By Jeanne Rose ~ 3-17-16
Petitgrain is a particular EO and not a species; leaves and twigs from any citrus when distilled are called Petitgrain (small fruit) and depending on terroir the scent is different. Includes formulas and recipes.
Common Name/Latin Binomial: Petitgrain is the name of a particular essential oil and is not a particular plant species, it is the results of distilling the leaves and twigs of citrus and can be made from any citrus. Normally, it is from Citrus x aurantium (L.).
Other Common Name/Naming Information: Originally, Petitgrain which means “small seed” was actually distilled from the immature and small round green fruits of the Citrus trees. Of course, if you distill the fruits then there will be no mature fruit to eat or preserve. So eventually, the distillation was limited to the leaves and small branchlets but the oil is still called Petitgrain.
Blossoms of the true bitter (sour) orange tree, Citrus x aurantium Linnaeus, subsp. amara L., on being distilled yield Neroli bigarade oil. If, on the other hand, the leaves and petioles (leaf stalk) are distilled, oil and hydrosol of Petitgrain bigarade is obtained.