Ah, Springtime! Romance is in the air. Even the parrots of Ocean Beach are making advances and doing their special courtship dance on the telephone wires. Spring rains have encouraged a profusion of colorful flowers with their delicious scents.
Soon the night-blooming jasmine outside our window will be filling the night with its delirious odor, heralding the advance of summer.
Nature moves us in mysterious ways through our sense of smell.
The sensory connection we make through the olfactory membrane is the only place in the human body where the central nervous system is directly exposed and in contact with the outside environment. The myriad of odor stimuli from scents release neurotransmitters that regulate our inner life, the core of our being.
The cells of the olfactory membrane are themselves brain cells.
They are a part of the limbic system, the oldest root of our brain, and most primal seat of our sexuality, motivation, creativity, and our attractive impulses. Pheromones, hormone-like substances in our personal aroma, influence a perspective mate to choose us to romance.
This perception happens on a very natural and subtle level, influencing animals intuitively. A male butterfly can smell a female six miles away! And, although not as sensitive as butterflies, we respond to those around us according to their scent. The pheromones in the perspiration of human males contain substances similar to the male sex hormone testosterone, attracting females on an unconscious level.
Many essential oils from plants contain pheromones of their own. They attract insects and birds to pollinate them, or to repel predators. They may also influence how we respond to someone anointing themselves with them, or others to us if we choose wisely.
Our wonderful night-blooming jasmine, also known as “queen of the night,” produces an oil very close in chemical structure to human perspiration, which makes it easily absorbed and mixed with our own pheromones, creating a unique personal scent.
It seems to increase the attractiveness of anyone wearing it. This attribute has been known for centuries. When Cleopatra prepared herself for her encounter with Mark Anthony, she had everything around her perfumed, including the sails of her ship.
Jasmine as a Mood-Changer
In India where jasmine originated, many portrayals of lovers bathed in moonlight include depictions of the mysterious and magical jasmine. It excites sensuality. It penetrates our being and diminishes fear, encouraging us to recapture self-confidence. No other essential oil is quite as capable of changing our mood so intensely.
Men and women under its influence open up to sensual love in a natural way from a state of wholeness gained from trusting themselves and others. Thus is the stage set for true romance embracing warmth, trust and a relaxed physical awareness that allows for a closeness born of kinship.
At the same time, jasmine increases our intuitive powers, allowing us to “know” when we have encountered our mate. Jasmine is so potent, just a drop or two is required.
It takes about a thousand pounds or 3.6 million fresh jasmine flowers to produce a pound of the essential oil. The flowers must be picked by hand before dawn when they’re most imbued with the volatile oil which dissipates with the rising sun.
Each delicate flower is handled gently so they don’t get squashed. A liter can cost over $5000, making it one of the most expensive of the essential oils. Since it is so costly, synthetics have been formulated to approximate its fragrance, some containing small amounts of the pure oil to mask the cheap odor.
So, if you’re looking to woo that special someone with jasmine, be sure you get the real thing. Several distributors have an excellent reputation for the quality of their oils. Rub in a drop or two and let nature do its thing. The rest will be history.