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A brief guide to Petitgrain Sur Fleurs Essential Oil|Petitgrain Sur Fleurs|Bitter Orange Tree

Essential Oils

Petitgrain Sur Fleurs Essential Oil - A Pillar of Perfumeries

Petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil is frequently compared to neroli and bitter orange essential oils. This makes sense because it is extracted from the twigs and leaves of the Citrus aurantium var. amara , also known as the bitter orange tree.

The bitter orange tree is an evergreen that is the source of five other essential oils including neroli, orange blossom absolute, petitgrain bigarade, bitter orange, and petitgrain absolute essential oils. Though their distillation methods differ, these oils share a few similarities in terms of health benefits and overall properties, but it is only petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil that does not pose the risk of photosensitivity after application.

Petitgrain Sur Fleurs

The History of Petitgrain Sur Fleurs

A native of the Far and Middle East, the bitter orange tree is now found in many areas of the world, with some arguing that organic and French-produced oils are the best. However, there are also excellent options for obtaining the oil from locations as diverse as Egypt and Paraguay, Northern Africa, and Haiti.

The reason that the bitter orange tree is so abundant in such diverse regions of the world is because of a global pandemic of root rot in the 1860s that destroyed the majority of bitter orange trees.

After that, the Citrus aurantium var. amara root stock was used to restore many sweet orange, lemon, and grapefruit orchards around the world. Today's petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil typically comes from the petitgrain bigarade variation or subspecies.

Experts explain that petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil is a staple ingredient of the eau de cologne fragrance that has been used extensively in the perfumery industry since the 18th century. 1 Because it is a close cousin to neroli essential oil, yet much less expensive, it is frequently used as a substitute for it in cosmetics, detergents, beverages, and even foods.

It received its unique, French name from the fact that it was once distilled from the unripe fruits of the bitter orange tree when the fruits were about the size of a cherry. Given their small size, they appeared to individuals as a “little grain,” hence the name “petitgrain.” 2

Today, the oil is recognized for its citrus, floral, and woody scent. Additionally, though it is known for its appealing fragrance, petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil provides a range of health benefits.

Chemical Properties

Both the healing and aromatic properties of petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil come from its chemical composition, which includes a number of beneficial, volatile compounds, some of which are highlighted below.

Linalyl Acetate

This compound makes up the bulk of the chemical composition of this essential oil and has been shown to alleviate nervous tension and stress. Furthermore, studies have indicated that linalyl acetate balances and stabilizes the nervous system. 3


Linalool is a terpene alcohol found in more than two hundred different species of plants. The substance is a powerful relaxant, allowing it to act as a sleep aid and provide stress relief. Additionally, it has been linked to Vitamin E production, meaning it supports the overall health of the human body, especially skin health. 4


This terpene is found in a wide range of natural sources including hops, lemongrass, chamomile, mangos, and, of course, petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil. Myrcene is best-known for providing relief for inflammation, maintaining healthy immune system function, and promoting relaxation. 5

Geranyl Acetate

In addition to being notorious for its sweet, floral, and fruity scent, geranyl acetate has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal effects. Commercially, it is also used as a flavoring agent and fragrant. 6


Similarly to geranyl acetate, alpha-terpineol is best known for its antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects, providing double the benefits when these two compounds are combined in petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil. 7

Bitter Orange Tree

Uses for Petitgrain Sur Fleurs Essential Oil

Petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil does not have a very long history of use for its health benefits. In fact, until recently, it was primarily used in perfumery. 8 However, recently, it has gained popularity in its essential oil form because of its potent, beneficial effects.

How To Use Petitgrain Sur Fleurs Essential Oil

It is also ideal as a topical treatment:

    • Aromatherapy. Place two drops of this essential oil onto the palms and gently breathe the aroma.

    • Compress. Add several drops of the oil to a cloth and place onto the affected area.

    • In the Bath. Add a few drops of the oil into bathwater to promote relaxation.

    • Massage Oil. Blending two drops of petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil with four drops of orange, six drops of ginger, and two drops of black pepper essential oils (mixed with 15 mL of jojoba oil) creates an ideal massage blend.

    • Topically. If you are using petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil to smooth the skin, mix three drops with 10 drops of helichrysum, three drops lavender, and six drops mandarin orange essential oils. Blend them with 15 mL of tamanu oil and apply to desired areas.

When using petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil strictly for aromatherapy, the oil pairs well with bergamot, bitter orange, cedarwood, clary sage, clove, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, lavender, neroli, orange blossom, rosemary, sandalwood, and ylang-ylang essential oils.

Feel free to experiment with another citrus, woodsy, or floral essential oils, as most of these scents will pair well with petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil.

Safety and Precautions

Petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil is non-toxic, non-sensitizing, non-photosensitizing and non-irritating. Though petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil is quite safe in aromatic and topical uses, it is not for internal use.

As is the case for almost any essential oil, use of petitgrain sur fleurs is discouraged for women who are pregnant or nursing.

It is also best to conduct an allergy patch skin test before using this oil topically or in the bath in case of allergic reaction.

Additionally, use of 100 percent organic and therapeutic grade essential oil for best results.


For centuries, neroli oil has been a treasured aromatic but its production is so labor-intensive that it is far outside the budgets for many. However, if you love that wonderfully sweet and floral tang, you will love petitgrain sur fleurs essential oil and appreciate it as an effective addition to your essential oil collection.

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