Neroli, a fresh, floral fragrance
Neroli Oil is extracted from the flowers of bitter orange trees or Citrus aurantium var. Amara to give it its correct name.
What does it smell like?
The rich, sweet scent of Neroli is floral with citrus overtones and is a popular base note for many perfumes and scented items such as candles and aromatherapy products. Particularly those used for massage. It is one of the most widely used oils in perfumery and is said to be a similar scent to Bergamot.
How is the oil extracted?
Neroli oil is extracted by gathering the blossoms of the bitter orange trees by hand in springtime. The ideal time to collect the blossoms is usually in late April to early May. Once they have been collected, the oil is extracted by steam distillation.
A majority of the Neroli oil is produced in the North African countries of Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia.
The cost of this oil is very high which is due to the amount of blossom needed to extract the oil. For one litre of orange blossom water, which is also obtained from the bitter orange trees, you will need one kilo of flowers, to create one kilo of neroli you will need one ton of blossom. It is for this reason that the oil is almost always diluted to make it more cost effective.
During the 17th Century, in a small town in the Italian region of Lazio, The Duchess of Bracciano, Anne Marie Orsini was a fan of using the essence of the bitter orange tree as a perfume for her gloves and to scent her bath water. She introduced the essence of bitter orange tree as a fashionable fragrance by using it to perfume her gloves and her bath. The Duchess was also the Princess of Nerola which is where the name originated and has been used to describe the scent ever since.
It is very popular with perfumers as the oil adds a fresh and floral scent to classic perfume creations making a distinct and compelling fragrance.
Used in aromatherapy it is believed that this oil has many health and wellbeing benefits. It is thought to sooth and help you to relax and bring about positive thoughts.