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Petitgrain Oil Benefits, Uses and DIY – For Tranquility, Skincare & More

Disclaimer - The information provided in this blog, including any linked materials herein, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. For accurate and personalized recommendations, please consult with your specialists.

Ever heard of the plant Citrus aurantium ssp. Amara? Alright, unless you are a botanist, you most probably won’t have heard about the plant. But, have you heard about petitgrain essential oil?

Probably. The essential oil of petitgrain is extracted from the fresh branches, twigs and leaves of the Citrus aurantium ssp. Amara plant. It is also known as bitter orange tree or petitgrain bigarade.

Petitgrain Vs. Bitter Orange Vs. Neroli Essential Oil

Neroli essential oil is a popular essential oil that is also obtained from the same plant species. Another essential oil that is derived from the plant is biter orange essential oil. However, petitgrain oil has its own distinct properties, color and aroma. The reason for this dissimilitude is the plant parts used for distillation.

Petitgrain oil is distilled from the branches, green twigs, and leaves of the tree, whereas neroli oil is distilled from its blossoms. Bitter orange oil is usually cold pressed from the hard outer skin or rinds of the fruits. There is also the petitgrain mandarin that is obtained from the mandarin fruit. These oils are extracted through steam distillation and are used for health practices including skin problems.

What Does Petitgrain Essential Oil Smell Like?

The essential oil of petitgrain is mainly produced in France and Paraguay. The aroma and color of the products vary. Generally, Petitgrain oil has a fresh and woody aroma with hints of citrus and orange notes. Its aroma is utilized in perfumery and cosmetics.

History Of Petitgrain

The bitter orange tree was native to or originated from Southern China. During the early part of the 19th century this plant made its way to South America where it proliferated. The tree and its oil have been used in traditional medical and cosmetic practices since early times. The tree that can yield three different essential oils has been used in perfumery for a long time.

Some cultures in China and South America may have used the tree parts or its oil to deal with stomach-related ailments and influenza. Now it has been proven to have antibacterial properties that may subdue coughs.

Facts About Petitgrain Essential Oil

Petitgrain is a portmanteau of the French words petit and grain. It means tiny grains. Perhaps the reason for giving the plant this name is due to the fact that its fruits are smaller than other citrus fruits. The plant is also one of a kind because its different parts are used to extract three different essential oils.

Petitgrain Essential Oils For Cats

Is petitgrain essential oil safe for cats? According to a Dr Pharmacie – Aromathérapie - yes. This oil is not only suitable and safe for humans, its aroma is well-liked by cats as well.

Chemistry Of Petitgrain Essential Oil

Essential oils get its characteristics from its active ingredients and its composition. Petitgrain oil from the bitter orange tree has linalyl acetate, linalool, geranyl acetate, beta-pinene, neryl acetate, nerol, and y-terpineol. The main constituent is linalyl acetate at 45% followed by linalool at 20%. [1]

Petitgrain Oil Benefits

Petititgrain oil possesses myriad of health benefits due to the presence of active ingredients. The oil has antiseptic and deodorant properties. Citrus plants, fruits and its oils have therapeutic properties and making them a valuable addition in aromatherapy and cosmetics. Let’s take a look at petitgrain essential oil benefits in details.

1. Petitgrain Oil for Aromatherapy

The orange-like aroma of the oil is used to promote relaxation and rejuvenation. The oil has compounds that have a soothing aroma which when diffused creates an ambience fit for relaxing. Citrus scents are also known to rejuvenate the senses and fill the room with an energetic aura. Just a few drops of petitgrain oil in an aroma diffuser or steamer would suffice. However, other essential oils including Roman chamomile or frankincense can be blended with petitgrain to enhance the aroma. [2]

2. Petitgrain Oil for Massages

The relaxing effects of petitgrain essential oil extends beyond inhaling in its scent. The oil is also useful as a massage oil. In fact, massages are also a form of aromatherapy. Petitgrain oil being an essential oil must be diluted before topical application for massages. Massaging the diluted essential oil on the feet has a relaxing effect that rejuvenates the senses.

Benefits Of Petitgrain Oil For Skin

Petitgrain essential oil for skin is used as an ingredient in several skincare products. Why is petitgrain oil used in skin care products? Because petitgrain has several benefits when used in skincare.

1. Balancing Oily Skin

Petitgrain oil helps regulate sebum production, making it beneficial for individuals with oily or acne-prone skin. Its astringent properties help control release of excess oil and reduce shine on the certain parts of the skin. The oil does this by signalling the sebaceous glands to produce less oil, especially in parts of the skin that already has excess oil. The herbal oil has long been used in traditional health practices for controlling sweat and hence acne and pimple.

2. Soothing Properties

It can soothe skin irritations and redness, promoting a calm and balanced complexion. Its gentle nature makes it suitable for sensitive skin and skin prone to inflammation.

3. Antiseptic Qualities

Petitgrain oil has natural antiseptic characteristics, which can help protect the skin from infections and fade away blemishes. It aids in keeping the skin clear and free from harmful microbes caused by cuts or bruises.

