Neroli carries a beautiful legacy of evoking contentment. A yellow oil distilled from the flower of the orange blossom tree originating from China, north eastern India and central Asia. This citrus essence was made popular by an Italian Princess.
I want orange blossoms in my hair, champagne in my hand and love in my heart – Unknown
The Italian princess of Nerola, Anne Marie Orsini, popularized the essence as a perfume. She made it fashionable by the end of the 17th century resulting in the gold essence being named after her. Neroli is aromatic, purifying and romantic with light sweet citrusy and slightly bitter facets. Used abundantly in the perfume industry and prized for its blending powers with florals, spices and other citrus essences.
In ancient times, neroli essential oil was used to help fight the plague. Ancient Egyptian priests and priestesses used the oil in the same way incense is used in some churches today. Neroli is also widely applied in aromatherapy massages; relaxing users and alleviating several ailments such as pain, inflammation and high blood pressure. It reduces stress levels and acts as an aphrodisiac to spice up one’s love life.
Interestingly enough Neroli is also used as a flavouring in the Italian soft drink Chinotto, in bitter Campari and is rumoured to be one of the secret ingredients in the recipe for Coca-Cola. Contentment indeed!