The scent of the jasmine in my back garden this year is intense. I have never smelt it so strongly and I put it down to the wonderful spell of heat and sun we had in the spring which has just intensified the volatile oils.
One of my most pleasant memories of my first visit to Cyprus was the scent of the jasmine blossom on the evening breeze whilst walking back to my uncle’s house. In Cyprus because of the lack of moisture in the environment the concentration of volatile oils in plants is much higher than normal, up to 33%, which makes them a good source for making the essential oils.
My cousin Androula picks her roses regularly when they are in flower. She picks off the petals and scatters them on a tsestos to allow them to dry so she can use them either in a tea or sprinkled in the bath for a sensual, luxurious experience. This year for the first time she made her own rosewater for which you need a awful lot of rose petals and for this they are used whilst fresh. I am lucky enough to have a bottle and will use it sparingly to flavour my cooking.