Neroli is the essential oil of the orange blossom drawn using steam distillation from the bitter orange tree. Orange blossom also comes from the bitter orange tree, from the same blossom, but via enfleurage, which is the application of fat solids to pull out fragrance compounds from an item. Petitgrain is from the same tree but is made from steam distillation of the twigs and leaves. (Thanks Jessica Murphy from NST and Perfume Professor for that info. Also shout-out to Brooklyn Brainery because even when I look through the list of classes in their email newsletter like “I am not free for ANY of this” I’m still like “what is shibori even though” and “maybe I should start wool-working and also make a puff representation of my dog.”)
I’m not the biggest fan of neroli. Most of the purer forms of it remind me too much of Froot Loops and I just don’t have any fun memories that would make the smell of neroli as significant to me as it is unique. During sniff-tests I’m usually standing next to neroli lovers, lovers of the Italian coastline, lovers of the Spanish coastline who are smiling and talking about their grandparents and their past trips and trips they want to take and saying absolutely nothing, smiling with them, appreciating the fragrance as objectively as I can, and swallowing down cereal jokes until that part of the conversation is over.