10 Ways to Use Orange Blossom Water

I don’t often think of Marie-Antoinette whenever I use orange blossom water, but perhaps I should. By the time the French queen was playing shepherdess in Versailles, the cultivation of bitter orange trees in France was a long standing tradition solely for the purpose of producing this perfumed liquid.  The aromatic distillation of fresh blossoms scented the linens of the nobility. It found its way into Marie Antoinette’s beauty preparations. It flavored madeleines, little French butter cakes that Marcel Proust immortalized in The Search for Lost Time. Relaxing with a cup of Café Blanc or Orange Blossom and Mint Lemonade is a luxury but thank heavens it’s no longer reserved for the royalty.


If you’ve never used floral waters, it might seem that they are best suited for pink girly desserts and incurable romantics. But while I admit to being a romantic, rose and orange blossom waters are remarkably versatile. A mere hint can give a familiar dish a new, haunting flavor, and you only need take a page from traditional cuisines–from Provence to Morocco, to see how diverse the use of floral waters can be. Once you start experimenting, I have no doubt that you’ll invent new recipes.

This is a companion piece to my 10 Ways to Use Rosewater. You can treat orange blossom water in a similar manner, but its sweet and green flavor has its own unique potential. The same notes apply though: a little goes a long way, and since every brand of orange blossom water differs in terms of its potency, follow your nose and taste buds, rather than recipe instructions.

1. Orange Blossom Bath

Mix 2-3 cups of warm milk, 3 Tablespoons of honey and 1/4 cup of orange blossom water. Add to your bath water. Close your eyes and dream of Sicilian orange groves. Your skin will look and feel like satin.

Orange blossom is excellent for skin, especially if yours is oily and sensitive. It calms redness and soothes irritations, which is why in France it’s a traditional additive to baby products. Like rosewater, it can replace your usual toner, but be sure the floral waters you use for skincare are pure, natural distillations (see shopping notes below).


2. Hand Freshener

There is an old Middle Eastern tradition whereby guests are greeted and bid farewell by a sprinkling of water mixed with either rose or orange blossom. I like to revive this custom at home by offering a hand bowl filled with orange blossom scented water at the end of dinner. If you’ve served finger foods, this is especially appreciated. Your guests can then leave well-fed and perfumed.

3. Natural Room Scent

How do you make your house smell like the South of France? Pour a few drops into a bowl of boiling water and leave it in your bedroom. As the water evaporates, the delicate orange flower perfume will fill the space. Since orange blossom essence is known for its calming, comforting properties, it’s something I love to doing before we go to sleep. You can also sprinkle your bed sheets with orange blossom water, but it can stain some fabrics, so test it on a small patch first.

orange blossom pudding1acurrants

4. Puddings and Ice Cream

Panna cotta, custard, mousse, rice pudding–anything creamy and milky will take on the addition of orange blossom (or rose) water gratefully. I use a touch of orange blossom to give a nursery favorite an adult twist in Rice Pudding with Vanilla and Orange Blossom.

Orange blossom is also heavenly when mixed into white chocolate based sauces and desserts. You can also pair it with cream to make a delicious tart filling. Whip heavy cream with sugar, add a few drops of orange blossom water. If you have a handful of berries and pre-baked tart shells on hand, you’re minutes away from a decadent dessert.

Here’s another idea I love: take store-bought vanilla ice cream, let it soften slightly and add a few drops of orange blossom water (4 teaspoons per pint, or to taste). Mix well, chill and serve. Or if you make your own ice cream, add orange blossom water to the custard before freezing it.


5. Fruit Desserts

If rose is a natural partner for raspberries, orange blossom marries especially well with strawberries. Some varieties shares the same aromatic compounds with orange flowers, and adding a little bit of orange blossom water to a strawberry based dessert will enhance the flavor.

Another excellent pairing for orange blossom water is apricot–tarts, compotes, jams, cakes, drinks. Sprinkle apricots with sugar and lemon juice and bake them in a 400F/200C oven till the sugar caramelizes and apricots soften. Drizzle with orange blossom water and serve hot or cold. Try apricot juice mixed with orange blossom water and sparkling water.

