The Post and Telecommunications Office of French Polynesia issued a new scented postage stamp featuring the elegant and noble flower of jasmine.
Native to the Arab peninsula, jasmine, along with the rose, is one of the two queen flowers in perfumery. In order to obtain a kilogram of absolute essence of jasmine, about seven millions of these little white flowers need to be picked. In addition to India, one of the main producers of jasmine has always been China, where flowers are often used to flavour tea. In Hawaii, the flower, called Pikake, is used to make sweet-smelling leis. In France, the jasmine anniversary is the symbol of 66 years of marriage.
In Polynesia, the Pitate or Jasmine, is a delight just at the sound of its name. It can be found in many Tahitian gardens, and is frequently cultivated as an ornamental shrub or a creeper on a pergola. Its cosmetic virtues are recognised: you can wash your face in water in which Pitate flowers are soaked or apply monoi flavoured with these flowers on the body or on the hair.