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Orange blossom essential oil, how is it extracted?

Written by Hannah Parry

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Posted on December 02 2019

The essential oil of orange blossom or neroli is obtained by distillation of orange blossoms. It is liquid, colorless, fluorescent, turning yellow over time. By subjecting the orange blossom flowers to the maceration, a different product is obtained, the orange blossom flower water.

Its distillation is usually carried out by steam. In a very cool place the flowers are taken first thing in the morning and in another, next to the first one, the stills. Separated the petals of the other parts of the flowers, the distillation proceeds.
Condensed water vapor and essence are collected in Florentine jars; The essence, separated by decantation, is filtered and packaged, giving it the name of neroli oil.

Of every 1,000 kgr. From neroli flowers, you get one of orange blossom essential oil. The 1st quality or neroli (bigarade) is obtained from the flowers of Citrus bigaradia (bitter orange).

The flowers of sweet orange (Portugal) produce a less soft essence. The petit-grain neroli is of inferior quality to the preceding ones and is obtained from the green fruits and leaves of various Citrus species; The name of petit-grain is because before this essence was obtained from the small green fruits that followed the fall of the leaf.

In perfumery, the essential oil of orange blossom of neroli bigarade is widely used; in soap, petitgrain is preferred. Different varieties are known from the latter:
the sweet petit-grain , obtained from the leaves of the vulgar orange tree;
the petit-grain lemon , of the lemon tree; and the petit-grain bigarade of those of the bitter orange tree (Seville orange tree). The condensed water vapor that has been used to extract the essence of neroli is sold commercially under the name of orange blossom water.

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