4. Astringent Qualities

Astringent properties tighten and tones the skin, thus reducing the appearance of enlarged pores and promoting a smoother texture. This astringent effect also contributes to a more youthful appearance and reduces the oils released by the skin.

5. Fragrant Nature

Its pleasant and refreshing scent makes it a popular choice for adding a subtle and natural fragrance to skincare products. Diluting the essential oil from petitgrain plant and topically applying on the skin will give it a sensory uplift during regular skincare routines.

6. Skin Rejuvenation

Petitgrain oil may contribute to skin rejuvenation by supporting the growth of new skin cells, aiding in the recovery from scars and damage. The oil must be used on a regular basis to witness positive results. The time for recovery may depend on the scar and other factors as well.

7. Lowers Anxiety

Yes, there is a link between mental health conditions does have an impact on skin health. The calming aroma of petitgrain oil can reduce anxiety and tension, thereby benefiting the skin. One can say that this essential oil minimizes the impact of stress-related skin issues.

8. Natural Deodorant

Of course, due to its refreshing scent and moisturizing qualities, petitgrain oil is sometimes used in natural deodorant formulations. It offers a fragrant and skin-friendly alternative to conventional products. It helps control body odor and maintains a fresh feeling.

Benefits Of Petitgrain Oil For Hair

Petitgrain essential oil for hair is used as an ingredient in several hair care products. Why is petitgrain oil used in hair care products? Because petitgrain has several benefits when used in hair care.

1. Oil Balancing

Petitgrain oil helps balance the scalp's oil production, making it valuable commodity for individuals with oily or greasy hair (also for those with dry hair). It controls excess sebum, keeping hair fresher for longer time.

2. Cleansing and Clarifying

The diluted oil has natural cleansing properties that can clear away any buildup and impurities in the scalp and hair, thus promoting a cleaner and healthier scalp.

3. Dandruff Control

Petitgrain oil's antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and soothing qualities make it effective in addressing dandruff and flaky scalp conditions. It also provides relief from itchiness and irritation.

4. Better Hair Strength

The essential oil can strengthen hair follicles, which may reduce hair loss and promote stronger, healthier hair growth. Its astringent properties also help fortify hair roots.

5. Fragrance Enhancement

Petitgrain oil adds a pleasant and refreshing scent to hair products, creating an aromatic experience. A few drops of the oil can be added to any regular hair care product without worry.

6. Natural Shine

When used in hair treatments, it can enhance the natural shine and luster of the hair, making it look healthier and more radiant.

7. Lowers Anxiety

The calming aroma of petitgrain oil can reduce anxiety and tension. Chronic anxiety can impact hair health. This oil can indirectly benefit the hair by minimizing the impact of stress-related hair issues.

8. Aromatherapy Induced Calmness

Embrace petitgrain oil into your hair care routine to get a sense of relaxation and well-being. It can contribute to a holistic hair care experience. By helping reduce anxiety, which is often linked to hair issues, the oil may promote overall hair health.

Uses Of Petitgrain Essential Oil

The benefits of petitgrain essential oil finds many uses in self-care. Petitgrain oil uses ranges from diffusion aromatherapy to topical application for hair and skin care.

1. Petitgrain Uses in Skincare

To balance oily skin or soothe skin irritations, add a few drops of petitgrain oil to a carrier oil (such as olive oil, jojoba oil or coconut oil) and apply / massage it to your face or body. Include it in your regular skincare products like moisturizers or serums, or make a blend of essential oils for topical application.

2. Petitgrain Uses in Haircare

For controlling scalp oil production and addressing dandruff issues, mix a few drops of petitgrain oil with your hair oil, shampoo or conditioner. Massage it into your scalp and hair till the oil is completely absorbed. Leave it for some time and then rinse thoroughly.

3. Petitgrain Uses in Aromatherapy

Inhale the calming aroma of petitgrain oil by adding a few drops to a diffuser or a bowl of hot water. Breathe in the steam or diffused vapor to promote relaxation and emotional balance. The oil can be directly inhaled from the bottle as well. But, while doing so, make sure that the bottle does not touch the nose. Take deep whiffs of the aroma for few minutes to calm the senses.

4. Use as Fragrance Oil

Incorporate petitgrain oil into your DIY perfumes and colognes. Blend it with other essential oils and a carrier oil to create your unique signature scent. The blend can also be added to fabrics (with proper care) for nice smelling clothes.

5. Petitgrain Oil Uses as Deodorant

Mix petitgrain oil with any neutral-scented carrier oil including fractionated coconut oil, and apply it as a natural deodorant. Other sweet-scented carrier oils including almond oil may also be used. However, ensure you do a patch test to avoid skin sensitivities.

6. Petitgrain Oil Uses for Massage

Combine petitgrain oil with a carrier oil for a calming and muscle-relaxing massage oil. Apply it to the body during massages or after a warm bath for a soothing experience. A whole-body massage with petitgrain oil will rejuvenate the mind and body. When used in massages it soothes the nervous system and may lower hypertension.

