Bitter Orange oil, Bitter Essential Oil, Perfumery Base, Reconstitution

Bitter Orange (Reconstitution)


The “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.

Bitter 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.

For 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 -

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