The Twenty SS20 Issue

The Scent of Bitterness is Sweet

By Kuheli Biswas

The scent of Bitterness that is sweet Neroli the beautiful oil of the bitter orange tree is in season for perfume production noe

Creative direction Jo Phillips Images chantelking.com @chantelkingphoto

Once upon a time, the Moors brought the fruits and the freshness of Arabian nights to the land of the Mediterranean sun. Under the vibrant heat of Seville in Spain, the bitter orange tree grew and prospered, decorating the traditional homes and orchards across the land. A fusion between a Pomelo and the Mandarin orange, the fruit that gives us Seville oranges for the most delicious marmalade. But it hides a lesser-known secret, the little white flowers under its lush green leaves. This story is about the ‘land of Neroli’ and celebrates the scent of bitterness that is also Sweet which comes from this most majestic tree.

On a fine day, centuries after the bitter orange became a native to countries across Europe Anne Marie Orsini, duchess of Bracciano and princess of Nerola, in Italy, enchanted by the essence of the flower from the bitter orange tree, fell in love with the floral smell of the spring air. The fresh fragrance mesmerized her so much that she used the flower oil in her bathwater and wore it in her gloves every day. It became her signature, so henceforth a new fragrance was born into fashion–Neroli.

It became an aphrodisiac for the locals, seduced by the sweet smell they craved it more. Hence, the fragrance of the neroli created a revolution amongst perfumers. The floral oil began to be distilled all over Europe to capture this freshness in a bottle.

Today, Neroli has become one of the most widely used floral essences in the world, with its citrus edge accentuating cologne and floral perfumes. And Perfumers are still discovering the power of the little white flower by combining it with countless notes.

Spring is the time traditionally when the flower oil is harvested. The blossoms are gathered, usually by hand, in April all the way to early May and the oil is extracted by steam distillation. The scent of bitterness that is sweet actually has many facets to it. From sweet, honeyed and even slightly metallic with green and spicy facets.

Perfumer Dom De Vetta says of Neroli as an ingredient ” I love using neroli it’s a true beauty in the perfumer’s palette. it’s so intriguing, with many different facets….aromatic yet purifying honeyed yet green. Delicious

You can now experience the Princess of Nerola’s floral-scented spring air from the orange groves, the scent of Bitterness that is sweet Neroli by recreating it with a spritz from our neroli fragrances recommended below.

Picture on left-hand side:-

Orange butterflies Jo loves EDP – Orange blossom, petitgrain, mandarin and neroli gives you the scent of South of France the sweet blend with sharp and heavy floral mist.

Bottega Veneta knot eau florale EDP 50ml – The blend of oriental and floral with myrrh, heliotrope, opoponax, jasmine and lavender.

Shay and blue blood orange fragrance – burst of fresh blood orange with the balance of hot napa leather and blend of sultry musk, charred wood and amber. 

Absolue pour le matin maison francis kurkdjian EDP – the vibrant infusion of citrus, floral and aromatic accords to give the summer musk.  Sicilian lemon and sparkling bergamot deliver the bold and zesty atmosphere with touches of iris, Tunisian neroli, violet and the therapeutic sense of Moroccan white thyme and soothing lavender.

Bjork and berries solstice EDP 50 ml – sophistication delivered from organic fermented alcohol and the finest natural and synthetic perfume oils. Bright Neroli and soft Orange Blossoms with deep Amber and smooth Cashmere Wood, combined with the herbaceous depth of Lavender, this scent lets everyone in on the magical celebrations.

Buly eau triple fleurs orange – Water-based perfume with an intoxicating burst of fresh orange blossoms, leaves and Helianthus annuus seed oil. Smell petals on the dry hills covered with orange trees, the honeyed puffs of wind going through the branches of neroli, made green again by the waters of March, that Andalusian spring, full white with flowers.

Wildflowers bath &body gift set bluebell heather &iris – The scent of English meadows filled with wildflowers, fresh greenery and the bunch of freshly-picked blooms blending of wild bluebells, heather and iris.  The floral scent matched with hits of neroli and oakmoss.

Spa restore geranium neroli and eucalyptus – Notes of relaxing neroli blend with warming geranium and re-energising eucalyptus to create a scent that reinvigorates the senses.

The white company large Fresh grapefruit candle – the gentle breeze of citrus groves and the uplifting blend of zesty grapefruit, exotic jasmine bittersweet orange flower.

Shay and blue blackberry wood 50ml – A wood blend of berries and leaves giving the intense and enchanting with mouth-watering blackberry, neroli and lemon leaves.

Aaron Terence Hughes Neroli EDP 50ml – Soft and gentle capture of nature and delicate oils, Neroli combined with soft floral Orange Blossom, Delicate exotic Woods, and Jasmine.

Floral street london poppy EDP 50ml – The ultimate urban mood lifter mixed with fresh citrus floral Orange Blossom, Florida Orange, Sicilian Lemon, Apricot Blossom, Jasmine Sambac, Sunflower Accord, Marine Accord, Cedarwood, Hinoki Woods, Black Amber and Neroli.

Roger and Gallet Extrait de cologne neroli facetie – playful scent of radiant orange and pinch of salt, the balanced blend of neroli, orange flower absolute and immortelle absolute, as well as distilled precious essences of ylang-ylang.  

Elizabeth Arden white tea mandarin blossom – floral scent with bust of radiant orange with warm and soft air freshness.

The following three images are by Harry Stonehill Instagram

The Only by Dolce & Gabbana violet opens the fragrance, combining with subtle touches of bergamot followed by seductive notes of rich coffee are blended with an iris then into a base of vanilla and patchouli.

The Only One Eau de Parfum Intense by Dolce&Gabbana. Top notes of sparkling Italian mandarin, crisp green apple accord and golden neroli essence illuminate the fragrance. Orange blossom mingles with jasmine absolute and creamy, coconut essence, Smooth, sweet notes of dark vanilla in the base underpinned by grounding cedar and cashmere woods.

Velvet Sublime Eau de Parfum by Dolce&Gabbana. Comes from the private memories of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana that make up the Dolce&Gabbana Velvet collection which include Velvet Sublime Romantic,
The unmistakeable creaminess of orange blossom. A fresh hint of Sicilian mandarin.Tunisian neroli oil.

Spanning over two millennia of royal heritage and a plethora of cultural fusions, the Andalusian capital of Seville is a captivating testament to the city’s lineage of diverse settlers.

Colourways: Orange & Spring Green on Parchment; Lemon & Dark Olive Green on Duck Egg; Orange & Spring Green on Black; Burnt Orange & Mint on Seafoam

Wallpaper Seville by Cole and Sons. Oranges are synonymous with Seville, with its city streets and courtyards teeming with fruit trees. This delicate, fabric-like representation of Seville’s iconic fruit pays homage to the regal tapestries found hanging in the Royal Alcazar’s Salón de los Tapices with a subtle textured feel to its foliage. Orange Blossom’s elegant repeat is presented in muted, vintage-inspired palettes of Orange & Spring Green on Parchment; Lemon & Dark Olive Green on Duck Egg; Burnt Orange & Mint on Seafoam; and the moody Orange & Spring Green on Black.

The scent of Bitterness that is sweet Neroli the beautiful oil of the bitter orange tree is in season for perfume production. If you love fragrance why not read this article on Valmont fragrances in Venice