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What is Neroli Oil?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 17, 2024
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Neroli oil is a commonly used essential oil that usually is pale yellow and watery. It is derived from bitter orange blossoms. The oil is used for both its aroma and its therapeutic benefits. This essential oil is also sometimes used in commercial fragrances.

Bitter orange refers to widely cultivated citrus trees with several varieties. Neroli oil is derived from the subspecies called amara. The oil is produced from the blossoms of these trees. Neroli oil must be extracted by water distillation instead of steam distillation due to the delicate nature of these blossoms.

The oil is commonly described as having a sweet, floral smell. Some people relate its aroma to bergamot, although it usually would be difficult for one to be completely mistaken for the other. Neroli oil is said to blend well with jasmine, ylang-ylang, and sandalwood oils. It is highly aromatic even when it is diluted.

This oil can also be considered mild because it is non-toxic. It is not known to be irritating to the skin or to heighten sensitivities. Allergic reactions are extremely rare.

Neroli oil can be used for many therapeutic reasons. When it comes to the ability of this essential oil to promote relaxation, it is often compared to and preferred over lavender. The calming potential allows Neroli oil to be used to alleviate many conditions such as anxiety, depression, and stress. Like lavender, it also is used to combat sleeping problems such as insomnia and restlessness.

Often, Neroli oil is used as part of a topical beauty regimen. It is believed that this essential oil stimulates cell growth. This means that it can be used to rejuvenate the skin. When there is a wound, this essential oil can prove to be a double benefit because it has antiseptic properties, and it helps to prevent scar tissue. This oil is also used to prevent the development of stretch marks.

There are numerous ways that this oil can be used. The most effective method simply depends upon the goal that one is trying to achieve. For relaxation and the treatment of conditions such as anxiety and depression, vapor therapy typically is suggested. This can be accomplished by burning the essential oil in an oil burner.

Numerous conditions, such as skin problems and sleeping problems, can be treated by pouring Neroli into bathwater. It also can be effective to put the oil on bedding when sleeping problems are an issue. For more effective and direct treatment of skin concerns, Neroli oil can be applied directly or mixed with body creams.

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Discussion Comments

By natureskin — On Aug 06, 2013

Neroli oil also comes in a therapeutic body butter containing organic coconut oil and palm kernel oil. Body butters can be easily applied and absorbed by the skin. Coconut oil adds even more therapeutic properties for the skin.

By StarJo — On Apr 25, 2012

My aunt who is into all natural remedies gave me some neroli oil to help combat my anxiety and stress. I didn't have a diffuser, and since the oil came in a vial, I had no way of distributing it.

I had once heard someone say that you could disperse a fragrance throughout a room by spraying it onto a hot light bulb. I decided to try this, because my only other option was to leave the lid off, and I was afraid it would evaporate if I did this.

I poured some of the oil into a spray bottle and added some water to stretch out the volume of it. I turned on the living room light and waited for the bulb to get hot.

Once it felt too hot to touch, I sprayed the neroli oil and water mixture all over it. The sweet smell filled the room in seconds, and it lasted quite awhile.

By Oceana — On Apr 24, 2012

My massage therapist uses neroli oil on me for a couple of different reasons. She says that it helps stimulate circulation and release tension.

I hold a lot of tension in my shoulders and neck, so she massages the oil onto these areas. Some people think that the smell of essential oils is just a perk with no real power, but I really believe that it adds to the effectiveness of the massage. I have had massages without the neroli oil before, and they didn't seem to work as well.

I have poor circulation in my legs, so she massages the oil onto them, as well. This has helped with the circulation to my feet, and they don't swell like they used to because of poor blood flow.

By kylee07drg — On Apr 24, 2012

@seag47 – I came up with a way to use my oil burner all night without placing myself and my house in danger. Like you, I found the scent of neroli oil relaxing, and I wanted a way to fill my room with it all night long.

I knew that the only way to safely keep a flame burning at night was to surround it totally with water. So, I placed my oil diffuser in a shallow metal bowl of water before lighting the tea light to heat the neroli oil and disperse the fragrance.

The flame burns for about four hours, and by that time, I'm very much asleep, so I don't notice that it has gone out. Since I keep my door shut, the fragrance lingers until morning, helping me have a restful night.

By seag47 — On Apr 23, 2012

@SarahSon – I prefer neroli oil over lavender, too. To me, lavender just smells too much like men's cologne. I can't feel feminine when I use lavender scented products, but neroli oil's floral scent is distinctly feminine.

