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“Whilst the rose is the queen of flowers, jasmine is the king of perfumes. It has been a symbol in Grasse of the perfume industry of the whole world. … It is the natural product par excellence,” wrote Edmond Roudnitska, mentor to many of today’s great perfumers and creator of Christian Dior’s Diorella (1972), a quintessential jasmine perfume. The jasmine flower is tattooed on the history of the fragrance industry and the city of Grasse, France. Over the course of three centuries, it crept over the hills and valleys surrounding the fragrant city, elevating the small town to world-renowned cradle of the French perfumery industry. Perfumery eventually employed thousands of Grassois devoted to serving the world’s growing appetite for jasmine. Testimony to the thirst for its liquid extract can be found in the old saying, “No perfume without jasmine.”
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