Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara)

Neroli is one of three essential oils produced by various parts of the bitter orange tree and is one of the costliest oils to produce (along with jasmine, rose and sandalwood). This oil is produced by steam distillation of the orange blossom flowers. Please note that orange blossom oil is produced from the same flowers but by a different method, and the scent is therefore slightly different. Neroli oil is sweet yet green and slightly spicy and very refreshing. It is extensively used in perfumery. It is said to be the essence of innocence, and this is one of the reasons why orange blossoms were frequently seen in traditional bridal bouquets; as neroli oil has relaxant properties, I suspect it was also rather helpful for a nervous bride! It is extensively used in skin creams and has been since the end of the 17th century. So it’s been around a while!

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