Petitgrain oil has a fresh, green and woody aroma that is thougth to reduce anxiety and help to alleviate mental fatigue. When used in skincare, it helps to balance production of sebum and is an effective and mild antiseptic. As such, it is beneficial for skin that suffers from acne and excess oil and dandruff-prone scalps.
The bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium amara) is an evergreen member of the Rutaceae plant family. It can grow up to 20 feet in the wild, but will only grow to half this height in cultivation. They are the hardiest of all the citrus plants and are often used when grafting other citrus trees to make them suitable for harsher conditions. The tree produces a distinctive 'double leaf', which has a small bulge at the base of the main leaf.
A lot of different perfuming and flavouring materials are derived from the bitter orange tree: fruits are used to flavour liqueurs, such as Grand Mariner and Triple sec, while the flowers provide neroli oil and orange flower absolute. Petitgrain oil is obtained from the leaves and twigs of the tree via steam distillation and is well-known in perfumery as one of the classic ingredients of Eau de Cologne.