Neroli Sweet Sunlight

Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara) is the fragrance of orange trees blossoming under the Moroccan and Tunisian sun. It is the fragrance that greets farmers as they begin another spring day of harvesting, gently plucking the tiny golden gems that shine from inside green citrus foliage. Many factors will influence the quality of the neroli oil: each blossom must be plucked when it is just starting to open; the buds must be gathered only on warm sunny days; the flowers cannot be bruised; leaflets and petioles must not be included. By the end of the day, the clothing and weather-aged hands of the dark-skinned harvesters will be saturated with an intoxicating aroma desired by queens and empresses, sheiks and maharajas.