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Tuesday's Essential Oil: Petitgrain

Citrus aurantium var. amara

Welcome to the 1st installment of Tuesday's Essential Oil

Each week, we will look at a different essential oil used in aromatherapy and making beauty products. Some will be well known (such as lavender or rose), while others will be more obscure.

Today I'd like to start with Petitgrain. Since I listed my Jojoba Facial Serums last week, I have received some emails asking about Petitgrain, as it is part of my Oily Skin Blend. I think that the most commong question I am asked about essential oils is "What does it smell like?"

If you like the scent of Neroli or Bergamot, you will most likely enjoy the aroma of Petitgrain, as it is also derived from the Seville bitter Orange tree. Petitgrain is distilled from the leaves of the tree, whereas Neroli comes from the blossoms and Bergamot comes from the peels. It has a sharper, slightly more woodsy citrus scent than, say, Sweet Orange.


In aromatherapy, Petitgrain is such an uplifting scent. Not only does it lift the spirits, it has the ability to calm. If you are needing a boost in confidence, this is the essential oil for you! It helps to keep you motivated and determined. 

In terms of health, Petitgrain is used by aromatherapists to help calm a rapid heartbeat, anxiety and depression. In addition, those with digestive problems such as GERD and IBS often find that using petitgrain in aromatherapy to complement their traditional medicine works well to ease symptoms.

I like to make an oil blend to rub on my pulse points when I have a lot of work ahead of me, an important project, or just need to feel stronger. I use 10 drops of Petitgrain and an equal amount of Lavender and put it in a dropper bottle with a carrier oil, such as Jojoba or Grapeseed. Not only does the citrus scent boost my spirits, but the soothing lavender instills a sense of tranquility so I can get the task at hand done peacefully and with confidence.

The lavender and citrus notes blend especially well together! Other essential oils you might want to blend with petitgrain include chamomile, jasmine, ylang ylang, other citruses, palmarosa, cedarwood and peppermint.

You can also use your blends and dab the oil on a lightbulb (NOT when it is lit, but when the bulb if off and cool). When you turn the lamp on, the warmth of the bulb will spread the scent a bit. I also dab the petitgrain and lavender blend on my pillows.

In Skin Care

In skin care, petitgrain works very well. It's a gem of an oil to use if your skin is oily or combination. If your pores are congested and clogged, it can work to clear them. It is particularly effective on excessively oily skin, helping to absorb oil and treat blemishes. It balances the skin, though, so it will cause dryness when you're using it to treat acne and oiliness.

Something else unique to this essential oil is that it can control wetness, so it is wonderful when used as a natural anti-perspirant. In fact, I recently added it to my 100% natural deodrant for added wetness protection.

Petitgrain is a fabulous essential oil that can be used by so many people for so many different reasons.  Try it out!

Note: I am not a medical doctor. This piece is not intended to treat, substitute, or diagnosis any medical conditions. Please see your doctor before using essential oils for health care.