The IFRA 43rd amendment restrictions for jasmine grandiflorum are sobering, but I want to clarify a few misconceptions that seem to be circulating. First, jasmine is not banned; the sambac and grandiflorum both have restrictions but can still be used within the limits. The jasmine grandiflorum limit is 0.7% in the finished product but the jasmine sambac limit is considerably higher at 4% in the finished product. Jasmine is limited because it has been found to be a sensitizer, and I assume the sambac has less sensitizing potential and can therefore be used in larger amounts.
I have favored the grandiflorum in most of my formulas up til now, but I love both types and will be using more sambac in the future since the sambac limit is so much more generous. I hope jasmine lovers can take some solace in knowing that sambac can still be used in more reasonable quantities.
Jasmine absolutes are potent and a little goes a long way. When you realize that the fragrance in an edp is just 8-15% of the finished perfume, then you see that jasmine sambac at 4% of the finished perfume gives some leeway. However, a parfum formula is 15-30% fragrance and the 0.7% grandiflorum level in the finished perfume is much more limiting; jasmine grandiflorum is used in many of the old classic formulas and the parfum versions have already suffered and will continue to suffer from these IFRA restrictions.
Over the years many synthetics have been developed for jasmine notes and these are usually blended with the absolutes to create accords with both synth and natural ingredients. Some of the synths are actually beautiful in their own right (the high-cis hediones have been especially important products for adding radiance to perfumes and to jasmine accords in particular), but there’s nothing like the real thing and synths like hedione are not meant to replace natural jasmine. Some people find natural jasmine too indolic for them and actually prefer it combined with synths to create a cleaner jasmine accord. I love jasmine even straight up, so fragrances like Serge Lutens A La Nuit or Jean Patou Joy do not have too much indolic jasmine for me, despite A La Nuit sometimes being called “death by jasmine” in perfume circles. I enjoy a little death by jasmine now and then, lol. I love softer jasmine notes too, like the gorgeous jasmine note in MDCI Enlevement Au Serail, a classic beauty that stole my heart when it first came out.
I’ve been remiss in not marketing the fact that my scents are parfum formulations of 20-30% fragrance. I’ll eventually add this information to the website. Because my scents are concentrated, the IFRA levels are more difficult for me, as they are problematic to parfum formulas in general. All I can do is view the restrictions as a challenge to try to create the most beautiful scents I can within the limits and to keep learning and sourcing new ingredients that meet the new standards.