6. Orange and Orange Blossom

Any citrus will love a hint of orange blossom, but lemons and oranges even more so.  You can try mixing in a 1/4 teaspoon of orange blossom water into a glass of orange juice for a refreshing drink. Add it into orange marmalade, store bought or homemade. Or try the Moroccan style orange salad I shared in my Two Orange Salads Against Winter Blues article.

7. Vegetable Salads

Orange blossom is not just for desserts. You’ve probably tasted it in more savory prepared foods than you realize. Used in small quantities, it can add an intriguing, memorable twist. One of my favorite vegetable pairings is with cucumber. Add 3 teaspoons for every pound of cucumbers and season with salt and lemon juice. Try orange blossom water in a simple lemon-olive oil vinaigrette (2 Tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2-1 Tablespoon of vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of orange blossom water, salt, pepper) and use it to dress green salads.

Another inspired combination can be found in classical Moroccan cuisine. Mix grated carrot with olive oil, lemon juice, orange blossom water and a sprinkle of cinnamon. You will taste carrot in a completely new guise.


8. Breads, Pastries and Pancakes

Those who quote Marie-Antoinette quipping “let them eat cake” not only attribute it to the wrong person, they also mistake the edible. The phrase is “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!” And the brioche in question is a sweet, eggy bread. It would certainly have been orange blossom flavored. Until the cost of sugar dropped in the 19th century, brioche was sweetened either with honey or a mix of sugar and honey. Orange blossom gave a more refined flavor and softened the pronounced taste of honey. Today, French specialties like gibassier or fougasse à la fleur d’oranger, sweet brioche like pastries, continue this tradition. The honey has been replaced by sugar, but the orange blossom remained.

You can also try adding orange blossom water to your favorite sweet bread, crepe or pancake recipes. For another pastry idea, please see our Persian Orange Blossom Cookies.


9. Honey and Orange Blossom

This is another of those “match made in heaven” pairings. Orange flower tones down the waxy, animalic notes of honey, while honey enhances the floral facets of orange blossom. Try adding it to any dish in which you would use honey, even a honey marinade for meat (a few drops would be enough). Or mix honey and orange blossom water till you have a creamy emulsion and spread it over a piece of toast. If you think that you can’t have too much of a good thing, then add a layer of butter too. Orange blossom works perfectly with butter, but then again, what doesn’t?

10. Mineral Water

It’s sweltering hot and your clothes stick to your body. Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of orange blossom to a glass of cold water and you have one of the best refreshments. In the summer, I add orange blossom water directly to the filtered water I chill in the fridge, so that we can enjoy it throughout the day. Orange blossom makes water taste sweeter and softer.

Also, please see my recipes for Café Blanc and Orange Blossom and Mint Lemonade for other orange blossom scented beverages.

orange-blossom-water choices

Orange Blossom Water Shopping Notes

Just like rosewater, orange blossom water can be natural or reconstituted (ie, a mix of distilled water and natural or synthetic additives). The reconstituted orange blossom waters I’ve tried smelled so sharp and raspy that I would steer clear of them.

I like the Lebanese Cortas brand, which is a pure orange flower distillate. I’m somewhat evangelical on the subject of Mymoune, and I mention this brand every single time I talk about floral waters, but it’s worth discovering. The quality of their products is spectacular, and this women’s cooperative is a wonderful initiative too. There are other excellent brands, so when you shop look out for “distilled bitter orange blossom water” or “obtained by natural distillation” on the ingredient label. As you can see from the price tag that I forgot to remove before I took the photo, natural orange blossom water is an inexpensive treat. Click on the orange blossom water tag for more shopping information.

It’s also a fairly delicate ingredient, and it’s best to keep it in a cool, dark place, or before long, it will smell of moth-balls, rather than white orange petals.

