Ah flowers… they are the key raw material in the world of perfumery. Among them, orange blossom is one of the best known and most appreciated.
This white flower, from the bitter orange tree (orange tree), alone has the power to remind us of the moments of innocence of our childhood, but also of our mild summer evenings when the heat finally subsides. Everyone shares a memory attached to the orange blossom.
Perfumers are not the only ones to tear it off, because it is also used in cosmetics and in cooking ( yum! ). Recognized for its softening and soothing properties, orange blossom is also very successful in the beauty sector, in floral waters, but also for baby creams. As for the cuisine, the list of recipes never ends, between gazelle horns, pancakes, madeleines, brioches and other delicious pastries.
But where does this little nugget come from and how is it used?
Multicultural and very mysterious...
It is difficult to determine its exact origin. Some will say China, India or Asia Minor, we don't really know either. What is certain is that orange blossom has conquered the whole world and especially around the Mediterranean. It is in North Africa, Morocco and Tunisia that it is now widely cultivated.
But there are still cultures in France, and in particular in Vallauris in the Alpes Maritimes, where for 150 years flowers have been picked by hand, and that for once is really stylish.
The magic of perfumers
This is where the somewhat complicated scientific part begins, it's not our forte, but hey, we did some research. So there are two extraction methods. Steam distillation, which gives orange blossom essential oil, also called neroli *, and volatile solvent extraction, which makes it possible to collect orange blossom absolute.
But what is the difference between these products?
- Orange blossom essential oil, or neroli, has this citrus side (citrus) of bergamot and mandarin. Neroli brings a touch of freshness to the fragrance.
- Orange blossom absolute has a richer, more opulent scent than neroli. It brings denser, syrupy and honeyed floral tones.
You should know that for these two extraction methods (distillation and volatile solvent), the yield is very low. It takes about a ton of orange blossoms to produce just 1kg of essential oil or absolute! With such a low yield, this makes it a very expensive product.
The leaves of the tree can also be distilled to obtain petitgrain essential oil, which is more tangy, citrusy, with a facet of fresh leaves.
*Why neroli? Because the Princess of Nerola in Italy made it her favorite perfume and this is how the essential oil of orange blossom was named neroli in her honor.
A great love story
At Maison Matine we are particularly fond of orange blossom (and not only in cakes, because yes we are gourmets too). It is present in our Warni Warni fragrance, as a heart note. Combined with mate tea and musk, orange blossom reveals all its olfactory wonder. This sparkling blend transports us to a cosmopolitan and generous world… So if you love orange blossom (like us!) this is the one for you!
And if you also like flowers, well know that we find one at the heart of each perfume, and yes and yes, there is something for everyone atMaison Matine !