Orange Blossom

One of the many stories about this plant is that neroli was named after the 16th-century Italian princess of Nerola, who loved its scent. The oil comes from the blossom of the bitter orange, not the sweet orange that produces orange oil. An Indochina native, it is grown commercially in France, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.

Family: Rutaceae

Extraction: Distilled from blossoms. Concrete, absolute. The fragrance is sweet, spicy and distinctive.

Medicinal Action: Neroli treats diarrhea and circulation problems such as hemorrhoids and high blood pressure.

Cosmetic/Skin Use: Used on mature and couperose skin to regenerate the cells.

Emotional Attribute: One of the best aromatic antidepressives, neroli counters emotional shock, mental confusion, nervous strain, anxiety, fear and lack of confidence. It redirects one’s energy into a more positive direction, countering both fatigue and insomnia. It is used for those who get upset for no apparent reason. Also an aphrodisiac.

Associated Oils:

Petitgrain (C. aurantium) –Now distilled from the fragrant leaves and stems of the bitter orange, this oil originally came from the small, unripe fruit (thus its name, “little fruit”). The fragrance resembles neroli, but is harsher and sharper. It is less expensive and potent, but often effective enough as an antidepressant. Petitgrain increases perception and awareness and reestablishes trust and self-confidence. Most of the oil comes from Paraguay, where the 19th-century French botanist Benjamin Balansa first distilled the leaves.

Neroli Portugal (C. aurantium var. dulcis) –The flowers of this sweeter orange produce a less fragrant oil, also called neroli petalea, considered inferior to var. amara.

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Written by Kathi Keville

Explore Wellness in 2021