Petitgrain (pronounced [pəti gʁɛ̃]) is an essential oil that is extracted from the leaves and green twigs of the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium ssp. amara) via steam distillation. It is also known as petitgrain bigarade.
Petitgrain (Fr.: “little grain”) gains its name from the fact that it used to be extracted from the unripe small green fruits of the plant.
Its main regions of production are Paraguay and France, with the former’s product being of higher odour tenacity. The oil has a greenish woody orange smell that is widely used in perfumery and found in colognes. Though distilled from the same botanical species as neroli and bitter orange essential oil, petitgrain bigarade oil possesses its own characteristically unique aroma. The oil is distilled from the leaves and sometimes the twigs and branches of the tree, whereas neroli is distilled from the blossoms and bitter orange oil is typically cold pressed from the rinds of the fruits.