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Weekly Scent Discussion #3: Classifying Orange Blossom

Weekly Scent Discussion #3: Classifying Orange Blossom 7 years ago
Orange blossom is a scent I've spent some time with and I have found that this note is used in so many different ways. To quantify this for my own wear notes I have developed my own way of classifying this little white flower: Honeyed, White, Green, Yellow (warm) and Laundry Soap. How do you think of Orange blossom and how it's used? What way do you like it best? What examples can you share?

Here are a few examples of my classifications and a quick note on my take of them:

By Kilian Sweet Redemption

Honeyed and sweet. It's a very edible orange blossom. One of my favorites when the Humidity isn't too high.
L`Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l'aube
This is another honeyed one. I can't wear it because it turns into a sticky and cloying mess on me. Many people think it is the best Orange Blossom ever made. Definitely one you should try if interested in this note, because if it works on you it is magical.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian APOM Pour Femme
A nice light White Orange Blossom. It isn't as sweet as the previous two but not as sharp as some of the other White Orange Blossom scents.

Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger
This is a nice balance between the warm and white orange blossom. It has a nice bright opening and warms up into something memorable. This is on my top 3 list for OB.

Lush Orange Blossom
This is a sharp white orange blossom with a woody base.

Houbigant Orangers en Fleurs
This one was Very sharp white on me. Almost a generic sharp white floral. I was surprised because normally anything with ylang-ylang tends to come across as warm to me.

Jo Malone Orange Blossom
Think of running through an orange grove in full bloom and arriving at the farm house that has lilac climbing all over thre porh. This is Jo Malone's OB. It opens Green and just like standing in an orange grove. After it warms up a bit the Grove fades into the back ground and a nice Lilac come forward. It's lovely. Truest to an orange blossom I have found.

Tauer Perfumes 09 Orange Star
This one is like no other. It's kinda a love hate. When it works for you it's amazing. Otherwise you get Laundry soap. A very nice and enjoyable Laundry detergent but still kinda pricy to smell like clean clothes. It doesn't work for me but definitely one everyone should try. It lasts forever and is very strong so apply with a light hand
7 years ago
I always wonder in how far the note Orange Blossom in perfumes is the same as Neroli.

As far as I know neroli oil is made from the blossoms of citrus aurantium (bitter orange) put apparently also sometimes from simple orange blossoms (citrus sinensis) - see Wikipedia for details.

The scent of neroli is very distinct. It is characteristic for the classic Eau de Cologne, such as Farina's Kölnisch Wasser, Mülhens' 4711 or Guerlains Eau du Coq. There are numerous of such colognes around.

On the other side I often get a different perception with perfumes where the note is named orange blossom instead of neroli. Orange blossom seems to be a typical white flower scent which means that it belongs into the neighborhood of jasmine, tuberose and gardenia.

An example for a fragrance where I get this orange blossom but not neroli scent would be "Cuir Venenum No.03" by Parfumerie Générale.

Does anybody share my perception? Or am I wrong?
7 years ago
I think you may be on to something there. Definitely something I want to think about now as I revisit some of these scents. Hmm...
7 years ago
Apicius I've been thinking on this and I think you are very correct in the distinctions you made between neroli and Orange Blossom. I believe what I have been classifying as Green Orange Blossom is actually Neroli. After sniffing around I think Neroli has a more Green and Bitter scent profile. Orange blossom is more White floral like Jasmine but can also be more warm and creamy without the sharpness, depending on how it is treated. It looks like both Orange Blossom and Neroli are from the Bitter Orange Tree, How the flowers are treated gives the different products.

Here are a few articles I dug up on the differences between them:

Perfumery materials: Neroli, Petit Grain, Orange Blossom, Bigarade
That site at Perfume Shrine has interesting info on the how the different materials are collected etc.

Orange Blossom, Neroli, Petitgrain : Bitter Orange Notes
This site at Bois de Jasmin has good info and talks about the different names of the products derived from the two different trees.

The Orange Tree, Neroli, Orange Blossom and Citrus in perfumery
I just really enjoyed reading that article at ÇaFleureBon.
7 years ago
I think of Neroli as allowed to be more astringent, bitter and bracing- my flagship fragrance for this is Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino, which in spite of its notably low sillage is one of my 3 must have fragrances of all times for Summer- energy and cooling freshness in a bottle. I have Atelier's Neroli- but now I find the petigrain is too pungent and the whole composition grates on my nerves. Orange Blossom fragrances can range from too sweet when married with sugary vanilla notes to light as air Spring breezes. I found APOM to be too much woody and sweet base notes for me- sadly after I went for the full bottle- and I adore Henri Bendel's Orange Blossom- easy, light and pretty version. Jo Malone also does this flower justice. Always love to try new orange blossom and Neroli scents!
7 years ago
@ Flavorite: I have to agree with your observations. Especially about The orange blossom being very sweet much of the time, especially when It's paired with beeswax or honey. Seville and Sweet Redemption come to mind. I haven't sniffed Neroli Pertofino but I will definitely seek some out since you feel that it's a great Neroli definer. I liked the Jo Malone Orange blossom, but I tend to wear it more when I want lilac, because after the orange grove fades that's what I end up with, and the lilac hangs around longer than the orange blossom does.

What do you think are the main differences between Neroli and Petigrain scent wise?
7 years ago
According to what I can ascertain, petigrain is typically extracted from the leaves and twigs of the bitter orange plant, while neroli generally refers to a steam distillation extract from the blossoms themselves. I'm guessing the some use the term 'orange blossom' to refer to a less concentrated extract of neroli produced by the method of enfleurage where the essence of the blossom is placed in an odorless fat based carrier oil/fat and the essence is allowed to transfer by diffusion. I'm no expert though...
5 years ago
This thread is a gem! Thanks for sharing your insights and thoughts!

Perfectly equipped for Orange Blossom Perfume, to Remind You of Summer - NYT - Dec., 2017

5 years ago
I'm glad you enjoyed it!
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