A sprawling, deciduous shrub with vines that can climb up to ten metres, jasmine belongs to the olive family Oleaceae. Its delicate, white, sweetly scented flowers bloom from June to September and are held on pedicels whose oval berries turn dark-red when ripe, and later purple. The long, thin shoots have small, dark-green pinnate leaflets, interspersed with star-shaped flowers that are loosely clustered in umbels. Native to the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australia, between 200 and 300 types of this plant are known to exist today, and they tend to appreciate bright, warm and sunny places.
In Arab countries, where jasmine is considered a fragrant oil, it is used in perfume-making and as a flavouring agent, while the Persian name Yasmin, from which the English word jasmine derives, means flower and symbolises love. It suggests beauty, purity and order. Legend has it that Montgomery Collins, the forefather of Monkey 47, was so enchanted by a Black Forest village belle called Jasmine that he chose the delicate aroma to add a soft flavour to his Black Forest dry gin recipe.