April 08, 2022

Orange Blossom

By Tam Nguyen
Orange Blossom

Bitter orange, also known as bigarade orange, is the only tree to have leaves, fruit, and flowers at the same time. In Morocco, the flowers are hand-picked when they first blossom at the end of April or the start of May. All parts of the plant have medicinal properties but numerous cultures use the water extracted from its flowers, called neroli floral water. It is collected when the essential oil is gently extracted by steam distillation.

This highly-perfumed floral water is renowned for promoting sleep (in Europe, a few drops are often put in hot milk in the evening), adding flavor when cooking (you can spot its smell in numerous patisseries) or even preparing the famous Lebanese white coffee (it is diluted in sweetened hot water to make the most of its digestive properties).

It is used in cosmetics due to its numerous qualities. It is soothing, lightening due to a bioflavonoid it contains, antimicrobial, and even capable of boosting cellular cohesion.