Organic neroli oil is extracted from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium amara), which belongs to the Rutaceae plant family. They are hardy citrus plants. They are evergreen and grow up to 20 feet in the wild. In cultivation, they will only grow to half this height. The tree bears double leaves, which have a bulge at the base of the main leaf.
The term organic means that the trees have been grown without the use of conventional pesticides, fertilisers or herbicides. We use this grade of oil in our 100% organic massage bar.
Its fruit is used to flavour liqueurs, such as Grand Mariner and Triple sec, and its leaves and twigs provide the petitgrain oil (sometimes also called bigarade), another aromatic ingredient we use.
Neroli originates from Asia, but is now produced all over the world in the Mediterranean, North Africa and China. The oil produced in France and Tunisia is believed to be the finest of them all. We use the Tunisian quality, believing it to be the best available.
Neroli is one of the few essential oils to be scientifically proven to increase serotonin production in the brain. As with all aromatherapy, however, the power of suggestion and individual preferences play an important part in how effective this might be. Serotonin is an important, mood-altering neurotransmitter, and increased levels of it enhance our feelings of serenity and well-being. It is believed that the tradition of bridal orange blossom garlands started because the fragrance soothed the nerves of the young brides.
Neroli oil is reported to improve the tone and texture of skin. Aromatherapists have used it for many years to help reduce scarring and stretch marks.
Some essential oils are classed as synergistic in aromatherapy. This means that when certain oils are mixed together, they take on the characteristics of each other and have a stronger effect on the body. Neroli and lavender in particular are reputed to have a strengthening effect on the elasticity of the skin.
Neroli has an intensely sharp, green and floral aroma, which comes alive when diluted and imparts a refreshing scent. It was one of the ingredients in the original Cologne.