Citrus aurantium amara
Neroli oil has an intensely green, citrus and floral scent, reputed to cheer the mood and help find inner peace. On the skin, the oil is toning, soothing and antimicrobial. It is also thought to be an antioxidant, protecting the skin from external assaults like pollution or sun rays and improving cells’ ability to regenerate.
The bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium amara) is an evergreen member of the Rutaceae plant family. Many parts of the tree are used for perfuming and culinary purposes: the fruits flavour food and drinks, the flowers are distilled to produce neroli oil and orange flower absolute and, finally, petitgrain oil is obtained from the leaves and twigs of the tree.
Marie-Anne de La Trémoille (1642 - 1722) named the bitter oranger flower oil "neroli" after the city Nerola in Italy of which she was the princess. She loved to wear the oil as a perfume and created a trend in European royal courts - she would probably be called an influencer nowadays.
As its name suggests, this essential oil is produced in Lebanon. Although widely used in aromatherapy for its stress-relieving effects, neroli oil is a true luxury as the distillation process requires a lot of flowers for little oil.