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Neroli or Rose Serum?
The Princess and Queen of Aroma-Aesthetics
Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. Amara)
A Bit of History:
Neroli is the flower of the bitter orange (or sour orange) plant. Native to India and China, its popularity spread rapidly in Mediterranean countries more than 1,000 years ago.
This liquid gold has long been associated with the legend of the Hesperides from Greek mythology; in this myth, Zeus offered his third wife Hera a golden apple (orange) as a wedding gift. This fruit has long symbolized fertility and remains a traditional part of wedding celebrations.
The bitter orange tree was introduced to Italy in the 13th century and then later in France, namely Versailles and Grasse in the 17th century. Orange blossom water was used as a base for an array of perfumes like Cologne, Queen of Hungary’s Water, Eau de Naphe and Eau Impériale.
In 1675, Marie-Anne de la Tremoille married Flavio Degli Orsini, Prince of Nerola; a province located northeast of Rome, Italy. She then became Marie-Anne Orsini, Princess of Nerola. It is said that the princess was obsessed with the aroma of orange blossom and used copious amounts of neroli to scent her clothes and gloves with its exquisite perfume. Not surprisingly, orange blossom became the emblem of the Nerola family and consequently the flower quickly became associated with the echelons of Roman fashion and society with the name “Neroli” adopted to describe its fragrance.
In the 16th and 17th centuries a new trend of perfuming gloves emerged in Tuscan society and thus a generation of perfumer-glove makers was created. This delicate and feminine essential oil is widely used in the perfume industry: Coco by Chanel, Scandal by Lanvin, Infini by Caron, Bal à Versailles by Guerlain, Byzance by Rochas, La vie est belle by Lancôme and Miss Dior are just some examples of fragrances containing orange blossom.
Neroli essential oil doesn’t come cheap; it takes more than a ton of petals to produce 1 kg of essential oil. But it doesn’t just smell divine, it also has therapeutic properties:
Neroli essential oil has calming (nervous system), anti-depressant, digestive and antibacterial properties.
When applied topically, I would say that this essential oil is very soothing for the nerve endings that lay on the surface of the skin. It soothes stressed and damaged skin caused by emotional tension. This essential oil with its feminine fragrance is incredibly well suited for hypersensitive, reactive and thin skins as well as other skin types.
Some scientific studies say that neroli has cytophylactic properties (protection and regeneration of the epidermis). Since our cell regeneration metabolism tends to slow down with age, the small molecules of this delicate flower can help conserve the renewal of our skin cells.
Neroli is widely used in aromatherapy to fight wrinkles and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Inhaling the aroma of this essential oil found will sooth and calm nervousness associated with emotional tension. Neroli makes you feel so good, what an exceptional flower!
In short, this delicate and feminine essential oil with its exquisite fragrance will have you feeling like a princess! It soothes the skin and calms emotional stress, anxiety and will even lift your spirits. I dare say it is one of those rare essential oils that will give you the experience of beauty and youth.
Rose (rosa damascena)
A Bit of History:
Originally from China, this flower is renowned for its beauty, fragrance and what it has the power to evoke from the beholder. Considered by many as the "Queen of Flowers", rose appeared in Chinese texts written over 5000 years ago. Of course, the rose has been further popularized through its association with myths and female deities, including Lakshmi (India) and Venus (Rome).
Greek mythology has immortalized this beautiful flower in their myth about Adonis and Aphrodite: One day, Adonis was mortally wounded by a wild boar, that attacked and pierced his body. Aphrodite (the Greek goddess of love), horrified, ran to her lover’s rescue and was pricked by a rose thorn, which at the time was only white. With her “tears of blood”, that flowed abundantly upon the death of Adonis, the red rose was thus created and it forever became the symbol of eternal love.
Moreover, the rose has long been used by the fragrance industry and is a component of many perfumes: Joy by Patou, Miracle by Lancôme, Parfum Sacré by Caron, Rose by Chloé, the famous Nahema perfumes, French Kiss and the legendary Shalimar by Guerlain, just to name a few.
Rose essential oil is very expensive. It takes an average of 3,000 kg of rose petals to produce 1 kg of essential oil.
Like Neroli, it also boasts therapeutic properties: it helps skin regeneration, heals wounds, sores and balances psycho-emotional tensions. Often describes as a nerve tonic; it can easily sooth nervous conditions, balances the nervous system and can fortify a weak energetic state.
Rose’s potency is in its topic application. It is especially suited for mature skin in need of toning and regeneration. Due to its unique biochemical composition, it possesses astringent properties that can actually tighten the tissues of the skin. Not only is rose refreshing, it also has anti-inflammatory properties that can sooth cases of rosacea, irritated and damaged skin.
In my opinion, rose is the most rejuvenating essential oil in my aromatherapy arsenal. Rose essential oil is particularly noteworthy for its ability to reduce pore size and balance tone.
In short, I believe that this Queen of essential oils is the most valuable defense against aging and damaged skin. Rose is simply incredible!
On a personal note, after having used rose in my skin serums for years, I feel that its divine and pure smell is simply good for my soul; this feeling is subtle, yet profound.