Ahhh Neroli! One of my favorite essential oils. It’s scent is refreshing and distinctive, with a slightly spicy aroma and sweet and flowery notes. A perfect time of year to indulge your senses. Neroli essential oil is derived from the flowers of the bitter orange (Citrus aurantium var. amara). Interestingly, this tree, native to Indochina, produces three different essential oils, each from a different part of the plant: Neroli (flowers), Petigrain (leaves), and Bitter Orange (fruit rind). All of which are different from the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) that produces orange essential oil. The blossoms that produce Neroli are small, white and very fragrant. The steam distilled essential oil is considered “precious”, as it takes approximately one ton of blossoms to make one quart of oil – and worth every penny! It is grown commercially in several countries, including France, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. Neroli is named after Anna Maria de La Tremoille, Princess of Nerola, who first introduced the fragrance to Italy.
Of the many therapeutic effects of Neroli essential oil, one of the most noted is its benefit to the nervous system. It is both a calming relaxant and overall tonic to the nervous system, and can be beneficial for most stress-related disorders of an emotional origin. The oil has been said to treat heart palpitations, relieve insomnia and reduce nervousness. It can counter emotional shock, mental confusion, nervous strain, anxiety, fear and lack of confidence. Neroli’s calming effect can be acquired by deeply inhaling the aroma, rubbing a few drops on the solar plexus or soles of the feet, diluting in Jojoba oil and wearing as a natural perfume, diluting in spring water as a spritzer (10 drops per ounce) or diffusing in small amounts.
Neroli is one of the premier oils for mature women’s skin care. The relaxing properties are imparted on a cellular level, and the oil is especially beneficial for sensitive skin, couperose and marked skin. Salvatore Battaglia notes in The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy: “The oil is reputed to have a rejuvenating effect on the skin, as it has an ability to stimulate the growth of new and healthy cells”.
Neroli has traditionally been used as an anti-infectious, antibacterial (coli bacteria), anti-parasitic, nerve tonic, digestive tonic, anti-depressive, antihypertensive, and aphrodisiac. The anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic and anti-spasmodic properties of Neroli oil make it potentially supportive for intestinal disorders, use in a bath or dilute and massage into the abdomen.
Although Neroli is considered non-toxic, non-irritant and non-photo-sensitizing, always test a small amount first for sensitivity or allergic reaction. If pregnant or under a doctor’s care, consult a health care practitioner. Enjoy!