Do you have favorite ways of using orange blossom water? If you have shopping suggestions for orange blossom water or favorite brands, please share.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin



  • Sarah: What a great post and beautiful photos! I’ve never cooked with orange flower water and now I want to try it. But first, I must try your orange blossom bath. July 15, 2013 at 8:10am Reply

    • Victoria: The orange blossom bath is an indulgence, and I reserve it for days when I feel so tired that nothing else works. Or whenever I feel like treating myself. 🙂 July 15, 2013 at 11:54am Reply

  • Zazie: While I still haven’t found the perfect orange blossom water (i.e. a pure orange flower distillate) the quality of my OB water has been improving.
    Yesterday, as I was feeling hot and fatigued, I sprinkled a bit of chilled OBW on my face (and dabbed a few more drops on my temples): I immediately felt better: refreshed and happy! July 15, 2013 at 8:56am Reply

    • Victoria: My mom says that her vet recommended spray our cat with orange blossom water before bringing him for a check up. He hates the doctor’s office and starts to freak out the moment my mom pulls out the cat carrier. Apparently, orange blossom water has calming properties on animals too! July 15, 2013 at 11:55am Reply

  • Ann: I’ve been enjoying cafe blanc since last summer thanks to your post. Thanks for the ideas. :)) July 15, 2013 at 9:20am Reply

    • AndreaR: Me too. I also love a splash of orange blossom water in a glass of Perrier. July 15, 2013 at 10:32am Reply

      • Victoria: Such a little addition can make all the difference! July 15, 2013 at 12:09pm Reply

    • Victoria: My pleasure! I keep finding new ways to use it, so I finally decided to put something together. July 15, 2013 at 11:56am Reply

  • JJ: Hello! I love your blog. I’m wondering, what perfume smells like café blanc? I’m Lebanese and it’s one of my favourite drinks. It makes me think of my childhood. Thanks! I can’t wait to try your other suggestions. July 15, 2013 at 9:31am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, JJ. To me, it would be Annick Goutal Neroli, because it also has that fresh, bright quality. I’ve read that Francis Kurkdjian’s APOM was inspired by cafe blanc, so maybe that’s another one worth checking out. I do like it, but for the price, I prefer Annick Goutal’s orange blossom. July 15, 2013 at 12:00pm Reply

  • sara: inquiring minds want to know what are those little pastel colored balls in photo #2. fun post! July 15, 2013 at 9:47am Reply

    • Barbara: Maybe bath salts?
      V, I’m curious too. July 15, 2013 at 10:19am Reply

      • Victoria: This makes me wish for the Meteorites scented bath salts. July 15, 2013 at 12:08pm Reply

        • Barbara: Wasn’t there a perfume too? July 15, 2013 at 12:36pm Reply

          • Victoria: You’re right, there used to be a perfume, but it has been discontinued for a while. It was a very pretty, soft violet. July 15, 2013 at 5:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: Face powder! That’s Guerlain’s Meteorites. After my mom’s cat chewed through the original paper box, I’ve transferred into a container that originally was meant to serve as a butter dish. 🙂 July 15, 2013 at 12:02pm Reply

  • Barbara: Here I am sitting in my cubicle and dreaming of orange blossoms! Thank you for a great start to my Monday, V.
    xoxo July 15, 2013 at 10:17am Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 I’m dreaming of orange blossoms too. Today is hot and humid, and I really would love to be someplace orange blossom scented. July 15, 2013 at 12:03pm Reply

      • Barbara: The dog days of summer are here but of course my cubicle is freezing cold. Hope that you’re keeping cool. July 15, 2013 at 12:36pm Reply

        • Victoria: Trying to! We have no AC at home, so I’m experimenting with cool drinks and things like that. July 15, 2013 at 5:35pm Reply

  • Emily: COunt me among those who started using floral waters thanks to your enthusiastic posts. My kitchen has never been more fragrant. July 15, 2013 at 10:38am Reply

    • Victoria: Yay! I’m very happy to spread the orange flower (and rose) love. And of course, I would love to hear how else others use these fragrant waters. July 15, 2013 at 12:09pm Reply

  • smellslikeroses: I love orange blossom honey from CA. I buy it every time I visit. July 15, 2013 at 10:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds wonderful! I’m already imagining adding a tiny bit of orange blossom water to lift the flavor. July 15, 2013 at 12:10pm Reply

      • S.C.: This is exactly what I’ve done. Cafe blanc w/ orange blossom honey. It is beyond. February 27, 2014 at 12:00am Reply

        • Victoria: I agree, it’s nothing short of ambrosia. 🙂 February 27, 2014 at 8:14am Reply

  • Lia: As always I enjoyed reading your article. The pictures are lively and amazing. Rose water is common at my place but not Orange Blossom. Any suggestions of a good brand? Thanks. July 15, 2013 at 11:01am Reply

