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Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium ssp. amara) essential oil in a clear glass vial

Petitgrain is an essential oil that is extracted from the leaves and green twigs of the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium ssp. amara) via steam distillation.


Its main regions of production are Paraguay and France, with the former's product being of higher odour tenacity. Petitgrain oil (fr. little grain) gains its name from the fact that it used to be extracted from the small unripe oranges of the plant. The oil has a greenish woody orange smell that is widely used in perfumery and found in colognes. Though distilled from the same botanical species as neroli and bitter orange, Petitgrain Essential Oil possesses its own characteristically unique aroma. Petitgrain Essential Oil is distilled from the leaves and sometimes the twigs and branches of the tree, whereas neroli essential oil is distilled from the blossoms and Orange Essential Oil is typically cold pressed from the rinds of the fruits.

Chemical composition[edit]

The main constituents of petitgrain oil are geraniol, geranyl acetate, linalool, linalyl acetate, myrcene, nerol, neryl acetate, and terpineol.


In perfumery and aromatherapy as fresh-scented essential oils.