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Orange Blossom Absolute
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Botanical Name: Citrus aurantium var. amara (synonym of Citrus x aurantium L.)
Process: Solvent Extracted Absolute
Plant Part: Flowers
Use: Natural Perfumery. Always dilute.
Note: Middle Note, Fixative
Aroma Family: Floral
Aroma: Intense, indole-rich, warm, deep, extremely sweet yet non-cloying citrus floral aroma of excellent tenacity that deepens in the drydown; has a subtle bitter-green backnote that lends aliveness.
Contraindications: May be weakly phototoxic; please see Safety Considerations below.
Orange Blossom Absolute
Our Orange Blossom Absolute from Egypt has an intense, indole-rich, warm, deep, extremely sweet yet non-cloying citrus floral aroma of excellent tenacity that deepens in the drydown; a subtle bitter-green backnote lends aliveness. Particularly when well diluted, Orange Blossom quickly unfolds with incredibly seductive floral notes. It provides a warm floral heart note and adds opulence and depth when paired with the lighter Neroli (historical name for distilled Orange Blossom essential oil). Orange Blossom absolute is a perfumer's specialty oil; intense and quite potent even in low concentrations, this oil is perfect for exotic and Oriental scents, and in lending character and depth with amazing tenacity.
Orange Blossom absolute is but one expression of the pure white blossoms of Citrus aurantium var amara, the Bitter Orange tree, a resilient evergreen of the Rutaceae family. Although these are the same flowers that are used to distill Neroli essential oil, Neroli and solvent extracted Orange Blossom absolute are produced using very different processes, rendering fragrance materials with somewhat different aromas and textures. The absolute has a powerful aroma and is more viscous while the essential oil is lighter in color and carries a more delicate aroma. Orange Blossom absolute is very popular for use as a fixative in fine natural perfumery and for the way it perfectly complements other citrus notes, florals, spices and woods.
The aroma of Orange Blossom absolute is greatly defined by the presence of the aromatically sultry, erotic and ‘animalic’ indole – itself an intermediate in the synthesis of the amino acid tryptophan.1 The presence of indole, in stark contrast with the spring maiden and bridal imagery of this pure white flower, perfectly illustrates the blurred lines between virgin beauty and sexy siren.2 Its popularity is legendary – approximately 12% of all modern quality perfumes contain Orange Blossom absolute.3 Low yield and labor-intensive harvesting methods make Orange Blossom a very costly endeavor – only approximately 1 kilo of absolute is extracted from 1,000 kilos of freshly harvested flowers!4
PLEASE NOTE: Orange Blossom Absolute is not recommended for aromatherapy; it is intended for use in perfumery only. If you are interested in using Orange Blossom/Neroli for aromatherapeutic purposes, please see the high-quality Orange Blossom Organic Extract and Neroli essential oils that we carry. Interestingly, Jennifer Peace Rhind notes that Orange Blossom Absolute and Neroli essential oil share similar aromatherapeutic properties; they can be used in the same way due to the fact that they share some of the same constituents – phenyl ethanol, methyl anthranilate, and several sesquiterpene alcohols.5
Not sure which Orange Blossom to choose? Please see our selection of Neroli/Orange Blossom Samples (you can uncheck the ones you don’t want to receive).
For information regarding the use of Orange Blossom in perfumery, please see:
Artisan Perfumery or Being Led by the Nose, Alec Lawless, 2009, pp. 73-4.
Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin, Steffen Arctander, 1960, pp. 474-6.
Essential Oils – A Handbook for Aromatherapy Practice, Jennifer Peace Rhind, 2012, pp. 252, 290.
Aromatherapeutic Blending – Essential Oils in Synergy, Jennifer Peace Rhind, 2016, pp. 156, 232-3.
"Aphrodisiac of the Day: Orange Blossom," Ayala Moriel in Smellyblog, March 2012, http://ayalasmellyblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/aphrodisiac-of-day-orange-blossom.html
"Orange blossom week: part 1 – true renditions," Elena Vosnaki in Perfume Shrine, April 2007, http://perfumeshrine.blogspot.com/search?q=orange+blossom
"Part 3: Neroli oil and orange blossom absolute," N in IMakeScents, December 2016, https://imakescents.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/part-3-orange-blossom-absolute-and-neroli-oil/
Aromatic Profile: Intense, indole-rich, warm, deep, extremely sweet yet non-cloying citrus floral aroma of excellent tenacity that deepens in the drydown; has a subtle bitter-green backnote that lends aliveness.
Appearance: Brownish-green, transparent, mobile liquid.
Use: Natural Perfumery.
Blending Suggestions: Dilute and add drop by drop to your blends until the desired effect is achieved. Very concentrated – a little goes a very long way.
Blends Well With: Ambrette Seed, Amyris, Balsam of Peru, Bergamot and other Citrus oils, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Carnation, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Clove, Coriander, Davana, Galbanum, Geranium, Ginger, Helichrysum, Jasmine, Linden Blossom, Liquidambar (Styrax), Myrrh, Nagarmotha, Neroli, Nutmeg, Osmanthus, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Rose, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Tuberose, Vanilla. "Flexible enough to use in delicate and light floral blends or to add a rich, intense, heavy, green, orange blossom scent."6 "Neroli oil will produce a beautiful ‘pair’ with orange flower absolute. The two products represent altogether different parts of the orange flower fragrance gamut."7
Safety Considerations: May be weakly phototoxic.8 Dilute before using. A patch test should be performed before use for those with sensitive skin.
2 Rhind, Jennifer Peace. "Neroli: A Fresh Perspective on an Aromatic Icon," International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy, Spring 2016, 4(4): 23-32.
3 Groom, Nigel. The New Perfume Handbook, 2nd ed., 1997, p. 227.
4 Naturals Compendium, International Flavors and Fragrances, 2009, p. 108.
5 Rhind, Jennifer Peace. Essential Oils – A Handbook for Aromatherapy Practice, 2012, p. 252.
6 Lawless, Alec. Artisan Perfumery or Being Led by the Nose, 2009, pp. 73-4.
7 Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin, 1960, p. 475.
8 Tisserand, Robert and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety, 2nd ed., 2014, p. 373.