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See also: néroli



A vial of neroli

Borrowed from French néroli (neroli), from Nerola, a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome, Lazio, Italy. Marie Anne de La Trémoille, princesse des Ursins (1642–1722), Princess of Nerola but originally from France, is thought to have made neroli popular as a fragrance in her country of birth around 1670. The word is cognate with Italian nerola (obsolete), neroli.[1]



neroli (countable and uncountable, plural nerolis)

  1. More fully neroli oil or oil of neroli: an essential oil distilled from the blossoms of the bitter orange or Seville orange (Citrus × aurantium subsp. amara) used to make perfumes.
    • [1724, N[athan] Bailey, “NEROLY”, in An Universal Etymological English Dictionary: [], 2nd edition, London: Printed for E. Bell, J. Darby, [], OCLC 819943732, column 2:
      NEROLY, a ſort of Perfume.]
    • 1770, [Mr. Borella], “On Distilling in General. [To Make the Neroly and Orange Flower Water Double.]”, in The Court and Country Confectioner: Or, The House-keeper’s Guide; [], London: Printed for G. Riley, and A. Cooke, []; J. Bell, []; J. Wheble, []; York, Yorkshire: C. Etherington, OCLC 938353878, pages 26 and 27:
      [page 26] Along with that double orange flower water, the neroly or quinteſſence of orange flowers will come alſo; but as this quinteſſence is the oily part it will ſwim at top; that neroly is firſt of a green colour, but after a few days it turns of a reddiſh one. [...] [page 27] [T]he neroly is ſtill infinitely ſuperior to that double water itſelf, and can admit of no compariſon at all; for half a gill of neroly does more than a quart and more of double water; [...]
    • 1840 March, “Soap”, in The Magazine of Domestic Economy, volume V, number LVII, London: Published by W[illiam] S[omerville] Orr & Co., []; Edinburgh: Fraser & Crawford, OCLC 10076609, page 264:
      Bouquet is the white curd soap perfumed with bergamot, oils of cloves, sassafras, thyme, and neroli, and coloured with brown ochre.
    • 1857, G[eorge] W[illiam] Septimus Piesse, “Section III”, in The Art of Perfumery, and Method of Obtaining the Odors of Plants, [], Philadelphia, Pa.: Lindsay and Blackiston, OCLC 30552856, pages 78 and 79:
      [page 78] Now, when orange-flowers are distilled with water, we procure the otto of the blossom, which is known commercially as oil of neroli. The neroli procured from the flowers of the Citrus aurantium is considered to be of the finest quality, and is called "neroli petale." [...] [page 79] The water used for distillation in procuring the neroli, when well freed from the oil, is imported into this country under the name of eau de fleur d'orange, and may be used, like elder-flower and rose-water, for the skin, and as an eye lotion.
    • 1862, Jerry Thomas; Christian Schultz, “424. Orgeat (or Almond) Syrup.”, in How to Mix Drinks, or The Bon-vivant’s Companion, [], New York, N.Y.: Dick & Fitzgerald, publishers, [], OCLC 166594648, page 223:
      [P]our in a small portion of the tincture of orange flowers, or the least drop of the essence of neroly, and pass the mixture again through a cloth; [...]
    • 1888, E[manuel] Bonavia, quoting George William Septimus Piesse, “The Uses and Commercial Products of the Citrus”, in The Cultivated Oranges and Lemons etc. of India and Ceylon: [], London: W[illiam] H[oughton] Allen & Co., [], OCLC 30871679, page 143:
      The ‘Nérolis’ are largely used for ‘Hungary Water’ and ‘Eau de Cologne,’ and ‘Petit Grain’ for scenting soap.
    • 1993, W[illiam] A[rthur] Poucher, “Flower Perfumes: Orange Blossom”, in Perfumes, Cosmetics and Soaps, volume II (The Production, Manufacture and Application of Perfumes), 9th edition, London: Blackie Academic & Professional, Chapman & Hall, published 1997, →ISBN, page 156:
      Many of the finest neroli oil imitations are nothing more nor less than terpeneless petitgrain oil to which has been added in some cases neroli and aldehyde C10: [...] Even when preparing less costly synthetic nerolis, French petitgrain is almost invariably employed, and in the cheapest of all products Paraguay petitgrain.
    • 1996, Valerie Ann Worwood, “The Healing Professions and Essential Oils”, in The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood, and Emotion, Novato, Calif.: New World Library, →ISBN, pages 213–214:
      I remember one woman telling me that her mother chose to have neroli diffused in her room during her last weeks here on earth and the daughter was so grateful there was something that so easily evoked the memory of her mother. She could pick up her bottle of neroli whenever she was feeling sad, sniff deeply, and the memory of her mother would all come flooding back – not her dying, but her living, happy days.
    • 2002, Roberta Wilson, “Neroli”, in Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty, 2nd revised and expanded edition, New York, N.Y.: Avery, →ISBN, part 2 (An Introduction to Forty-four Essential Oils), pages 97 and 98:
      [page 97, column 2] Pale-yellow neroli oil emits a sweet, full-bodied citrus aroma with a slightly spicy, slightly bitter undertone. [...] One ton of handpicked blossoms from Citrus aurantium, Citrus bigaradia, or Citrus vulgaris yields only one quart of neroli oil, or orange blossom oil. This makes neroli oil comparatively expensive. [...] [page 98, column 2] The original eau de cologne, formulated in the eighteenth century, contained neroli, along with bergamot, lavender, lemon, and rosemary.

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