    • Victoria: Lia, thank you! At the bottom of the post, I give several suggestions for my favorite brands, but basically, you just want to look for the natural distillate (it would say something to the effect on the label). The reconstitutions of orange blossom water are not that great, in my experience. July 15, 2013 at 12:12pm Reply

  • Jennifer: I will have to try the Orange Blossom Milk bath one. I have always found rose water, strawberries, and cardamom to be an amazing combination in a lassi. July 15, 2013 at 11:02am Reply

    • Victoria: That sounds like it would be a great combination (and a great perfume, for that matter!) I will have to try it tomorrow, since today I bought two big boxes of strawberries. Thank you for sharing, Jennifer. July 15, 2013 at 12:13pm Reply

  • lila: Excellent ideas! I have always wondered what to do with the extra rose/orange waters that I’m left with after making the occasional middle eastern dish. I’ve also been adding some orange water to lemon/lime flavored sodas with a twist of lemon (mint would be good too).

    You mentioned using it with salads and that reminded me of a favorite pizzeria of mine that serves a delicious appetizer of pickled cherry tomatoes with a whipped ricotta spread. My friends and I could not figure out what they put in the tomato brine but it was so good and unique. I finally solved the puzzle last time I was there. They put rose water in it! July 15, 2013 at 12:58pm Reply

    • Victoria: How interesting! I remember being told by a flavorist friend that when he creates flavor combinations, a touch of floral notes can make a big difference. They won’t taste obviously like rose or jasmine or orange flower, but they will give an intriguing, memorable aftertaste. Or else, they will give more complexity. Pickled tomatoes with rose or carrots with orange blossom may sound exotic, but there is a logic to those pairings and they do work. July 15, 2013 at 5:40pm Reply

  • Patty: Thank you for another inspiring post. I can’t wait to get my own bottle of orange blossom water and start trying out your ideas. Thanks! July 15, 2013 at 1:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: I already know that you will have fun! As I’m answering comments right now, I’m having my nightly cafe blanc, and once again, I can’t believe how good something so simple tastes. July 15, 2013 at 5:37pm Reply

  • Jan Last: In your ironing water, it almost makes up for having to iron that monstrous damask thing you just had to have on the table. I also spray the ironing water onto the old sheet I put under my ironing board. July 15, 2013 at 1:02pm Reply

    • Annikky: I’ve spent my entire life trying (and often succeeding) to avoid ironing, but your suggestion almost makes me reconsider. And your monstrous damask sounds perfect; didn’t know there was such a thing as damask-envy… July 15, 2013 at 4:25pm Reply

      • Victoria: Me too! One of the things I never do at home is ironing, but the idea of using the orange blossom water makes me want to try it. 🙂 July 15, 2013 at 5:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: I can see why it would! What a great suggestion, Jan. 🙂 July 15, 2013 at 5:32pm Reply

  • perfumekev: Not only do I work as a perfumer but I also love to make very creative cocktails.

    One recipe that I concocted that uses Orange Flower Water very well is…..

    The New Orleans Sidecar

    This recipe makes enough for two to three servings, unless you are using one of those really big martini glasses.

    The New Orleans Sidecar

    Build the drink in a cocktail shaker with a lot of ice cubes in it.

    3. oz. XO Cognac like Martell Cordon Blue or Camus XO Cognac are good ones for this.

    1 oz. Cointreau

    1oz. Grand Marnier 100 cuvee de centenarie

    1 oz. fresh tangerine juice

    1 oz. Organic Myer lemon juice freshly pressed.

    2 good dashes or Peychaud’s Bitters this has a nice anisic note with a background of red fruits.

    1 dashes of Angostura Bitters

    3 very good dashes of Orange Flower Water.

    I usually use cruets that have a very small dasher for Rose Water, Orange flower water etc. they produce a nice dash about the same amount as a bitters bottle will, or you can purchase empty bitters bottles online.

    Shake the drink Very Well in a cocktail shaker You must shake the cocktail very well about 20 to 30 full seconds.

    Then strain into a chilled cocktail glass straight up if you like a stronger drink. or strain it into a rocks glass filled with ice. if you want to dilute it more.

    Top with a dash of club soda or seltzer

    Garnish with tangerine slices, If you want you can add a pineapple slice or a few berries if you like that.

