“essential” oil from the peel of the almost ripe fruit of the bitter orange
tree, Citrus Aurantium, subspecies amara, is produced almost exclusively by
expression, Thus it is strictly not a true essential oil according to current
definitions. It contains some non-volatile matter. Like most other citrus
fruits, the bitter orange exists in numerous varieties, and bitter orange oil
varies considerably in odor and flavor according to its geographical origin.
The main producers of bitter orange oil are: Spain, Guinea, the West Indies
(Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico), Italy (Sicily),
Brazil, etc., while the U.S. S. R., Mexico, China, Tanganyika, France, etc. are
minor producers. In Italy, the bitter orange tree serves for the grafting of
other citrus trees on a wide scale, due to the resistance of this bitter orange
tree (trunk) to serious diseases. After expression of the oil by hand or by
machine, some producers submit the peels to steam distillation, thus obtaining
a further, small yield of a very poor oil, Unfortunately, this oil is often
added to the cold-pressed oil. Distillation is never performed in Spain or
Guinea, and this fact could be part of the reason for the outstandingly high
flavor and odor quality of the bitter orange oils from these areas. Cold
pressed bitter orange oil is a mobile liquid of dark yellow to olive-yellow or
pale brownish yellow color. The odor is very peculiar, fresh and yet “bitter”
in the sense of “dry”, but with a rich and lasting, sweet undertone. There are
notes which remind of bergamot, grapefruit and sweet orange, but overall, the
odor is distinctly different from that of other citrus oils. It is a different
type of freshness, a peculiar floral undertone which occasionally shows indolic
notes, and a comparatively good tenacity.
Orange Oil is used extensively in flavors where it forms the main ingredient in
the “orange see” or “triple see” liqueur flavors, and also acts as an important
modifier and intensifier in common sweet-orange flavors for soft drinks, etc.
It lends body and pleasant “twists” to a plain sweet-orange flavor, and its
great power makes it economical in use.
perfumes, the bitter orange oil finds use among the other citrus oils in all
types of colognes, chypres, fougeres, fresh fragrances, topnotes, aldehydic
citrus bases, etc., and it is one of the most common ingredients in artificial
bergamot oil. It blends excellently with lavandin and lavender, rosemary and
sage clary, oakmoss and labdanum, linalool and Iinalyl propionate, etc.
Bitter Orange - Reconstitution -