Petitgrain

[peh-teet-graye]

Is an essential oil that is derived and extracted from the bitter orange tree. Hailing mainly from South America and France, petitgrain oil was once procured through the use of extraction methods inflicted upon the unripened fruits of the tree — explaining the name. The process is now performed on the green twigs and leaves of the tree, where a fresh and invigorating scent lies in an abundant supply. The process of extracting the oil is achieved through the use of the extraction technique of distillation. Although the petitgrain extracts are derived from the bitter orange tree (a member of the neroli sphere of influence) the aroma is distinct, unique, and unlike no other. The scent is described as being distinctly woody, rosy even, yet possessing noticeable hints of orange, with a great deal of green wafting undertones accompanying the aroma. The substance is widely used throughout perfumery for a variety of purposes, with its use as a key ingredient in a substantial amount of colognes being perhaps its most notable purpose. The main reason for its substantially different aroma to all those belonging to the neroli class of fragrances, is due to the fact that twigs and leaves are used in the distillation process, rather than blossoms or peels. This means the intensely citrusy aromas of other fragrances, or the flowery properties, are largely diminished, in favor of more green and woody resembling notes and nuances.

Petitgrain is also a common ingredient that is used in fresh themed fragrances, due to its characteristically green and soft aroma.