Monthly Archives: April 2020

Rosalina, Nerolina, Niaouli – What’s the Difference?

Rosalina, Nerolina, Niaouli - What's the Difference header

What is the difference between rosalina and nerolina essential oils? Are nerolina and neroli the same oil? I was asked these questions last week and thought I would answer them in this blog post.

Nerolina and niaouli
Melaleuca quinuenervia tree Firstly its important to understand that both nerolina and niaouli are two chemotypes of the broad-leaved paperbark tree Melaleuca quinquenervia. Nerolina is Melaleuca quinquenervia CT nerolidol/linalool while niaouli is Melaleuca quinquenervia CT cineole.

The aroma of nerolina has been described as fresh, green and fruity while the aroma of niaouli has been described as strong, fresh and similar to that of eucalyptus.

Nerolina essential oil is a clear to amber yellow colour while niaouli is an almost clear, pale yellow to greenish colour.
Both essential oils are obtained by steam distillation of the leaves and twigs.

Chemical constituents in nerolina and niaouli vary but generally nerolina is high in nerolidol and linalool while niaouli is high in 1.8 cineole. Both contain alpha-terpineol, alpha-pinene and limonene in varying amounts.

Nerolina has been reported to help in cases of adrenal fatigue, shingles, cold sores and wound healing. Mark Webb has found nerolina ideal for small children with persistent dry, non-productive cough when applied as part of a chest rub formula.

Niaouli because of her high 1.8 cineole is beneficial for coughs, colds, bronchitis, sinusitis, muscular aches and pains.

Nerolina is calming, soothing and uplifting. Both are helpful for mental fatigue and exhaustion, confusion, poor focus, anxiety and stress.

Both oils are considered nontoxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising. If using on children nerolina may be the better choice because of her low cineole content and aroma.

Note: nerolina may be marketed as niaouli so it’s important to check the botanical name and chemotype so you know what you are purchasing.

RosalinaRosalina (Melaleuca ericifolia) is also known as lavender tea tree.
The aroma has been described as soft and medicinal with a slightly piney scent.

Rosalina essential oil is a clear, pale straw to golden yellow colour. An oil darker in colour may indicate inappropriate distillation.

Rosalina essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves and twigs.

The main chemical constituent in rosalina is linalool, with smaller amounts of 1.8 cineole, limonene, aromadendrene, alpha-terpinene and terpinene-4-ol.

Rosalina is useful for a sore throat, sinus infections, respiratory congestion, coughs, colds, flu, cold sores, insect bites, muscular aches and pains.

On an emotional level rosalina is very calming, nurturing, relaxing and uplifting so useful for stress, insomnia, nervous tension, irritability and anxiety.

Battaglia writes that the chemical profile of rosalina oil suggests that it would have properties similar to a blend of tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus essential oils.

This is another oil that can safely be used on children as she is considered nontoxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising.

Nerolina, niaouli and rosalina are all Australian essential oils from the genus Melaleuca and they all share similar properties. They are all helpful for respiratory issues, muscular aches and pains. All are helpful for anxiety, stress and nervous tension and all are calming and uplifting. They are all considered nontoxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising. They vary in their major chemical constituents which contributes to their varying aromas and some differences in their therapeutics.

Both nerolina and rosalina are considered safe oils to use on children and may be better received than the stronger smelling oils of niaouli, tea tree and eucalyptus.

Neroli and Nerolina
Those new to aromatherapy sometimes confuse neroli and nerolina. I think this is due to the similarity in the names but they are very different oils, used for different purposes.

Neroli flowerNeroli (Citrus aurantium var.amara)  is distilled from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree and is used for more emotional issues such as depression, stress, anxiety, and shock. Although nerolina can also be used for emotional issues she is more often used for respiratory and other physical issues.

Neroli is also a very expensive oil compared to nerolina. As was seen above nerolina is a Melaleuca from the Myrtle family whereas neroli belongs to the Rutaceae family.

For more information on neroli click on the link to be taken to my post on neroli.

Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition. Black pepper Creative Pty Ltd, Australia (2018)
Rosalina photo Melburnian / CC BY-SA (
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014
Webb M, Australian Essential Oil Profile – Nerolina, Aromatherapy Today, Vol.18 (2001)
Webb M, Australian Essential Oil Profile – Rosalina, Aromatherapy Today, Vol.17 (2001)
Webb M, Bush Scents. Griffin Press, Adelaide (2000)