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Citrus Showdown

By Charna from Providence Perfume Co., 100% natural perfume

 I love the scent of citrus.  Bring on the blood orange, the yuzu the red mandarin!  Recently I ordered a slew of citrus oils to restock my supply.  Ordering citrus oils in smaller quantities is important as citrus essential oils can loose their fresh aroma quickly.  Cold pressed citrus oils have the most incredible aroma (important for perfumery use) but also the shortest shelf life due to the high proportion of terpenes which promote oxidation.  Best to purchase these citrus oils in small quantities and replace more frequently.  Another tip to keep citrus oils vibrant?  Store in the refrigerator to help preserve freshness.


As a citrus loving perfumer, one conundrum I face is the photosensitizing nature of cold pressed citrus oils.  Use too much cold pressed lime essential oil in a perfume and you may find the area where you spritzed darkened and irritated after sun exposure.  Bergaptene free bergamot oil is essential to any perfumers palette as the photosensitizing bergaptene has been removed.  Steam distilled citrus oils do not photosensitize, but I find the aroma dull.  Cold pressed citrus oils sing, whereas steam distilled citrus oils hum . . . quietly . . . off-key.  You get the idea.  Always utilize caution when blending with cold pressed citrus oils.  Andrea Butje of The Aromahead Institute recently published an informative article on citrus oils that don't photosensitize such as green mandarin and sweet orange. Great info!  To read her blog post in it's entirety, click here: http://www.aromahead.com/blog/2010/03/22/citrus-essential-oils-avoiding-phototoxicity/

I recently ordered yuzu, blood orange, bitter orange, green bitter orange, bergamot and 10-fold orange essential oils.  I've never experienced any of the folded citrus oils.  I was curious about the usage of folded oils in candles and possibly perfume application.  Folded citrus oils are concentrated and lower in d-Limonene terpenes. The higher the number of the folded oil, the more times it's been folded, or concentrated. I must admit I was disappointed by the 10x orange essential oil.  Despite it's strength, it lacked the fresh quality cold pressed essential oils possess.  Smelled from the bottle the 10 fold orange oil smells strongly of the bitter white pith of the orange rind.  When diluted and applied to the skin, the bitter pithy aroma eventually dissipates leaving a long lasting orange aroma.  Further experimentation is needed to discern if folded citrus oils will suit my perfume palette.  



While I've been a fan of Liberty Natural Products cold pressed Dominican Bitter Orange oil, my new bottle arrived smelling dull.  A disappointment.  Happily I ordered Bitter Green Orange from Eden Botanicals which was fresh and green and much more to my liking.  Similar in aroma to a sharp yuzu it adds a crisp clean top note aroma I adore.

With the low cost of citrus oils, sampling from a variety of suppliers is always preferential as quality varies wildly.  Have a citrus gem or dud to share?  Feel free to leave a comment.

If you have any questions about a natural fragrance or a natural perfume please contact Charna at 401.256.8272.

The Joy in January Winners!


Thanks to everyone who participated in the Joy in January Event!  Sending sunshine and appreciation for everyone who left comments, and all the Natural Perfumers Guild members who generously participated.  Cheers to Anya McCoy and Elise Pearlstine for coordinating the event. 

On to announcing the winners!  (Insert drumroll)

Day 1 Giveaway (Jan. 18) of bitter orange essential oil and Divine edp sample goes to: Vicki D. 

Day 2 Giveaway (Jan 19) of Ginger Lily edp goes to: Sandi Lundberg 

Day 3 Giveaway (Jan. 20) of Wild Lime Leaf body oil goes to: QuoterGal 

Please email us at: info@providenceperfume.com with your name and shipping address to receive your winnings


Joy In January Giveaway!

 


It's a joy spreading, smile inducing, uplifting blogathon project from the Natural Perfumer's Guild!  It's January and we aim to spread joy and fragrance.  January is often called the cruelest month.  Here in New England it's cold, it's dark, and the days are short.  Many suffer from the "winter blues" brought on by the lack of sunlight.


I call this particular season the Winterless Winter.  Here in Rhode Island we've had no snow.  This is bizarre.  Having lived my entire life in New England, from Vermont, to New Hampshire, to Massachusetts to Rhode Island I do not recall ever having a snowless winter.  According to an article I read online at Discover Magazine http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2012/01/12/why-this-winter-is-so-crazily-warm/
the reason this winter is snow-free is due to an unusual jet stream pulling warm air across the country (shades of global climate change?)  Whatever the reason for the lack of snow, wildly fluctuating temperatures and frequent thunderstorms I feel the effect.  Something is off.  The trees and plants are confused.  Trees bud in the warm rain and then freeze.  I'm as confused.  The holidays felt strange with no snow.  Lighting a fire in the fireplace feels odd when it's 50 degrees outside in December.  My children ask me everyday when it will snow.  "When can we build a snowman Mom?"


So, in order to help spread cheer I look to scent.  Scents of citrus, jasmine and lilacs feel warm and happy, a reminder of impending spring.  I often find myself reaching for essences that I find uplifting when it's cold and grey outside.  I recently discovered the finest bitter orange essential oil I have ever experienced.  It's sunshine in a bottle.  Bright, clean and sparkling.  Excellent quality.  I use this bitter orange along with others such as rose, orange flower, amber, vanilla and ambrette in Divine eau de parfum.



Would you like to try Divine?  Or the incredible uplifting bitter orange essence I've found?  Leave a comment below and the chosen winner will receive a sample of Divine and the fab bitter orange!  Look for additional giveaways tomorrow and Wednesday.


Please check out all the talented generous participating Guild Perfumers blogs.  We are all giving away fabulous scented treats to brighten your January!