One of the most widely used floral oils in perfumery, Neroli has a rich and colorful past.
Its light, sweet floral fragrance tinged with a hint of citrus is extracted from the fragrant white flower blossoms of bitter orange trees via steam distillation.
It is most often used as a top note in the coveted fragrances formulated by our master perfumers because of its ability to complement diverse citrus oils, floral absolutes, and the majority of then many synthetic components that proliferate the modern perfume market place.
A Brief History of Neroli Essential Oil
Used as a curative for both body and spirit for centuries untold, many historians believe that neroli originated in ancient Persia where it was used to perfume both royalty and palace walls.
It was also known to the ancient Egyptian priests and priestesses who used the oil to enhance the power of sacred rituals.
Neroli then found its way to India, Burma, China and North Africa where the Moors spread its seductive, mysterious allure to Spain.
During the 12th century, bitter orange trees were cultivated everywhere in Seville for the exclusive purpose of producing this precious essential oil.
In the 1500s, Spanish explorers brought the tree to St. Augustine, Florida.
It not known exactly how the word, neroli originated, but there are several theories. Some say it derives from the Arabic word for orange, which is naranj or from the Sanskrit, nagarian.
The most popular of legends however, place the name in 17th century, Italy, specifically a small Italian town near Rome, and a princess who lived there.
Anne Marie Orsini aka Anna Maria de la Tremoille, wife of Prince Flavio Orsini is credited with introducing the fragrance of bitter orange to Italian society by using it to perfume her stationery, clothing, gloves and bath water.
She was so enamored with the aroma that she achieved the moniker, Princess Nerola.
In the early 18th century, an Italian perfumer named J.M. Farina of Cologne, Germany, created a blend of essential oils inspired by neroli.
The fragrance was named Eau de Cologne and included facets of spicy, floral and citrusy bergamot, clean lemon, subtly, floral and woody petitgrain, mellow, sweet lavender, and sharp, woody rosemary.
The popularity of the fragrance soon cemented the word, cologne into perfume vocabulary, which, is still in use to this day.
Why Is Neroli So Popular In Modern Perfumery?
Neroli is fresh, floral, sparkling and is a favorite ingredient in the fine fragrances of master perfumers because its character is composed of layered facets.
Perfumers love neroli because it blends so well with other elements such as: citrus oil, floral absolutes and most synthetics.
Some favorite combination essential oils include: spicy, clean bergamot; dry, somber cedarwood; earthy, smoky frankincense; herbal, rosy geranium; smooth, sweet lavender; creamy, sugary magnolia; fresh, deep and rich wild orange and floral, erotic ylang ylang.
Neroli is perfect in white floral formulations or in colognes because it accentuates its unusual citrus edge.
Its properties render a tenderness to any formulation that cannot be found anywhere else.
This is why it is found in many perfumed products for babies and children. It is also a fragrance that both sexes find appealing.
Its scent is honeyed, sweet with spicy and green facets, which makes it ideal for use in the heart notes of a composition.
According to Thomas Dunckley, author of the award-winning blog, The Candy Perfume Boy: “Neroli’s green and white floral facets present a refreshing odor profile that doesn’t feel heavy, but it’s also one that carries both complexity and depth.”
Emmanuelle Moeglin, founder of the Experimental Perfume Club states that “Neroli is often used as a top or heart note and is quite volatile, so it won’t stay on the skin for very long on its own.
Therefore, it needs to be paired with stronger, more long-lasting ingredients within a composition.”
Lee-Ann Hodgekins of The Perfume Expert believes that “colognes based around neroli are perfect for men who gravitate to those clean, sporty scents and, regardless of your tastes, neroli will be first in class as the ideal fragrance for summer due to its unending freshness.”
Some Interesting Facts About Neroli
Neroli Is A Very Precious Essential Oil
A single pound of neroli is produced from about 1,000 handpicked blossoms that are so delicate that even the slightest of bruising can release their oil.
This Essential Oil Represents The Purity In All Things
Intensely feminine, neroli is considered of pure spirit, loving and peaceful. It aids in alleviating negativity and brings brightness where there is only dark.
Over the years, in some cultures it has become a symbol of purity, chastity, and eternal love.
Neroli blossoms were often worn as bridal head-dresses and carried as a bouquet, symbolizing purity and virginity.
It was also believed to influence creativity, expression in music and writing. Ironically, neroli was also once a scent won by the prostitutes of Madrid so they would be easily recognized.
