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Petitgrain Profile...
08/20/2013 

Petitgrain is a misunderstood essential oil. There are primarily three important distinct Petitgrains. The reason it is misunderstood is partly because of the botanical names and the diversity of the different species.
The most important Petitgrain is from the leaf of Citrus aurantium tree. This is also the same tree that produces Bitter Orange and the most coveted Neroli. When an EO novice sees the botanical name he often imagines cold pressed citrus oil. Neroli is such an expensive oil it doesn’t enter the picture for the beginner, but Petitgrain does because it is more affordable. The beginner uses Petitgrain from the Bitter Orange and becomes accustomed to it. When he samples the Lemon Leaf, or Mandarin Leaf the profiles don’t match the buyer’s expectations. Furthermore, because the other petitgrains are more expensive they are often overlooked for budgetary reasons.
The Perfumery.com recommends that aroma therapist learn to distinguish the different petitgrains. They are applicable for digestion, stimulant, antispasmodic, clarifying, antidepressant, and tonic uses. They are reported to help memory, anxiety, and circulation.
Remember petitgrain is leaf oil. It is not necessarily fruity and tends to be more floral. It is more expensive because it is not a food product like the fruit and the yields are low. It is a true steam distilled oil, not expressed. It requires more energy and fuel to process. It is more stable than pressed oils and not generally as colorful. The chemistry is much different also. It is not primarily limonene as a pressed oil would be. The ability to appreciate and utilize the various petitgrain oils is an advanced aromatherapy skill. It requires additional study, off the beaten path.