About Petitgrain

INCI name
Essential oil name
Part used
Leaves, terminal branchlets
Extraction method
Steam distillation
Between 2 and 4 ML of petitgrain essential oil with 1 KG of plant*
*Franchomme, P. La science des huiles essentielles médicinales. (Guy Trédaniel, 2015).

About the plant

Common names
Bitter orange, Seville orange, Sour orange, Bigarade orange
Latin name
Citrus aurantium
Botanical family
Plant detail
The tree can reach around 5 to 7 meters high and has evergreen leaves.
Flowering period

Our expert Dr Françoise Couic Marinier tells you all about essential oils.

Originating from the bitter orange tree, Petitgrain Essential Oil has long been adopted in traditional medicine, health practices and aromatherapy for its myriad of benefits.

From promoting peaceful sleep and treating spasms to soothing your complexion, here’s all you need to know about the wonders of Petitgrain Oil.

Benefits of Petitgrain Essential Oil

1. Reduce stress

According to Dr Couic Marinier, “Petitgrain Essential Oil’s main benefits relate to the nervous system”.

The relaxing effects of Petitgrain Oil are particularly effective in treating anxiety and depression, working to uplift your mood and induce positive thinking.

2. Antispasmodic

Spasms cause involuntary contractions of the muscles, tissues and nerves, which can result in various health problems.

Whether it’s the respiratory, muscular or digestive system, Petitgrain Essential Oil works to relax the body and act as a natural pain reliever.

3. Anti-inflammatory

Petitgrain Essential Oil is a great natural remedy for conditions such as bronchitis or joint pain thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Antiseptic

Petitgrain Oil can fight infection and protect the body by inhibiting the growth of bacteria. Used externally or internally, this powerful oil sterilises the area of concern as well as giving it the optimal healing environment.

5. Help insomnia

As a natural sedative, Petitgrain Essential Oil can help to induce a better, more relaxed night’s sleep.

Dr Couic Marinier explains, “The sedative properties of Petitgrain Oil have been proven in multiple hospital trials, especially in palliative care. It is so effective that it can even be used as an alternative to the ultra-soothing Lavender Oil”.

What is Petitgrain Essential Oil used for ?


With powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits, Petitgrain Essential Oil is a wonderful natural remedy to calm problematic skin. Whether it’s rosacea, acne-induced irritation or even sunburn, this aromatic essential oil helps to soothe and heal your complexion.


For those looking to achieve flawless skin, Petitgrain Oil has stimulating and toning properties to help pores appear smaller and the epidermis more even and smooth.


Petitgrain Essential Oil comprises a harmonised combination of balancing and cleansing properties.

Not only does it help to level out the hormones that can exacerbate acne-prone skin, it also keeps the epidermis’ sebum supplies in check so that the complexion is optimally nourished.

Dr Couic Marinier agrees, explaining that “Petitgrain Oil is great for treating acne, but don’t forget to avoid exposure to the sun for 3 hours after application, as, like Lemon Oil, it is photosensitive”.

Where does Petitgrain Essential Oil come from ?

Native to Paraguay, Spain and Morocco, the Citrus aurantium var. amara, more commonly known as the bitter orange plant, is a hardy, evergreen plant that can grow up to 20 feet tall.

Petitgrain Essential Oil is cultivated from the twigs and leaves of the plant through a process of steam distillation, characterised by its potent and intoxicating aroma.

History of Petitgrain Essential Oil

The early orange

The bitter orange was the first of the orange species to reach the ‘New World’, carried on the second voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1943.

An ancient remedy

Historically, cultures in South America and China used the bitter orange leaves to treat colds, flu, indigestion and even nausea.

A modern oil

Although there are a few examples of medicinal use, Petitgrain Essential Oil has traditionally been used in perfumery and cosmetics. It’s only quite recently been recognised as an effective ingredient in the world of aromatherapy.

Facts about Petitgrain Essential Oil


A French name

The French ‘Petitgrain’ translates into ‘little grains’, due to the fact that Petitgrain Oil is extracted from the small, unripe oranges of the plant.


A plant of many talents

The bitter orange tree isn’t just responsible for producing Petitgrain Oil – it also produces other Essential Oils.

Neroli Oil is distilled from its blossoms and Bitter Orange Oil is produced by cold-pressing the rinds of the fruit.


Feline friendly

Dr Couic Marinier says, “Petitgrain Essential Oil is not only beneficial for humans, but also for cats. Diffuse it around your home and your cat will become addicted to its zen effects”.

Integrate Petitgrain Essential Oil in your daily rituals and bask in its energising effects for your mind, body and health.