Neroli Is Found In Unexpected Products
A 2014 study identified 58 aromatic compounds in the top three US brands of cola, confirming significant amounts in the essential oils of cinnamon, lemon, orange, neroli, coriander, nutmeg and vanilla.
According to Dr. Couic Mariner, neroli is one of the many secret ingredients found in the original iconic formula of Coca Cola.
Neroli Is Indigenous To Many Countries
Found in Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Spain, the essential oils from France and Tunisia are considered to be the most valuable.
Neroli Is Among The Most Expensive Essential Oils
It takes 1,000 pounds of orange blossoms to make one pound of Neroli oil.The bitter orange tree produces three different essential oils.but neroli is the most prized.
The Bitter Orange Tree Produces Three Essential Oils
The peel of the nearly ripe fruit yields bitter orange oil, the leaves are the source of petitgrain and neroli essential oil is steam-distilled from the small, white, waxy flowers of the tree.
Neroli Is Best Sniffed First Thing In The Morning
It is at this time of day when our sense of smell is at its most powerful, and the full character of the note can be experienced. By day’s end, our olfactory prowess can become tired and not as potent.
The Orange Blossom Has Its Own Holiday
June 27th is a day devoted to the admiration and appreciation of the beauty of the orange blossom.
The Fragrant Legacy Of Alpha Aromatics
We are a family run company whose roots stretch back to the trying aftermath of World War II.
Our focus, which has remained unchanged ever since, has been to “build great scents that build great brands.”
We are located in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and internationally renowned for our ability to transform the vision of any enterprise into an unforgettable communion between products and consumers that is certain to attract and inspire traffic and induce brand loyalty.
Our unique organic, natural and designer fragrances are found in many personal care products, candles and diffusers, fragrances for home, odor neutralizers, private label brands, industrial air fresheners, household cleaning products and fine, customized perfumes.
Coupled with our need to always be the best we can be, the approval of our clients always determines our own level of satisfaction, whether they are large corporations or small enterprises.
Some Of Our Recently-Created Neroli Fragrances
The following is partial list of some of the most popular scents containing neroli our perfumers have created for clients from an array of industries.
Cyclamen And Moss
The top notes of this fragrance flow with aspects of sugary wild berries and fresh, clean citrus rind.
They soon meld into a redolent heart note marked by facets of romantic rose, delicate and green lily-of-the-valley, light, floral cyclamen and bitter, herbaceous neroli.
The scent finishes with a potent base note marked by facets of bright, fresh cut grass, sensuous, mellow leather, green, moist moss and earthy, nutty dry sage.
Pomegranate Ginger Blossom
A burst of citrus streams though this fresh fragrance comprised of fiery orange zest and sweet-tart and winey pomegranate.
These elements soon drift into a floral heart note bouquet of intense jasmine, woody, dusty violet, floral, biting neroli, exotic, spicy plumeria and honey-nuanced, minty freesia.
A base note of this fresh fragrance completes with a base note of sensual, warm and exotic ginger and fresh, slightly smoky cypress.
This Asian-nuanced fragrance flows with a top note marked by a sultry burst of yuzi, which is a Japanese citrus with hints of half-lemon and half-lime aspects.
This facet adds a bitter, dry aspect to the remaining components, which consist of mild, nutty apricot kernel and uplifting grapefruit.
The heart note is dominated by light, floral neroli and aspects eventually fade into a final base note of warm and woody cedar.
Tonka Bean And Leather
This fragrance, which is designed for the warmer months of the year, evokes landscapes of pristine white beaches, shimmering sands and the lingering aroma of clean, fresh linen.
It streams with a top note of complex, refreshing bergamot, astringent lemon and sharp, grapefruit-infused pomelo.
These facets soon fade into a redolent floral heart note consisting of bitter, herbaceous and light neroli, delicate, sugary muguet and haunting, exotic jasmine.
This scent completes with base notes of exotic, milky coconut, creamy Tonka bean, smooth, pungent leather, slightly mossy and sweet tobacco leaf, creamy sandalwood, elegant, lush vanilla and warm, honeyed amber.
Calypso Pomelo Teak
Inspired by the inviting, turquoise waters of the Caribbean, this delightful fragrance streams with top notes of exotic pineapple, happy, sparkling grapefruit-nuanced pomelo and crisp, green apple.
A middle note soon follows comprised of creamy, sugary magnolia, light and bitter neroli, dreamy, romantic rose and shimmering water lily.
Call our teams today and discover what neroli can do for your company, your scented product or product line and that all-important bottom line.
Photo Credits: Pixabay