbor and it is absolutely amazing. If you haven’t languished under the intoxicating scent of jasmine on a warm spring evening, you have missed something otherworldly. The scent can bear down on you heavily while you seek out the nearest place to recline. It’s what we call “heady.”
Even though it’s called Confederate Jasmine (hardy zones 8-11), it’s not native to the American southeast. It’s an import from China.
The delicious scent of jasmine reaches us through the foods we eat, the teas we drink, and in perfume and aromatherapies.
A valuable perfume oil is extracted from the steam distilled or tinctured flowers and used in high end perfumery. In a dilute form, tinctured flowers are much used in Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai incenses. A bast fibre is produced from the stems. Authentic Thai Jasmine rice is made by steeping 20 flowers in a litre of water overnight and then using the strained water to cook long grain rice.
And you wondered why you loved that jasmine rice so much. Jasmine is also added to teas, bringing a distinctive flavor and aroma to each steeping cup.
Jasmines of all kinds are plants of the Moon and would make an awesome addition to an all white Moon Garden.
It’s used in aromatherapy as an antidepressant and as an aphrodisiac and I can attest that one whiff of jasmine in bloom is, indeed, uplifting and extraordinarily sensual.
Here’s the jasmine before it bloomed. The pic up top is what it looks like covered in blossoms.