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The Beauty of Orange Blossom

Living Wellness with Jennifer DiFrancesco

Jennifer DiFrancescoWe are fortunate to live in a climate where spring’s arrival brings full bloom to our desert. With temperatures getting warmer, we smell the sweet and citrusy aroma of orange blossoms wafting in the air. When this aroma hits our olfactory system, it is sure to be pleasant. Orange blossom aroma also has proven health benefits — as in the case of Neroli Oil coming from bittersweet orange blossoms as an essential oil used in vapor therapy for nervous tension, anxiety, depression and shock. There is more than sweet smell coming from this beautiful little blossom of spring, and we honor its effect upon us.

Neroli originated in ancient China and journeyed to the Mediterranean area. The name is believed to have come from Italian princess, Anna Maria de la Tremoille, Countess of Neroli who used the scent as her personal signature perfume. More than simply a succulent scent, applying Neroli oil on the skin can benefit both acne prone skin and mature skin. For acne prone skin, the citrus oil can clear and help with inflammation. In older skin that needs regeneration, it nourishes using the flavonoids in the oil and increases cellular metabolism. It is one of the only oils that is not phototoxic meaning when exposed to sun it does not create sensitivity. With skin symptoms such as scar pigmentation, broken capillaries, and overall uneven skin tone, Neroli can improve and work to minimize these symptoms. Many essential oils create photosensitivity and can exacerbate pigmentation and sensitivity. So to find an oil like orange blossom with such pure concentration that does not disturb the skin integrity is a great thing.

OrangeBlossomDue to Neroli oil’s many benefits, it is costly. It takes 1,000 lbs. of orange blossoms to make 1 lb. of Neroli Oil, and it is worth every drop. By merely adding one drop to a moisturizer, the skin comes to life. One may also enjoy this essential extract in a hydrosol sprayed on the skin. This is different from water in a spray bottle that has drops of essential oil. A hydrosol is the remnants of water during the extraction process directly from the orange blossom. Bittersweet orange blossom is steam distilled and during this process the oil is procured along with water. Spraying a hydrosol is a wonderful way to initiate skin care as a first step. There are numerous benefits to this aromatic jewel. As there begins to be more comfort in the use of orange blossom oil, we encourage clients to blend it with compatible oils such as geranium, jasmine, sandalwood, rosemary and ylang-ylang for more comprehensive results.

Essential oils are nature’s way of providing beautiful remedies for body, mind and spirit. There is an art to working with them, just like pairing fine food with fine wine. Learning about their small nuances and chemical composition allows us to learn about nature and ourselves resulting in a dynamic interplay.

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