Doesn’t everyone love the heady scent of orange blossoms? I certainly do. What many people don’t realise is that there are several types of orange essential oils and they ain’t equal.
The most commonly encountered orange oil, often known as Sweet Orange Oil, is derived from the sweet orange tree, Citrus Sinesis. It has a happy, sweet, typically orange-like scent.
However, today I would like to shine a light on sweet orange oil’s more complex cousin, Neroli.
Neroli is an essential oil which is steam-extracted from the bitter orange tree, aka the Seville Orange (Citrus Aurantium). This long-lived tree is largely grown in Southern Europe and Northern Africa.
Neroli has a distinctive fragrance, and is extensively used as a foundational component in perfumes. Its fresh, green scent is markedly different from that of Sweet Orange oil. It has sharper, more delicate tones with a top note that is pleasantly bitter, fresh, sweet and herbal in nature. Neroli was one of the secret ingredients that made up the iconic Eau de Cologne, made in 1709, by the famous Italian perfume-maker, Johann Maria Farina.
Neroli has a soothing effect on mood, so it is often used as an ingredient in aromatherapy; evidence suggests that neroli has benefits for conditions like depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, headaches and insomnia.
Used in skincare, Neroli oil stimulates skin cells to regenerate, is antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory. It is healing, nourishing and hydrating.
Neroli hydrosol is a botanical extract that is also produced during steam-distillation of the bitter orange blossoms. It is water-based, instead of oil-based, and so can be used to impart the benefits of neroli in skincare where oil is not wanted.
Neroli hydrosol acts as an astringent that tightens, firms, and tones the skin. It also reduces excess oils while minimizing the appearance of large pores and lifting sagging skin.
It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that help calm and soothe acne-prone and sensitive skin.
Finally, neroli hydrosol is an excellent antioxidant. It fights free radicals that damage the skin and helps slow down the onset of skin ageing, smoothing wrinkles, reducing scarring and minimising age spots.
I love Neroli! It’s uplifting scent and anti-ageing properties are the foundation for our Breathe Hydrating Mist, which is formulated to purify, hydrate and tone your skin.
It’s also great in drying environments – I spritz myself at work when I am stuck in the air-conditioning all day, on long flights, and while I am working in the garden (I keep it in the fridge – so refreshing!).
Enjoy the refreshing, rejuvenating qualities of Neroli!