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Petitgrain Essential Oils

A ‘Petitgrain’ oil is always derived from the leaf of a citrus tree. When the term is used on its own, it nearly always refers to ‘Petitgrain Bigarade’, an oil steam distilled from the leaf of the Bitter Orange tree. (The Bitter Orange tree gives three oils: Petitgrain Bigarade, Bitter Orange from the rind of the fruit, and Neroli from the flowers).

Petitgrain used to be distilled from the small, unripe fruit (hence ‘petit’  and ‘grain’) but then it was found that a very similar oil could be obtained very much less expensively by steam distilling the leaves. So we now refer to any leaf oil from a citrus tree as a ‘petitgrain’.

Petitgrain Bigararde is a great balancing oil, a component of many fragrances, and has wide value in aromatherapy with its uplifting influence, which makes it useful against sadness, as an aid to sleep, and for stress and anxiety. All petitgrains are relaxing and stress-relieving, but each has its own signature. They blend well with lavender, clary sage, geranium and sandalwood.