Neroli is by far and away, one of the most exquisite fragrances on the planet, at least in my world. Having been an aromatherapist in one form or another for almost 40 years, I have experienced a multitude of essential oils, and neroli is one of delicate, but intoxicating notes.
It is also one of the more costly essential oils, and easy to understand when you consider the fact, that it takes entire villages to create the heavenly aroma known as neroli. Neroli essential oil is traditionally distilled from the bitter orange trees, Citrus Aurantium, and entire towns come to hand-pick the small, white and very fragrant flowers that are then carefully steam distilled to produce the intoxicating nectar that is neroli.
Years ago I had the great fortune of studying with Valerie Ann Worwood, who in my humble opinion is one of the founders of our current body of knowledge about aromatherapy, having authored many books about aromatherapy and a respected doctor in Europe, she brought credibility to the world of essential oils.
Valerie said that neroli is truly the fragrance of the angels, and not only because it grows so close to the sun, being the outermost expression of the orange tree, but the delicate aroma is one so close to the heart of the angels and the heavenly fragrance that one would smell should an angel be standing nearby! I can personally attest to always knowing when there is an angel standing nearby, as the fragrance is unlike any other that begins to permeate my consciousness.
In addition to the heavenly aroma, neroli has many virtues in the world of skin care, being a wonderful ingredient in women’s skin care creams, and for dealing with hormonal balancing, but the prominent quality in my world is its ability to dissipate depression. I have taught many workshops over the years, and worked with people in recovery as well as, the elderly who deal with depression on a daily basis. Neroli never fails to calm and relax everyone that inhales of the celestial aroma. I watch as smiles begin to form on those faces that have held sadness, depression and anxiety, and slowly the face of happiness and relaxation replace those old expressions.
Living in the Ojai Valley in California, we are blessed every springtime, as this is orange, lemon and grapefruit territory and the valley is filled with orchards, and about this time of year, the sun starts to warm the blossoms and the entire valley is filled with the fragrance of orange blossoms. Riding a bike through the valley is almost too intoxicating and it takes a great deal of concentration to be able to pedal as the aroma begins to permeate your being. Walking anywhere in the valley is an enticing experience in Spring.
So each year at this time, we enlist as many of the townspeople and harvest sweet orange blossoms, Citrus Sinensis, and then distill the fragrant white flowers to make one of the most amazing hydrosols ever! While we can never seem to get quite enough people solicited to make much oil, 1-4 ml. but the hydrosol is beyond incredible, and makes the most delicious beverage with a few drops in a glass of water. Of course, we only pick from organic trees, and I would never recommend taking hydrosols internally unless you know with absolute certainty that they were cultivated organically.
But the hydrosol is also a lovely way to fragrance a room, a freshly made bed, or to apply on the face or body. Spring has always been one of my favorite seasons, being an April baby, but now Spring has taken on a whole new relevance, as it is the time when neroli becomes the fragrance that permeates the warm Spring sun in our unique utopian valley! Maybe next Spring you can come and join us!!
Allison Stillman is a world renowned aromatic alchemist and the author of “The Sacred Art of Anointing”.
She has been traveling the world sharing her passionate love for anointing with essential oils, teaching workshops and creating alchemical blends of anointing oils.
She has been featured in the book, “More Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul” by Arielle Ford, and “Insights from the Coffeehouse” by Jonathon Collins, and has written numerous articles for magazines and newspapers.
She is currently at work creating a frankincense farm to protect and sustain the species for future generations.
You can reach Allison Stillman on her website: