Last June we visited Morocco to have personal experience at our essential oils supplier’s plantations and distillery in the north of Morocco. We visited the plantations of Bitter Orange, Geranium, Chamomile, Thyme and also visited Cedarwood Atlas forest where cedarwood atlas and oakmoss are harvested under strict regulations of Moroccan government.
However in this article we love to talk about 3 different types of essential oils produced from one tree which is Bitter Orange tree or Citrus Aurantium Amara. The leaves and twigs of Bitter orange produce Petitgrain essential oil while the fruits produce bitter orange essential oil. The petals of the tree produce Neroli essential oil, one of the expensive essential oils commonly used in luxury perfumes.
At one time Petitgrain essential oil used to be extracted from the green unripe oranges when they were still the size of a cherry-hence the name petit grains or ‘litte grains’. Petitgrain is one of the classic ingredients of eau-de-cologne and sometimes used the replace the precious Neroli oil in perfumery. In aromatherapy, petitgrain essential oil is used liberally in preparations used to address stress and imbalance of the autonomic nervous system.
Back to our visit, when we arrived in early June, the harvest time of the blossoms had just finished but we were still able to see the harvest of the leaves and twigs that produce Petitgrain oil. We are so proud to see many local women from the villages nearby working at the farm and distillery. Actually, most blossom pluckers are women due to the smaller size, as the pluckers need to climb small ladders to carefully pluck the delicate and expensive blossoms.
Watch video of our visit at our Youtube channel here: