With a heady, sweet scent reminiscent of oranges, the orange blossom is amazingly versatile for perfumers to play with
The scent of blooming orange blossoms is undoubtedly one of the most defining scents of the Mediterranean. Used in both perfumery and cooking, this modest flower can easily trigger nostalgic memories in anyone once captured by its mesmerizing fragrance.
This modest flower derives from the Bitter orange tree, which also yields many other valuable perfume ingredients such as the lovely green petitgrain. Originating from South-east Asia, Bitter orange was brought to Middle-east in the 9th Century by Arab traders. Since then, the tree has spread its roots all over the world.
One Flower, Two Scents
Depending on the extraction method, orange blossoms yield two different products used in the perfume industry. Extracting the blossoms with a solvent produces orange blossom absolute, while steam-distillation leads to so-called neroli oil.
Solvent extraction better preserves the delicate floral character of the raw material, leading to intense, rich, and fresh floral aroma. Neroli oil, on the other hand, has a cleaner and more refined aroma profile.
Both products capture the image of a clear, sunny day beside your loved ones. Orange blossom serves as a complementing scent, contributing to other citrusy and floral aromas.
When to Wear
Orange blossom, as the typical dazzling top note, has both the advantage and the disadvantage of evaporating quickly.
This means you can wear an exquisite perfume and smell like a bouquet of flowers during the day, and still wear a more lasting perfume for the evening. On the other hand, if you need a solid fragrance to carry you through the day, you might want to reach for something different.
While the scent of orange blossoms lends itself to such descriptions as youthful and feminine, it is nevertheless an amazingly versatile compound for the perfumers to play with. With little effort, the innocent orange blossom note can bestow a sense of sophistication into an otherwise dark, mystifying, and masculine scent.
For the ultimate orange blossom experience, try the celebrated Fleurs d’Oranger by Serge Lutens. Launched in 1995, this perfume has ever since held its position as one of the most renowned orange blossom fragrances. Fleurs d’Oranger adds a healthy dose of tuberose to back up the delicate orange blossom, as well as a hint of cumin and civet. This is the perfect scent for anyone who wants to invoke the romantic promise of a late summer evening.
Another classic example, the Orange Blossom Cologne by Jo Malone, combines water lily to a crisp, vibrant orange blossom note. The fragrance begins with a simple and unpretentious orange note, which dries into a lingering sweet lilac scent. Wear this perfume to celebrate those perfect summer mornings when you feel young and bursting with energy.
For something a little more mature and complex, reach for the stunning Séville à l’Aube by L’Artisan Parfumeur. The fragrance starts with a sweet and thick orange note, and quickly brings into play an arrangement of deeper nuances. Whiffs of tobacco, honey, and sensual lavender carry this scent long into the night.
Finally, you should not miss Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s pair of perfumes: APOM (A Part of Me) pour Homme and APOM pour Femme. Inspired by the master perfumer’s journey to Lebanon, these magnificent scents instantly evoke the character of the Orient. Homme reveals the versatility of orange blossom, adding a certain bitter spiciness and a tone of warm amber to the fragrance. Femme combines orange blossom, cedar, and ylang-ylang into a balanced and powdery blend of utterly feminine orange blossom perfume. When you want lasting, complex and evolving orange blossom, grasp Kurkdjian’s APOM.