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  1. #1
    DOCPSYCHO's Avatar
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    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
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    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
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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.
    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 05:55 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
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    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 06:14 PM.
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  9. #9
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    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 08:23 PM.
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  11. #11

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

    so if I get neroli oil it should still smell like the flower it should not have a heavy orange smell to it right? it may not be as sweet as a orange blossom oil or water but it should not smell like bitter orange oil or am I wrong?
    Last edited by shadow057; 14th June 2015 at 07:26 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is there a difference between bitter orange and neroli?

    As I understand it, neroli oil and orange flower oil should be the same thing, with a possible difference, but not much, between flowers of sweet orange and of bitter orange. It smells very much like the Orange flower water I get in a Mediterranean grocery. Not like orange (peel) oil at all.

  13. #13

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

    thank you very much it's very useful information

  14. #14

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

    this is the exact words from the seller of neroli oil after I told her the oil smells exactly like bitter orange oil with no scent of the flower itself this was her response to me when I told her I wanted to return my product does anybody else find this an odd response and does anybody else agree that whether it's a bitter orange blossom or a sweet orange blossom they should not smell like the fruit
    I state my orange blossoms come from bitter orange trees. However, orange blossoms can be harvested from a variety of orange trees.

    As such, the wide variety of orange blossoms in existence can cause one neroli to smell almost nothing like another.

  15. #15

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

    I've heard that orange blossom and neroli are different only in the methods used to extract the oils from the orange flower petals. Neroli is obtained by steam distillation and orange blossom is by enfleurage. Beyond this I know nothing about how the process works. It is amazing to me how much fragrant goodness comes from the orange tree. The leaves, the wood, twigs, the flowers, the peel, the fruit flowers by steam distillation and then there are differing varieties of orange such as bergamot, mandarin etc. Amazing tree the orange.
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  16. #16

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

    yes I truly understand and love everything that an orange tree can produce I'm lucky enough to live in Florida and my father worked in the citrus industry for over 20 years one of the things they produced was tangerine orange lemon and lime oil in fact if you remembered the orange fruit roll ups my father company actually slide them with the sweet orange oil that they used to help make them so from a young age I was lucky enough to have food grade citrus essential oils and the smell of orange blossoms when it came time for them to bloom in my yard I actually have a bitter orange tree but in Florida that's due to them splicing the roots with a lime or lemon in fact I have another tree that grows better oranges limes and lemons but in all my years I have never heard that a bitter orange tree will produce neroli essential oil that smells like bitter orange I'm personally thinking that this woman has a subpar product and is trying to BS her way out of people's money after I ordered the product I decided to order neroli oil from three other suppliers all from bitter orange trees and none of which smell like they have orange oil in them I think that she's using stems and leaves and not fully using just the flowers since there is no sweetness to this oil whatsoeverand even lemon blossoms and lime blossoms have a sweetness to the oilbut beyond that I am very happy that I now have a new group of friends that I can discuss some of the wonderful fragrances that are out there and maybe come up with some new mixtures of my own I think everybody for their information and I can't wait to learn even more so even though this is an unfortunate event that caused me to have toreturn a product and get a refund it led me to this site and in that I am grateful no matter how much trouble I've had to go through in the last week to get here

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Is there a difference between bitter orange and neroli?

    Her oils may have been mixed, as you say.

    Here is a link to an article you may enjoy:

    Perfumery Materials: Neroli, Petit Grain, Orange Blossom, Bigarade
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