7. Petitgrain Oil Use as Room Freshener

Diffuse petitgrain oil in an essential oil diffuser to freshen and purify the air in your living spaces. It's perfect for creating a tranquil and clean atmosphere. Alternatively, some drops of the oil can be mixed with water and stored in a spritzer and used any time as a room freshener.

8. Petitgrain Essential Oil Use for Digestive Health

To support digestive wellness, dilute petitgrain oil and apply it topically to your abdomen. Alternatively, inhale its aroma to reduce symptoms of indigestion and stomach discomfort.

9. Petitgrain Oil for Controlling Nausea

The slightly euphoric scent of the oil can be inhaled directly from the bottle to ease retching or nausea. A few drops of the oil can be added to the handkerchief as well. The aroma can be inhaled from it whenever feeling nauseated.

Recipes With Petitgrain Essential Oil

The oil blends well with warm essential oils such as cinnamon and can be topically applied to alleviate sensitivity or irritation. The oils also blend well with other citrus-based oils like bergamot or lemongrass for treating acne.

Recipe 1: Petitgrain Oil Tranquil Tub


  • 5 drops of petitgrain essential oil
  • 5 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 3 drops of Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 2 drops of bergamot essential oil
  • Epsom Salt


  1. Add the essential oils and mix well.
  2. Add the oil mixture to the bath water along with Epsom salt and swirl to disperse.
  3. Soak in the bath for 20-30 minutes to relax and unwind.

Recipe 2: Petitgrain oil Face Glow


  • 3 drops of petitgrain essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons of witch hazel
  • 2 tablespoons of distilled water


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small spray bottle.
  2. Shake well to mix.
  3. After cleansing, spray your face with it and gently pat dry.

Recipe 3: Petitgrain Oil for Silky Smooth Strands


  • 5 drops of petitgrain essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons of carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil


  1. Mix the essential oil with the carrier oil in a small bowl.
  2. Apply the oil mixture to your hair and scalp, massaging it in gently.
  3. Leave the mask on for 30 minutes, then wash and condition your hair as usual.

Recipe 4: Petitgrain Ache-away Massage Oil


  • 5 drops of petitgrain essential oil
  • 5 drops of clove essential oil
  • 5 drops of ylang-ylang essential oil (or any floral oil)
  • 1 tablespoon of carrier oil, such as grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil


  1. Mix the essential oils with the carrier oil in a small bottle.
  2. Shake well to mix.
  3. Massage the oil into your sore muscles until absorbed.

Recipe 5: Petitgrain Oil Dreamy Drift-Off Diffuser Blend


  • 3 drops of petitgrain essential oil
  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of vetiver essential oil


  1. Add the essential oils to your diffuser and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Diffuse the blend for 30-60 minutes before bed to help you relax and fall asleep.

Safety Precautions For Petitgrain Oil

When using petitgrain essential oil, it's essential to follow certain precautions to ensure safe and effective usage. Here are some precautions that one should keep in mind:

  1. Dilution: Always dilute petitgrain oil with a suitable carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil, before applying it to the skin. A recommended dilution ratio is usually 2-3 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.
  2. Patch Test: Before using petitgrain oil on a face or larger area of your skin, perform a patch test on a small area to check for any adverse reactions or skin sensitivities.
  3. Phototoxicity: Petitgrain oil is generally not phototoxic, but it's a good practice to avoid direct sunlight for a few hours after applying it to the skin.
  4. Sensitive Skin: Individuals with sensitive skin should be cautious when using essential oils. Consider doing a patch test (mentioned above) and using more carrier oil in the mixture.
  5. Avoid sensitive regions: Avoid contact with the eyes, inner ears, and other sensitive areas. If contact occurs, rinse thoroughly.
  6. Pregnancy, Nursing and Children: Pregnant women should consult their doctor before using essential oils. Some oils may not be safe for them. The oil should be kept away from toddlers.
  7. Medical Conditions: If you have underlying medical conditions or are taking medication, consult your doctor before using essential oils, including petitgrain oil.
  8. Quality: Use natural petitgrain essential oil from reputable sources to ensure its effectiveness and safety.
  9. Pets: Keep essential oils, including petitgrain oil, away from pets. Although it is safe for cats, consult a veterinarian before its use.
  10. Storage: Store essential oils in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat. Ensure that the bottles are tightly sealed to prevent oxidization and to maintain the oil's quality.

By following these precautions, you can safely enjoy the benefits of petitgrain essential oil and minimize the risk of adverse reactions or sensitivities.


Petitgrain essential oil offers a myriad of benefits and versatile uses, thus making it a valuable addition to your wellness items and self-care routines. Petitgrain oil provides a natural and fragrant solution for skincare, aromatherapy, and even digestive health. It is one of the newest members in the essential oil family that one must try out.

Whether you're seeking peace of mind, radiant skin, or simply a fresh fragrance, petitgrain oil will elevate your well-being naturally. However, it's important to approach its use with care. Adhere to safety precautions so you can fully enjoy the many benefits of petitgrain oil. 

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