    If the drink is too strong for your taste add more club soda to make it more like a fizz.

    The aromatic constituents of the Cognac, citrus juices, and the bitters is most beautifully complimented by the orange flower water.

    A great classic cocktail that also uses orange flower water is called The Ramos Gin Fzz. It was invented before prohibition. A great place to look at it’s recipe is the ( cocktaildb.com ) This is a website with a gigantic amount of recipes it is fun to play on it’s full name is The Cocktail Database it was put together by a couple of guys that are big fans of the history of drinks.
    They have a list of 16 different classic cocktails made with orange flower water.


    1/2 oz. lemon juice / fresh from organic lemons July 15, 2013 at 3:19pm Reply

    • perfumekev: sorry I accidentally left a line in at the bottom of my last post that does not belong in the New Orleans Side Car. that 1/2 oz. of lemon juice is not necessary.

      I am also very impressed by how versatile the floral waters are from cosmetic uses, food laundry….

      The Bitter Truth bitters makers produce a lovely Orange flower water and a Rose Water for beverage and cooking.

      when using bitters in a drink with floral waters it makes the beverage more perfume-istic in its overall impression but in the most edible way. July 15, 2013 at 3:32pm Reply

      • Victoria: Fascinating! I’ve never heard of The Bitter Truth, and I’m tempted to see if their products are available in Europe. July 15, 2013 at 5:29pm Reply

        • perfumekev: HEY Victoria the bitter truth is located in Germany, their bitters are more expensive in the U.S. because of shipping.

          The Ramos Gin Fizz is very creamy and foamy.
          The lime and orange flower water really give the drink it’s flavor.
          It is sweetened but not overly so it makes for a great summer drink.

          Usually when I make the Ramos Fizz for me and my friends I have to sweeten it a little bit more than the original formula. The original formula can be a little tart.

          The cocktail DB is pretty fun to explore. July 15, 2013 at 7:50pm Reply

          • Victoria: The combinations alone are inspiring, I can just imagine the taste. Thanks again for sharing. July 16, 2013 at 5:41am Reply

    • Victoria: Goodness, thank you so much, Kevin! Lots of interesting ideas and combinations. The Cocktail Database alone is a terrific resource. Of course, now I’m dying to try The Ramos Gin Fzz. What does it taste like? July 15, 2013 at 5:30pm Reply

  • Annikky: It took me years to hunt down orange blossom. I asked my sister to bring me some from Spain – she couldn’t find it. I asked my sister to ask her Southern European friends – they claimed never to have heard of such a thing. I tried to order from Amazon – they refused to ship it to Estonia. Finally, this spring, I found a bottle at a small Lebanese falafel stand in Tallinn. I was extatic.

    There isn’t much to add to your wonderful ideas (and those images!), but I have also used it in mimosas and in lemon-olive-chicken tagine. Very soon, I plan to experiment and add it to almond milk (I’ve so far only tried this with rose water) and serve Moroccan pancakes with honey, butter and orange blossom sauce. July 15, 2013 at 3:36pm Reply

    • Annikky: * hunt down orange blossom water, of course July 15, 2013 at 5:16pm Reply

    • Victoria: All of these ideas sound incredible, especially the pancakes with honey, butter and orange blossom sauce. 🙂

      My friend shared this post on her Facebook page, and one of her readers mentioned that she tried rice scented with orange blossom water. This already gives ideas, of course: a simple leek and cauliflower pilaf sprinkled with pistachios and orange blossom water or rice with almonds and orange blossom water. July 15, 2013 at 5:23pm Reply

  • Amy: Love the list 🙂 Also it’s popular here in the Middle East to put it into the water reservoir of an iron when steam ironing clothes to make them smell nice! July 15, 2013 at 3:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: As I was just mentioning to Jan and Annikky, this makes me want to reconsider my dislike of ironing. 🙂 July 15, 2013 at 5:13pm Reply

  • peter: I like Cortas too and I’ve tried a few it smells very natural and pure. July 15, 2013 at 6:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: Cortas is unfailingly good and reasonably priced. July 16, 2013 at 5:40am Reply

