Orange flower comes from the bitter orange, a small shrub measuring from 5 to 10 meters high and producing pretty white flowers. It is also known as “Neroli,” from the name of princess Nerola (Italian town near Rome) who adored the perfume and brought it in to fashion in the seventeenth century.
Its rare and delicate perfume, extracted as an absolute or essential oil, is used by the greatest perfumers for its voluptuous touch and infinite sweetness. A promise of sweetness and purity that led brides from Provence to decorate their wedding dresses and wreaths with orange blossom.
In Provence, you also find orange blossom in many specialty desserts such as the ‘gibassier,’ navette biscuits, or the ‘pompe à l’huile,’ which is one of the thirteen desserts of Christmas. Its flavor, both sweet and spicy, makes for deliciously tasty pies and cakes.
From the garden to perfume, from the dinner table to a wedding... in all its forms, orange blossom is definitely an ode to the sweet life of Provence!