Petitgrain Oil is sometimes also known as Bitter Orange Leaf Oil.
Though steam distilled from the same botanical species as neroli and bitter orange, Petitgrain Essential Oil possesses its own characteristically unique aroma. Petitgrain Oil is distilled from the leaves and sometimes the twigs and branches of the tree whereas Neroli Essential Oil is distilled from the blossoms and Orange Essential Oil is typically cold pressed from the rinds of the fruits.
Because it is distilled from the leaves and sometimes also the twigs, it is less floral and less citrusy in fragrance than Neroli or Orange. Petitgrain Oil possesses an aroma that is sweet, yet tart with subtle floral and woody characteristics. It blends especially well with citrus, floral and wood oils. It's a joy to work with for aromatic blending.
Petitgrain Essential Oil that is from France is known as Petitgrain Bigarade Essential Oil. [Salvatore Battaglia, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy Third Edition Volume 1 - Foundations & Materia Medica (Brisbane Australia: Black Pepper Creative, 2018), 482.]
Emotionally, I find Petitgrain Essential Oil to be uplifting, calming and balancing. I tend to include Petitgrain Oil in my inhalers intended to help ease anxiety and high stress situations. Like Neroli and Lavender essential oils, Petitgrain Oil contains the calming ester linalyl acetate and the calming/anti-bacterial monoterpenol linaolol.
Petitgrain Oil is sometimes known as Poor Man's Neroli because it is much less expensive than Neroli Oil but it offers many of the same uses and benefits as neroli. Petitgrain is an essential oil that doesn't often get the recognition it deserves because it too often lives in the shadow of Neroli. Petitgrain is an absolutely wonderful oil to learn about and get to know for its own merits.
Typically when the common name of an essential oil is simply listed as Petitgrain Essential Oil, the oil is likely distilled from Citrus aurantium. However, it is important to doublecheck because steam distilled Combava Petitgrain, Citrus hysterix, and Clementine Petitgrain, Citrus clementia Essential Oils are also available from a few sources. Each definitely has its own lovely aroma and unique aromatic characteristics. The natural chemical composition of each oil also varies, and it appears that Petitgrain derived from Citrus aurantium is the most abundant in Linalyl acetate and linalol. The GC/MS reports that I've seen for both Combava Petitgrain and Clementine Petitgrain have been a bit conflicting, so I hesitate to suggest what the typical composition should be until I have more definitive information.
The aroma of Petitgrain Essential Oil is a wonderful addition to blends especially formulated for men (women love it too). Petitgrain is considered an aphrodisiac.
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Leaves and Twigs
Clear with a Yellow Tinge
Strength of Initial Aroma
Petitgrain Essential Oil smells fresh, sweet, yet tart with subtle floral and woody characteristics.
Petitgrain Essential Oil Uses
- Oily Skin
Ancient Wisdom Petitgrain Aromatherapy Essential Oils -10ml
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