Neroli is a precious essential oil that comes from the Orange Blossom. This sweet, exotic oil is used in perfumes and skincare. For centuries royalty and people of high status have loved Neroli for its beautiful aroma and its wonderful healing properties. A few famous highlights include:
Queen Victoria of England had a special place in her heart for Neroli. She wore a wreath of orange blossoms on her wedding day when she married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. It was reported by the Times that, “Her Majesty wore no diamonds on her head, nothing but a simple wreath of orange blossom”. Neroli flowers were the center of many treasured gifts Queen Victoria was given.
One of these gifts includes: “A headdress given to the Queen for their sixth wedding anniversary in 1846, consisting of the orange blossom set in gold leaves, white porcelain flowers and four oranges of green enamel on a black velvet band, somewhat charmingly to represent the four eldest royal children. Touchingly, it probably also commemorated the Queen’s bridal wreath… The jewellery ensemble made up what became known as the orange blossom parure, consisting of the pieces given to the Queen by Prince Albert between 1839 and 1846. Subsequently, Queen Victoria wore the parure on most Wedding Anniversaries.” (Finding Queen Victoria’s perfume, Elizabeth Jane Timms).
Queen Victoria’s signature fragrance, part of her daily dressing ritual, was that of Neroli. She is also noted to have enjoyed Eau de Cologne by Johann Maria Farina, a famous perfume made with Neroli, which we will cover in further detail later in this article. Queen Victoria gave gifts of Eau de Cologne to her Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, on multiple occasions. She also gave it to her husband, Prince Albert, days before his death, sprinkling it on his sheets.
Marie Anne de La Trémoille – Princess of Nerola
Marie Anne de La Trémoille was a European princess at the end of the 17th Century. Along with having strong political influence and control, she is credited with making Neroli oil popular with royalty of noble figures. She used the oil to perfume her gloves, clothing and bath. Both Princess Nerola and King Nero of Rome are considered potential namesakes of Neroli.
Johann Maria Farina – Famous Perfumer, Maker of Eau de Cologne
Johann Maria Farina was born in italy in 1865. He founded the oldest perfume factory to still be in existence, called Johann Maria Farina gegenüber dem Jülichs-Platz GmbH (Try saying that three times in a row!).
Allegedly inspired by Princess of Nerola, he created a citrus perfume called Eau de Cologne. Cologne was named after the city in Germany that Farina immigrated to. It was a blend that included Neroli, Bergamot, Lemon, Petitgrain, Lavender, and Rosemary. Farina described it to his brother as “a fragrance that reminds me of an Italian spring morning, of mountain daffodils and orange blossoms after the rain”.
Eau de Cologne was delivered to nearly all royal houses in Europe, including to Queen Victoria, as mentioned previously. Farina stated she purchased an average of sixty dozen bottles in an order! This fragrance costed half the annual salary of a civil servant for a single vial.Eau de Cologne became so popular that it caused ‘cologne’ to be used to describe perfumes to this day.
This is just a small selection of some people of status who loved Neroli. To this day, Neroli essential oil is used in many luxurious perfumes and fine skin creams.
To shop Nascent Natural’s Neroli, available in pure or 10%, visit here.
Neroli Essential Oil – The History Behind the Peel
Finding Queen Victoria’s Perfume by Elizabeth Jane Timms
Marie Anne de La Trémoille
Wikipedia: Marie Anne de La Trémoille, princesse des Ursins
Johann Maria Farina
Wikipedia: Johann Maria Farina
The history behind eau de cologne