Jasminum auriculatum and Jasminum azoricum
There are ten species and cultivars of jasmines in my gardens, and I want to share information about two very rare ones that are particularly rewarding. Jasmine auriculatum is a vine/bush with heady, green, sharp, somewhat indolic (if harvested at night) flowers. In India, this species of jasmine is called Juhi, and I first smelled the absolute in 1976 at the Magic Dragon shop in West Los Angeles.
Here’s a photo of me with my young J. auriculatum vine in 2011. It was taken by my front door, but the auriculatum didn’t last there long – I had to move it. Why? Because around 10:00 PM at night, the scent would go so indolic, I thought a dog left a deposit by my front door! Sweet during the day, deadly stink at night, it had to be moved to the back fence, far from the house.
In the back garden, the transplanted vine grew into a huge bush, with a sturdy main trunk. My apprentice Brian recently harvested the flowers at 6 P.M., before the indole developed. Such a sweet, delicate scent, this flower is a true delight. Into the tincture jar it went, adding to the earlier harvests’ menstruum.
But first I had some fun showing jasmine love
jasmine auriculatum flowers arranged into a heart shape
The flowers can be harvested, tinctured, strained, and recharged daily.
At the front of my property, greeting visitors as they walk to drive up the driveway, is a very aggressive Jasminum azoricum vine. It completely covers a huge hibiscus bush, and I explain by calling it the jasmine-hibiscus bush to confused viewers.
This multi-branched vine is about ten years old, and without any supplemental fertilizer or watering, rewards me with flowers almost every day of the year. Like the auriculatum, the azoricum flowers are very fragile and star-like in appearance. The azoricum needs to be harvested by noon, because it cannot take the heat of the day. The jasmine scent is lightly accented by a vanilla note, making it particularly delightful.
The tiny flowers need a lot of patience in harvesting, and the yield is small, but, oh, so beautiful.
When all is said and done, it’s a wonderful feeling to have these two lovely, rare jasmines growing in my garden, because they go into the tincture bottle and provide a unique fragrance for my natural perfumes.