Orange flower (bitter orange)
Delicate flowers with soothing properties
The typical orange that we eat every day is the sweet orange. The bigarade (or bitter orange) is a less well-known species, native to south east Asia. It is thought to have been brought back from the crusades in Europe, where for over 500 years it was the only type of orange grown. Unlike its cousin, the sweet orange, its fruit is rarely eaten fresh but rather in marmalade and cordials. Its highly fragrant flowers are used to produce neroli essence, a popular cosmetic ingredient, together with what is commonly called "orange floral water", used in the preparation of a variety of culinary dishes and liqueurs.
Orange floral water, which is also employed in cosmetics, is said to have calming and soothing properties.