10 December 2021 / Caitlin Devlin
Neroli Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits
Fragrant neroli has long-standing associations with royalty and luxurious living.
It takes around one thousand pounds of handpicked orange blossom flowers to produce a bottle of pure Mediterranean Neroli oil, so it’s little wonder that the oil has always been so closely associated with luxury.
Thought to be named for Princess Anne Maria de la Tremoille of Nerola, Italy, who used the fragrance to perfume her gloves and bath, neroli has a long history of being favoured by those in high places. Ancient Egyptian priests and priestesses used neroli scent houses of worship, and due to its presence in Ancient Chinese wedding bouquets, eligible Chinese men looking for a wife were said to be ‘gathering orange blossoms’.
Not only is the oil made from a huge quantity of flowers, but it is also only extracted from the highest quality blooms. Only very freshly-picked, completely undamaged flowers can be used. For these reasons, pure absolute neroli oil is very expensive and it is therefore common for retailers to sell commercial-grade neroli oil instead. Whilst less powerful than pure neroli oil, commercial-grade neroli still retains the same benefits, and the lower concentration of nerol and nerolidol in the oil make it gentler on the skin.
Neroli essential oil can help with pain management.
A study in 2015 found that the constituents in neroli have the ability to reduce both acute and chronic inflammation. This reduces discomfort and also prevents the pain that can come with swollen muscles, joints and tissues. The same study also found that neroli has the ability to reduce central and peripheral sensitivity to pain, lessening the body’s ability to register the pain and reducing its impact on functioning.
Diluting neroli oil with a carrier vegetable oil and applying a small amount to affected areas can help to ease swelling and soreness – just make sure to avoid broken skin.
It can reduce stress.
Neroli has long been associated with calming, stress-relieving qualities. In fact, the oil was considered an aphrodisiac in many cultures due to its ability to calm nerves and improve confidence. A study in 2012 found that including neroli in an aromatic blend led to a decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, lessening both the maximum pressure exerted by the heart when beating and the amount of pressure in arteries between heartbeats. The blend also decreased salivary cortisol levels. Cortisol is often referred to as the ‘stress hormone’, and so lower levels of cortisol in the saliva indicate a lower level of anxiety.
It’s good for your skin.
Neroli has a number of benefits for skin. Firstly, it is known to regenerate skin cells, which helps to smooth wrinkles and clear stretch marks. It also has astringent properties, which allows it to increase the elasticity of the skin, promoting a brighter, more youthful appearance. Its strong antimicrobial properties help it to cleanse the skin and get rid of harmful bacteria. To round out the list, its stress-relieving properties also help it to reduce the appearance of stress-induced skin conditions.
It may improve symptoms of menopause.
A study in 2014 found that the practice of breathing in neroli oil improved symptoms of postmenopausal women. Its stress-relieving properties led to a decrease in diastolic blood pressure and an improvement in pulse rate. It also balanced serum cortisol levels and oestrogen concentrations. Researchers concluded that neroli oil helps to increase libido and lower stress in postmenopausal women.
Luxurious neroli is not only rich in restorative properties, but its delicate scent combines notes of citrus and florals to deliver a truly indulgent experience. This royal-approved oil is definitely worth the thousands of flowers it takes to make it.
Shop our neroli essential oil here.