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Ingredient Spotlight: Petitgrain

Posted on May 01 2019

Our beard goods are crafted from all-natural ingredients, with scent compositions inspired by the seasons and built upon the tenets of natural perfumery. In this series, we shine the spotlight on the ingredients that make Fjordmist beard oils, balms and waxes so ethereal.

Botanical Name: Citrus aurantium var. amara L.

Origin: Morocco

Process: Solvent Extracted Absolute

Plant Part: Leaves

Note: Middle Note

Aroma: Complex, floral/green leaf aroma with fresh, tart notes of citrus zest, citrus blossom and slight woody undertones

In the broadest of terms, one could say Petitgrain is a cousin of orange marmalade. Established in the fertile soil of Morocco as early at the 7th century, the many oils called Petitgrain are actually extracted from the bitter orange tree.

Oh the things the humbly named bitter orange tree can produce. The fruit is known by many names, one of the most common being the Seville Orange. Fair warning, if you enjoy world cuisine, do not read the Wikipedia page about the Seville Orange’s uses when you are hungry. It all sounds rather delicious.

From the aforementioned marmalade to Belgian Witbier to Southern Indian Tamil cuisine to beloved dishes native to the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Central and South America, the Middle East and more, this bitter little orange gets around. Our interests in the plant are driven, however, by another face hole.

Two, more specifically. Your nose holes. This evergreen tree produces a great number of prized aromatic oils, depending upon which plant parts are distilled in combination with which other plant parts, and what methods of extraction are used.

Steam distillation of the flowers will produce Neroli, other methods will make Orange Blossom Absolutes or Extracts. Steam distilling the leaves and twigs will produce Petitgrain Bigarade, while expressing oil from the fruit peels makes Bitter Orange Oil.

What you will find in this blend is Petitgrain Absolute, extracted from the leaves of the plant, but it does not smell simply of leaves. This oil steals a bit of the chemistry of both the fruit and flower of the bitter orange tree, creating an oil that to us, smells straight up classy.

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