  • kaori: Love, love these useful ideas. Thank you for sharing. Today I will try a few of them! July 15, 2013 at 9:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: Have fun! Even the scent of orange blossom water is refreshing on a hot summer day, so I’ve been in an orange flower mood lately. 🙂 July 16, 2013 at 5:49am Reply

  • Gigi: I was so inspired by your Rosewater article, I drove all over the city trying to find some. I ended up finding it (along with orange flower water) in a local Greek market, very inexpensive, about $2.50 a bottle. Now my boyfriend makes fun of me since I am doing so much with them: teas, orange flower water and lemonade, rosewater spritzes on the sheets, rice pudding, etc, etc. Thanks again for the inspiration! July 15, 2013 at 10:08pm Reply

    • Victoria: Isn’t it fantastic? I love Greek markets in NYC, from their interesting selection of spices and olives to coffees and jams. If your store carries Greek honeys, do try them. Another thing I like is quince jam and sour cherry preserves, which are delicious stirred into a glass of black tea. Oh, and Greek oregano has few equals, since it’s so strongly perfumed. July 16, 2013 at 5:53am Reply

  • Lindaloo: Just noticed that my bottle of Cortas Rosewater (which I decanted to a spray bottle to use as a facial toner) has a recipe on the side for a sugar syrup using both rosewater and orange blossom water.
    Put 2 cups sugar, 1 cup of water, 2 teaspoons of rosewater, 2 teaspoons of orange blossom water in a medium pan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Add a dash of lemon juice. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
    Use in place of maple syrup over pancakes with some crushed macadamia nuts.
    Sounds good.
    Haven’t picked up a bottle of the Cortas orange blossom water yet, so I don’t know if it too has recipes, but their website, cortasfoods.com has recipes. July 15, 2013 at 11:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! What a great idea to combined orange and rose waters together (they’re often paired in perfumes too). I’m going to try this syrup on almond cake.

      My bottle of Cortas orange blossom water purchased here in Belgium doesn’t have recipes, but I’ve seen little Cortas brochures at the stores with some serving ideas. They’re probably the same ones they list online. July 16, 2013 at 5:55am Reply

      • Rowanhill: Hi Victoria, Where did you buy your Cortas bottle in Brussels? These sticky days truly require something refreshing. I am dreaming orange blossom flavoured ice cubes. July 16, 2013 at 8:35am Reply

        • Victoria: I buy it either from the Iranian store at Chaussee de Louvain (#344), or Naia (#168). Naia is my favorite place for produce and various Middle Eastern/Turkish/Russian foods. If you’re in that area, just go to Naia. The prices are much lower and the selection is bigger. Bio-stores also carry decent natural orange blossom waters, but they are at least 2 or 3x more expensive.

          Rue de Brabant is another place where you can find all sorts of floral waters, but it’s not as convenient for me. July 16, 2013 at 12:58pm Reply

          • Rowanhill: Excellent! Thank you Victoria. I will make it my business to go there soonest. Surely there are places closer to me in Ixelles but this saves me the search. July 17, 2013 at 7:12am Reply

            • Victoria: I bet that the Moroccan shops on Rue Malibran or around Place Blyckaerts in Ixelles would have it too. July 17, 2013 at 7:18am Reply

  • perfumekev: floral water cocktail of the day

    “The Eden cocktail “created by one of my friends Anne Barkley who is an Evaluator at Fragrance Resources.

    2oz. Nollet Gin which is distilled with raspberries and rose petals

    1 oz. Campari

    1 oz. Cointreau

    2 oz. ruby red grapefruit juice freshly squeezed.

    3. dashes rose water

    2. dashes Angostura Orange bitters

    Shake well in an ice filled cocktail shaker and strain into a ice filled rocks glass.

    Garnish with grapefruit slices and raspberries.

    Add a splash of mandarin or orange seltzer or Orange Perrier.

    Since I was inspired by all this orange flower and rose water talk.

    Today I am wearing a combo of Vintage Patou eaux des toillets, Eau de Joy , Chaldee and one spray of Cocktail :o)

    I buy most of my Orange Flower Water and Rose Water at the Local Middle Eastern market. July 16, 2013 at 10:12am Reply

    • Victoria: It sounds good enough to be worn as perfume. 🙂 July 16, 2013 at 12:27pm Reply

  • Emma M: Victoria, I discovered the mymoune brand after reading about it here on Bois de Jasmin. I’ve been spooning the rosewater into my bedtime cup of rooibos tea for months now and picked up some of the orange blossom today.

