In the beginning, we had trees. A very obvious source of food from its fruit, shade from its branches and warmth from its dry bark. Not only that, but I’m sure you’re well aware of the fact that we literally need trees and their friends for oxygen so we’re able to breathe! So, trees do a lot. But, then we discovered they could do more. Ladies and Gents meet the Seville Orange Tree, which is also known as citrus aurantium var. amara.
Now, it gets better. Not only can the orange tree do all this, but we can use its various different parts for multiple things. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. The leaves and twigs give us petitgrain, the cold-pressed peel of the fruit gives us bigarade, and the flowers give us the orange blossom absolute by solvent extraction or neroli oil by steam distillation! One tree, four products. Take that lemon!
The orange tree is grown in many places such as India, Florida and southern Europe. Ah, but you already knew that. You want the numbers, is it? Well, we’re very fond of the numbers too. It takes roughly 1000kg of orange's flowers to make just 1kg of neroli oil. Shocking numbers, again. If you haven’t already realised, this is the trend with making perfume!
Muz gives us the insider tips with his interview on Neroli. Only at Maison 21G, find out how this Instagram icon makes Neroli Nude work for him!
Since the times of Ancient China, orange flowers have also been used in wedding ceremonies to represent omens of purity, innocence and moral virtue. Funnily enough, this found its way over to Europe too in the form of decorative flowers at weddings! Meaning that when you said you’d be out “gathering the orange blossoms”, you really meant you were seeking out a wife! Might want to watch what you say…
Why don’t we just call this orange and make things simple? Firstly, because it isn’t cool and exciting! Secondly, because there’s actually a story behind it all. The name “Neroli” comes from a small town just outside Rome, where Princess Anne Marie Orsini (also known as Anna Maria de la Tremoille), fell in love with orange blossoms in the spring air. She was the first person to distil orange flowers and turn them into essential oils! Her love was a slippery slope as she soon came into the habit of scenting all her clothes, baths, gloves and surroundings with this same scent. We can’t say it’s the best idea to soak everything you own in perfume, and especially not the same perfume! Still, it is a lovely scent. Can we blame you? Not really. Sometimes, you just end up having one of those Homer Simpson moments when you’re crazy for something you adore. Another use for trees and shrubs is a hiding place!
This is where the craze for Neroli all begins. It became known as an aphrodisiac because of the Princess but has since morphed into a much more pure, romantic and refined. Jasmine and Tuberose are far more aphrodisiac and sexy than neroli, which is far more soft, nude and natural in comparison! Plus, I'm sure you know how good oranges are for you, and the perfume we make from them is no exception! Neroli is known to reduce stress, calm you, and rejuvenate. Just what you need for the madness of this world...
Neroli, like the flower itself, is beautiful, clean and delicate. In a fascinating hybrid, Neroli has hints of citrus from its roots (literally, it comes from an orange tree), and yet the beautiful delicateness of a white floral. The origins of its citrus base bring an air of freshness to the perfume, which balances with a beautiful honey undertone.
Like goes with like! Usually, Neroli blends really well with other her white floral cousins, such as Jasmine and Tuberose (which you should also read about!) to enhance their freshness and sophisticated feminine aspects.
Neroli also blends extremely well with the more powdery florals like Violet and Mimosa, which creates a contrast adding a young spice and sparkle. Though, if it’s a strong sensual vibe you’re after, then you’re going to want to blend with Amber and Honey notes.
Of course, for men, the iconic scent of the gentleman is Lavender and Neroli. Just by adding a touch of Vanilla you obtain the famous "Le Male" or "Pour un Homme de Caron". Neroli blends very well with a strong wood like Vetiver or Oud to bring long-lasting freshness and a dusting of tenderness to a bold and strong man!