Neroli (Citrus aurantium var.amara)

Neroli header

Neroli offers the gift of strength and courage that helps us to see life’s beauty.
Susanne Fischer-Rizzi

Family: Rutaceae

Synonyms: Orange flower, neroli bigarade.

Aroma: Bitter sweet floral

Colour: Pale yellow

Orange treePlant: An evergreen tree up to 10 metres high with glossy leaves and fragrant white flowers.

Main Growing Areas: Italy, Morocco, France, Egypt.

Major Constituents: a-pinene, a-terpinene, nerol, neryl acetate, farnesol, geraniol, linalool, nerolidol.

Interesting snippets:
Neroli is named after Anna Maria de La Trémoille, Princess of Nerola who in the 17th century used the oil to perfume her gloves, shawls, ribbons and stationery as well as in her bath.

In Sicily sprigs of orange tree are used to decorate images of the virgin Mary while in the past prostitutes in Madrid used neroli as their standard perfume.

In the south of France using orange blossoms in bridal wreaths or bouquets was associated with purity, virginity and fertility.

Neroli flowerPart of Plant used /Extraction: Blossoms of the bitter orange tree picked by hand on spring mornings. The best oil is obtained from blossoms where the bud is just beginning to open on a warm sunny day. The blossoms are then stored overnight and turned frequently to prevent heating and fermenting. Steam distillation of 1 kg of flowers produces 1 litre of orange flower water from which 1 gram of essential oil is obtained. The extraction process takes about 3 hours. Neroli is also available as an absolute.

Therapeutic actions: Relieves muscle spasms of the smooth muscles especially the small intestines and so may be useful in cases of chronic diarrhoea due to nervous tension.

Emotional and Spiritual: Emotional depression, stress, anxiety, and shock. Instils a sense of peace and aids in spiritual work. Promotes self-confidence and assists in reconnecting with one’s higher self.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi writes that for people who have become thin-skinned, neroli can strengthen their inner being and build a protective shield. When we are easily angered, the oil helps us shift our mood to a relaxed state that allows us to experience life with joy and calm.

Gabriel Mojay states that neroli may always be considered for deep emotional pain that robs us of hope and joy.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:


(Courtesy of J.Jefferies & K. Osborn)

Neroli helps you to make choices in life, calming and soothing the mind giving reassurance and harmony to the soul.
Life is one grand bundle of choices that we make every second of the day. It is time for you to make some choices in life. Stop waiting for the right time to come, as it never does. Hindsight is wonderful but useless, you can only make a choice with the information that you have at any given time and we all have different information after the event. Grab onto life and take charge, make choices and move forward now. Trust your intuition, listen to your gut instincts. Honour your choices and take action. If you wait for the right time to do something perfect, you may miss out on what you are after.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I consider all my options and make a choice knowing I can always choose differently next time.


Contemplations for the Soul:

Neroli contemplation

Is there some decision you are putting off because you can’t decide what to do?
Are you getting stressed, exhausted and depressed by some difficult choice you must make?
Are you feeling resentful and angry at having to be the one to make the decision?
Every moment in life you are making decisions and choices so make a decision now.
Not sure which decision is the right one? Sit quietly and listen to your inner voice or go with your gut instinct.
You maybe stressing over what the consequences of your decision will be but remember there will be consequences whether you act or do nothing.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising

Sources: Kerr J, Neroli, Petitgrain, Bitter Orange Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.5 (1998)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant change Healing Cards (2015)
Fischer-Rizzi S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)