|Orange Flower Water in a vintage bottle.|
Bitter orange is a peculiar kind of citrus. It is fresh yet dry and elegant with a lasting sweet undertone. It's blossoms have a light, dry nature. They produce one of my absolute favorite scents in all of creation, the coveted orange blossom. I should really live near orange groves.
Orange flower water is the water left over after the blossoms have been distilled to make essential oil. The blossoms are put into a vessel and steam is forced through it. The steam collects in another vessel with the essential oil floating on top. The oil is syphoned off, the water remaining is the hydrosol.
The scent is sublime. It is floral, fruity with a hint of green, refreshing and very complex. When inhaled orange blossom is antidepressant and a mild sedative, so useful at night to ease insomnia. It has a joyous, uplifting quality. It stops caffeine jitters and is a great choice for fretful babies. It is known for its supportive qualities during the detoxification process or when quitting an addictive habit.
Both rosewater and orange flower water have been used in cooking and baking for centuries. Indian and Middle Eastern desserts are often delicately flavored with them. It is what's used to flavor madeleines and prompted Marcel Proust to remember the past. It's also often used to flavor marshmallows. Add it to champagne as an aphrodisiac, or if you're not inclined to drink alcohol add it to plain seltzer. One tablespoon in a liter of seltzer would befit a toast at any occasion. It's one of my favorite summer refreshers.
I've bottled some up in vintage bottles I found on the beach, all one of a kind. You can see them, and other hydrosols, in my Etsy store.