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Orange blossom, developed in Grasse before being cultivated in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, is so delicate that its buds are hand-picked, one by one. When processed into an essential oil called ‘neroli,’ orange blossom absolute or a floral water, it is beloved of perfumers and pastry chefs alike. Its fragrance – bright, sparkling and green for the essence while warm, honeyed and animalic for the absolute – conjures up images of femininity, childhood and the freshness of pleasant summer afternoons.
Explore the many facets of this flower of countless charms, journeying from botany, history, art and gastronomy to agriculture and chemistry, without overlooking, of course, orange blossom fragrances and their creators.