Orange blossom is one of the oldest and most important perfumery notes. It was central to the first colognes in fact. The price of orange blossom (and the closely related neroli) is very high so replacements of a high calibre are needed. This accord is based on a formula by Poucher with a minor tweak to make it more natural and closer to the best orange blossom absolute I have smelt. It’s a small tweak but makes a big difference. This is also incredibly natural smelling – about as close to the real thing as you can get synthetically I think.
Orange Blossom Versus Neroli
Orange blossom and neroli are both extracts of orange flowers (the best being from bitter orange). The main difference is that neroli is steam distilled while orange flower is chemically extracted with alcohol and/or fats. Orange flower is the more valuable of the two. Two other products come from the orange tree: orange oil (extracted from the peels of the fruit) and petitgrain – extracted from the leaves and twigs through distillation.
Interestingly, petitgrain forms the base of both neroli and orange blossom substitutes. The main difference being that neroli accords benefit from the use of indole, terpineol, hydroxycitronellal and amyl cinnamic aldehyde while orange blossom relies on the benzoates, phenyl acetates, and iso-eugenol (clove like base note).
This formula relies heavily on petitgrain which is cheaper than neroli and orange blossom. I use Robertet’s bigaradier heart, which is fractionated and blended to the most woody floral notes resulting in a product far more like neroli but at a much better price.
|400||Petitgrain||The best you can afford|
|200||Phenylethyl Alcohol||Sweet and rosey|
|100||Linalool||Less in orange flower than neroli|
|100||Nerol||Extracted from geranium|
|50||Methyl Napthyl Ketone||Oranger crystals|
|50||Aurantiol||Methyl Anthranilate/Hydroxycitronellal Schiff base|
|30||Benzyl Acetate||Jasmine note|
|30||Orange Blossom Absolute||Can omit but adds naturalness|
|20||Phenylethyl Acetate||Sweet honey note|
|9||Iso Eugenol||Clove base note|
|1||Methyl Benzoate||Smells like feijoa|
|10||Aldehyde C-10, 10%||Important part of most orange blossom/neroli accords|
This really is a stunning orange blossom accord – you will never need another. Give it a try! Incidentally, this comes in at around $28 an ounce, versus the nearly $400 an ounce for orange blossom absolute.