Things to Know About the Perfume Ingredient Neroli

Flowers of bitter orange (Citrus aurantium). Kozan, Adana - Turkey
Zeynel Cebeci/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

What exactly is the common perfume ingredient called "neroli"? Neroli is the name given to the oil extracted by steam-distillation from the fragrant white flower blossoms of bitter orange trees. It is one of the most widely used floral oils in perfumery and is popular as an essential oil used in beauty products and aromatherapy.

Where It's Found

The bitter orange tree is native to Italy but is cultivated widely in France. It is an evergreen tree which grows up to 10 meters tall with thick, glossy leaves and thorns. The small white flowers of the tree are hand-gathered in the springtime, and it takes approximately one ton of these blossoms to produce one quart of oil, resulting in a very high cost.

What It Smells Like

Neroli has a light sweet-floral fragrance with an element of citrus. It is said to have a refreshing, honeyed floral aroma. It is commonly used as a top note in modern fragrances. Perfumers highly prize neroli oil for its ability to blend well with various citrus oils, floral absolutes, and most of the synthetic components available on the market.

Other Uses of Neroli

Neroli essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy and as a massage oil. It is considered to have anti-depressant, sedative, anti-bacterial and anti-spasmodic effects. Neroli oil is also reputed to be one of the ingredients in the top-secret recipe for the Coca-Cola soft drink.

Neroli Fragrances to Try

Fragrances for women that strongly feature neroli include Chloe Eau de Fleurs Neroli, L'Occitane en Provence Neroli Eau de Parfum, Laura Mercier Neroli Perfume, Profumum Neroli Eau de Parfum, Le Labo Perfume Neroli 36, and Prada Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger.

Men's fragrances featuring neroli as a key scent component include Creed Neroli Sauvage, Atelier Cologne Grand Neroli Cologne Absolue, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Diptyque L'Eau de Neroli, and Czech & Speake Neroli Cologne.

Aromatherapy Recipes Using Neroli Essential Oil

You can add a few drops of this essential oil in body scrubs, massage oils and creams, such as this brown sugar facial scrub.

Where to Buy

Most health food and beauty stores will have a section for essential oils. If you don't have a store near you or neroli isn't on the list, we recommend buying online.

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