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Essential Oil Profiles: Neroli (Citrus aurantifolia)

The fragrant white blossoms of bitter orange trees yield the precious Neroli essential oil. Gentle, yet strong, Neroli has been highly esteemed for centuries.

Practical uses for Neroli oil

Neroli essential oil has an extraordinary ability to uplift and soothe the spirits. Acting as a potent mood enhancer, it effectively changes agitation and instability to comfort and ease. Its mild yet energizing fragrance acts as a guiding light in moments of despair, akin to a supportive friend. It also has a bitter note which brings a grounding effect. Neroli is reputed to aid individuals in managing repressed emotions and overcoming challenges.

In addition to its emotional advantages, Neroli essential oil proves to be a valuable companion for skincare. As a natural skin toner and detoxifier, it plays a role in maintaining healthy and radiant skin. Particularly beneficial for those with oily skin, its astringent properties help regulate sebum production. This reduces the likelihood of breakouts or irritation. Its skin detoxification ability also aids in preventing premature aging. Neroli is a key ingredient in high-end skincare for mature and environmentally damaged skin.

Essential oil profile

Perfumery and fragrance

Neroli has a sweet, floral top note with an undertone of bitterness. Whilst it has citrus origins the essential oil of Neroli has a dry, slightly spicy aroma. This is very different to the clear, freshness of pressed citrus oils. Neroli is a key component of Eau de Cologne.

Plant family

Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara) is a member of the Rutaceae family along with many citrus oils and also emerging oils such as Katafray and Curry Leaf.


Neroli originated in Southeast Asia but is now cultivated across the Mediterranean and North Africa, including Tunisia and Morocco. The essential oil is generally cultivated using traditional methods and the flowers are often picked by hand. Certified organic Neroli oil is available.


Linalool: Found in many essential oils, but especially Lavender. Gives a relaxing, calming effect.

Limonene: A cyclic terpene usually found in most essential oils but particularly in the pressed oils of  Orange and Lemon. It brings a fresh aroma to Neroli, reminiscent of its citrus connections.

Geraniol: Unsurprisingly found mainly in Geranium oil, geraniol has a sweet, floral aroma. It’s rose-like aroma has a cheering, uplifting effect.

Neryl acetate: Neryl acetate has a sedative effect which makes it ideal for use in the evening or during difficult times. This component has a sweet, herbaceous aroma.

Methyl anthranilate: This component is actually found predominantly in Petitgrain Mandarin oil which comes from the leaves and twigs of the related species Citrus reticulata. However even in small quantities it has a powerful sedative effect. Great when preparing for a restful night.

Find out more about Neroli (Citrus aurantifolia)

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