I like to pour it into my bath water to relax at the end of a long day. Soaking in it and breathing in the aroma really eases my mind and improves my mood. I think it even makes me a little bit sleepy, which is good.

I have a diffuser that I would love to use with neroli oil while I sleep, but I know that I shouldn't leave a flame burning unattended. Does anyone have any suggestions for how I could do this?

By John57 — On Apr 22, 2012

I have never smelled or used Neroli fragrance oil. It seems interesting how something that comes from bitter orange blossoms can have such a sweet, floral scent.

When I was looking at the prices of different essential oils, it seemed like Neroli was kind of expensive. It cost a lot more than the orange essential did.

I wonder if this is because it has to be extracted by water instead of steam?

I have used Rosemary oil for some skin and hair products and love the earthy smell it has. One bottle of this didn't cost very much and has lasted me a long time.

When it comes to using essential oils, I have found that a little bit really goes a long way.

By julies — On Apr 22, 2012

I have had two abdominal surgeries and after the first one developed some ugly scar tissue. I wanted to prevent this when I had the second surgery, so used some Neroli oil.

One of the Neroli oil benefits is to use on the skin for scar tissue and I have found this worked for me. There is a big difference in what my scar looks like from my second surgery compared to my first one.

I also like the idea of using this on stretch marks, and think I will try that next. Hopefully I will have the same good results I had with the scar tissue.

Since I have been using essential oils, I am often amazed at how well they work. Most of them have a lot of different uses, and one bottle will last a long time. I think this is a very cost effective way to get the benefits of these oils.

By sunshined — On Apr 21, 2012

I really enjoy the fragrance of Neroli oil and like to mix a few drops of this along with Geranium oil.

I add this to a lot of my skin care products such as lotion and moisturizer. This way I am getting the benefits of both the pleasant smell and skin conditioning.

I have noticed a difference in the small red lines on my cheeks since using this in the moisturizer on my face.

I also put a few drops of this in a spray bottle with some water. I shake it real well and spray my pillow and bed sheets with this before bed. This is one way I have found to help me relax and fall asleep easier.

By SarahSon — On Apr 20, 2012

I like to use essential oils for both aromatic and therapeutic reasons. There are some I just don't like the smell of though, and one of them is lavender. I feel like I am going to get a headache if I smell too much of it.

I was having trouble sleeping and looking for a natural way to help with this. A friend of mine suggested I try some oil of Neroli.

I had never heard of it before, but I loved the smell of it so I bought some. I pour a few drops of this into a water diffuser and have it next to my bed.

This way I am breathing in some of this oil all night long. I am glad I found a natural oil I liked the smell of to help me sleep better at night.

By burcinc — On Apr 20, 2012
@burcidi-- It sounds like the Neroli oil is working!

I use pure Neroli oil diluted with another kind of oil like Jojoba oil or Argan oil and use it as a night moisturizer. I've been getting the same benefits as you are, especially better elasticity, fading of acne scars and it prevents acne because it's anti-bacterial.

You should buy pure Neroli oil instead of paying for products which have other ingredients and maybe even chemicals in it. Neroli oil is completely natural and generally won't cause adverse reactions.

It's also a great alternative to tea tree oil in my opinion. It does the same thing but smells a lot better and is unlikely to cause allergies. I'm allergic to tea tree oil and can never use it. Thankfully, there is Neroli oil. I love this stuff!

By serenesurface — On Apr 19, 2012

I have an anxiety disorder and I've been using essential Neroli oil to help with my symptoms. I usually add some to my bath water or burn it for the fragrance like the article said.

It's definitely very calming and relaxing and helps me get a better night's sleep. I've used lavender before Neroli and even though lavender is good, it seems to be better for insomnia than anxiety. I've found Neroli to be more calming on my nerves than lavender.

The one thing that's an issue right now is that as essential Neroli oil is becoming better known, the prices are going up. There has been a 20% increase in the price from just last year! It's great that more people are able to benefit from it, but I wish production would increase so the price would stay the same. I'm thinking of stocking up on it in case the prices go up further.

Since there is money to be made, I'm sure harvesters and manufacturers will increase their production rates. So hopefully the price should be back to normal in a year or so.

By burcidi — On Apr 19, 2012
I don't use neroli essential oil directly on my face but I do use a face product which has neroli oil as its primary ingredient.

After I started using this cream, my face is softer, better moisturized and it doesn't produce as much oil as it used to. I've also been seeing a decrease in acne and blackheads and thus less acne blemishes.

I'm pretty sure that this is all due to the neroli oil. Maybe I should buy some neroli oil and use it directly. I'd probably save a lot of money.

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