When designing the Dolce and Gabanna Light Blue fragrance for the D & G fashion house, master perfumer Olivier Crespin wanted to capture summer. To do so, he opted to use a number of natural scent notes that would touch on all the best of southern Italy and attraction. To get this done, it is no wonder that he included notes of jasmine.
Jasmine is a natural scent agent that is part of the olive family. Growing as shrubs and vines, it has more than 200 different varieties. Most of them grow as climbing vines on other plants in the temperate and tropical zones of the Old World, like the Middle East but also including the southern Italian area that Crespin wanted to encapsulate for the Dolce and Gabanna Light Blue scent.
The name of the scent itself comes from the Persian language, and it means "Gift from God". It's a fitting name for the flowering plant, which opens only in the evening hours to release its smell. Thai artists also use the flower as a symbol of the mothering and embracing elements of lift.
For perfume uses, it is rare to get it as an isolate. Even a rich fashion house like D & G could not afford to make Dolce and Gabanna Light Blue a pure jasmine. This is because to capture the scent notes, extremely large amounts of the small flowers need to be used, and extracting the scent is a very laborious process.
Jasmine is extracted for perfume use with enfleurage, a process that can be done hot or cold. Cold, the flowers are pounded into animal fats and have to be left for 1 - 3 days for the scent to transfer to the fat. Hot, the flowers are placed into cauldrons of boiling fats until the scent reaches the proper level. It must be carefully monitored so that the essential oils of the flower are not burned away.
For this reason, Dolce and Gabanna Light Blue uses notes of jasmine, but also notes of amber, musk, bergamot, citron, and rose. This helps incorporate the key scent while not simultaneously making the perfume too expensive for consumers to purchase. It's a common problem with using the natural scent of jasmine in perfumes. It is almost universally beloved as an odor, but it is so pricey that it must be used in very limited quantities to achieve its effects and preserve sales.