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  1. #1

    Smile Is there a difference between bitter orange and neroli?

    I thought they were the same thing but in some recent posts it seems that maybe they aren't. Anyone out there know the difference and can describe it for me if there is one. I can't stand Neroli like in czech and speake Neroli but I have a bar of Eau d' Italie soap that seems to have a bitter citrus scent that I do like quite well. I think I detected the same scent in a bar of Ibeza soap I have tried and liked that as well.


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  2. #2

    Default Re: Is there a difference between bitter orange and neroli?

    Bitter orange essential oil is from the peel of the fruit of the bitter orange tree. Bitter oranges are mainly used in the west for marmalade. It smells like oranges, but more intense and slightly drier.
    Neroli is the distilled essential oil of orange flowers, primarily bitter orange flowers though sweet orange flowers are sometimes used. It has a warm, floral, slightly tart scent that is only slightly citrus-smelling.
    I really wouldn't judge either of these two essences from perfume note lists. Check out a store that sells essential oils and smell them for yourself.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is there a difference between bitter orange and neroli?

    Bitter orange essential oil is also called bigarrade in perfumery, BTW. Other citrus based scents include petitgrain, distilled from the leaves and twigs of the orange or other citrus trees, and cédrat, a mixture that can include various citrus oils.

    I guess néroli is properly a flower essence, although it is always closely associated with other citrus-derived oils, and often shows up in perfume top notes along with them.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Is there a difference between bitter orange and neroli?

    Cedrat is actually a type of lemon.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Is there a difference between bitter orange and neroli?

    Quote Originally Posted by hirch_duckfinder View Post
    Cedrat is actually a type of lemon.
    Isn't cedrat oil from the citron, rather than the lemon? I'm not 100% sure because when I googled cedrat oil ran across a citron petigrain too.
    Last edited by Sugandaraja; 14th December 2007 at 06:55 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is there a difference between bitter orange and neroli?

    Next question: How does Bergamot differ from Bitter Orange?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is there a difference between bitter orange and neroli?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Next question: How does Bergamot differ from Bitter Orange?
    Bitter orange essential oil is from the peel of ripe bitter orange fruits; Bergamot essential oil is from the slightly unripe fruits of the Bergamot orange tree.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Is there a difference between bitter orange and neroli?

    Various sub-species of Citrus aurantium, commonly called Bitter Orange, produce Neroli, Bergamot and Petitgrain.

    Neroli is produced by steam distillation of the flowers. Petitgrain by the steam distillation of leaves and twigs (sometimes with some flowers too "Petitgrain sur fleur") and Bergamot by expression of the peel.

    Then there is also Orange Flower Water which is the water produced during the steam distillation of Neroli. There is also an absolute of Orange Flower Water produced by solvent extraction of the Orange Flower Water and an Orange Flower Absolute produced by solvent extraction of the flowers.

    One also needs to remember that fragrance pyramids are meant to be evocative and should not necessarily be expected to be literally accurate.
    Last edited by dcampen; 14th December 2007 at 07:14 PM.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Is there a difference between bitter orange and neroli?

    Random aside that seems relevant to this thread: is the distinction between neroli and neroli Portugal still made? ( Bitter orange and sweet orange respectively. )

    Quote Originally Posted by dcampen View Post
    Various sub-species of Citrus aurantium, commonly called Bitter Orange, produce Neroli, Bergamot and Petitgrain.

    Neroli is produced by steam distillation of the flowers. Petitgrain by the steam distillation of leaves and twigs (sometimes with some flowers too "Petitgrain sur fleur") and Bergamot by expression of the peel.

    Then there is also Orange Flower Water which is the water produced during the steam distillation of Neroli. There is also an absolute of Orange Flower Water produced by solvent extraction of the Orange Flower Water and an Orange Flower Absolute produced by solvent extraction of the flowers.
    That's fairly comprehensive, but I'll add distilled sweet orange oil to mix as another widely available essential oil.

    Quote Originally Posted by dcampen View Post
    One also needs to remember that fragrance pyramids are meant to be evocative and should not necessarily be expected to be literally accurate.
    "Pink frosting accord" rears its ugly head once again.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is there a difference between bitter orange and neroli?

    Quote Originally Posted by hirch_duckfinder View Post
    Cedrat is actually a type of lemon.
    In French, cédrat refers to the citron fruit or tree; but on page 58 of Nigel Groom's The New Perfume Book (Blackie Academic & Professional [Chapman-Hall]: London, 1998), "Cedrat oil" is defined as "A name given to a mixture of Citrus oils."
    Last edited by JaimeB; 14th December 2007 at 09:23 PM.
    Yr good bud,

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