Jasmine absolute, prepared from Jasminum grandiflorum L. has been described as one of the most important, if not the most important, natural perfume materials. It has become a most expensive ingredient, as its price, depending on its source, ranges up to more than two thousand dollars per pound.
Extensive research has been done on the identification of the odoriferous constituents of jasmine absolute. A review on its chemical composition from 1899 to 1965 was done by Van der Gen (1972). Since then, a number of valuable constituents have been identified in jasmine by Polak (1973); Stoffelsma and coworkers (1973); Mookherjee and coworkers (1974); Kaiser and Lamparsky (1974); Toyoda and coworkers (1978); and Cheng (1979). However, the total number of compounds reported amounts only to approximately sixty. Although the composition of jasmine oil has bee studied for about eighty years, there is still neither agreement on it, nor a completely satisfactory replacement for this natural material.
Jasmine flowers are cultivated in Egypt on a large scale to produce jasmine concrete and its absolute. Egypt is considered one of the major exporting countries of these natural products. However, no detailed analysis of Egyptian jasmine absolute could be found in the literature. The present study is an attempt to identify new and interesting constituents of a high quality Egyptian jasmine absolute.