Spring trend: the orange blossom

Delicate, white and fragrant, orange blossoms are traditionally associated with marriage as a symbol of purity and beauty of the new bride. Their delicate and relaxing fragrance has soothing and sedative properties, so much so that it was a favorite of Louis XIV as it was the only tolerable scent during his frequent headaches: it is said that the King used to have orange blossom essence sprayed in his apartments and added the aroma to his drinks.

Also known as “zagara”, a term derived from the Arabic "zahr" and meaning generically "flower," orange blossom is used to produce aromatic essences used in Middle Eastern and southern Italian confectionery, as well as in perfumery and cosmetics. In particular, it is the flowers of the bitter orange tree that are preferred in the various processes, as they are more aromatic.

The orange tree is a very valuable tree for the perfumery world because it is one of the few plants that allows various parts of it to be used for the production of fragrant raw materials: from the peel of oranges we obtain orange essential oil, from the branches and leaves petitgrain essence, and from the flowers neroli and orange blossom absolute. Native to China, in the 9th century the bitter orange came to Europe with the Arabs via Spain, finding in the Mediterranean countries (and particularly in southern Spain, southern Italy, southern France and parts of northern Africa) an ideal climate in which to grow and be cultivated.

Today, most bitter orange production takes place in Morocco and Tunisia. The flowers are picked by hand between late April and early May, a painstaking task where every gesture is carried out with the utmost precision. The harvested flowers must then be processed within 24 hours of picking.

To obtain the fragrant principle used in perfumery, orange blossom can undergo two extraction processes. Steam distillation produces orange blossom essence, also called neroli in honor of the princess of Nerola, who liked to use it to perfume her gloves. Neroli is characterized by a very fresh and slightly bitter aroma profile, with mild citrusy floral notes. By solvent extraction of the flowers, on the other hand, a more "waxy" and persistent odorous part is obtained: the absolute. In this case the aromatic profile is very different, with floral and honeyed, almost sedative notes.

Orange blossom stars in a personal fragrance that evokes all the sunshine of Sicily and the elegant scent of orange blossom in May. The opening of Zagaria is typical to an eau de cologne, a riot of orange, mandarin and lemon, with a classic elegance. The citrus envelops with its fresh and vibrant, rejuvenating notes; the neroli, so fragrant, characterizes the composition by revealing a slightly bittersweet aftertaste. The base notes reveal a cedarwood that, in accord with patchouli, closes the ensemble with refined depth.


At Aquaflor we love to be inspired by memories and suggestions from travels and faraway places: in the home fragrance Neroli we have encapsulated all the scents that sublimate the essence of Andalusia, it being a place of cultural fusion between East and West. A fragrance constructed by interweaving the scent of bitter orange blossom with an unexpected accord of frankincense and myrrh. A magnetic and fragrant creation, fresh and at the same time delicately warm and seductive, giving pure energy to any living area it furnishes.