    It smells divine; I can’t wait to try your bath recipe and Cafe blanc. And I’m always delighted to find new ways to pretend I’m Marie Antoinette (since an 18thC dress and powdered wig are just not practical when you have to travel on the bus) July 17, 2013 at 5:30pm Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 We can fantasize about our own Petit Trianon garden. (Mine consists of a single basil plant and a pot of chives.)

      I’m so happy to hear this, Emma, because Mymoune is definitely one of my brands for floral waters and jams. I swear I don’t have any connections with the brand; I just really like it and I admire the premise behind it. July 18, 2013 at 8:02am Reply

  • Carla: Amazing timing! We got back from France a few days ago, at 5am with lots of energy from jet-lag I was making my grocery list, and the nearly empty fridge inspired me to check out what bottles were left hanging around inside. What to do with all that leftover Eau de Fleur d’Oranger? It is getting old. I don’t want to bake cakes in this heat. That very day I saw your post. THANK YOU for your suggestions! July 22, 2013 at 4:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: Your orange blossom water won’t go to waste! In this heat, I find that nothing cures my thirst better than cold water with a splash of eau de fleur d’oranger. You must be exhausted from your trip, so please take care. I always find that traveling from Europe is harder for me than the other way around. July 22, 2013 at 5:17pm Reply

  • Gabriel: Yesterday I bought a bottle of orange blossom to mix with honey and eat a middle eastern sweet that I had. Then I realized that I had a whole bottle from which I used just a few teaspoons, and wondered what I could do with the rest of it besides mixing with honey. A quick search on google suggested me this page, that I found extremely interesting besides being gorgeous for all these well taken photographs.
    A compliment from Brazil. 🙂 September 28, 2013 at 12:08pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Gabriel! I’m so glad you found it helpful. You can also click on the orange blossom tag (at the end of the piece) and find more orange blossom water ideas. September 29, 2013 at 1:39am Reply

  • Anna: Fine photos, informative comments. Also use as a sleep aide by adding 1/4 tsp. to sweet herbal tea or sweetened warm water before retiring. Lessen or increase amount to your needs. Experience a deep refreshing sleep. September 30, 2013 at 5:55pm Reply

  • Dain: What do you think of Santa Maria Novella’s orange blossom water, Victoria? October 3, 2013 at 12:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m sure the quality is good, but you have to pay the SMN prices for something that you can obtain for much less. Even the more expensive Mymoune is still around $8-10. October 5, 2013 at 12:29am Reply

      • Dain: Thank you very much. =) October 6, 2013 at 1:44pm Reply

  • Lou: Thanks! i also add a little bit to the water i put into the small humidifier i use in the winter months…my room smells divine..i alternate with rose water…but the orange blossom is really comforting ! December 3, 2013 at 1:38am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for this terrific idea, Lou! I’m doing to try it tonight, since we’ve just started running our humidifier, and I can just imagine how wonderful the room will smell. December 3, 2013 at 11:34am Reply

  • Maribel: Thanks for a wonderful post. I’ve come back to it again and again. And I finally caved in after New Year and ordered some bottles of the Cortas orange blossom water 🙂 January 4, 2014 at 4:35pm Reply

    • Victoria: Very glad to hear it, Maribel! Hope that you’ll enjoy it. 🙂 January 5, 2014 at 10:03am Reply

  • Annette Reynolds: Good evening, Victoria. This is about the third time I’m reading this post. It – and all the wonderful comments – is so full of great ideas.

    I have a feeling I may have asked you this, but since my memory isn’t what it used to be I’ll ask again: when you use the Cortas Orange Blossom Water as a linen spray, do you use it straight, or dilute it? And if you dilute it, what’s the ratio you use? I’d love to spray it on our pillowcases in the evening. Also, I’d like to use it for ironing, but again, am not sure if I need to dilute it first.

    And again, thanks so much! February 13, 2014 at 7:50pm Reply

    • Victoria: You can use 1 cup of water and 2 Tablespoons of orange blossom water. If it’s not strong enough, then you can add more, but it’s a good starting ratio. It will make your linens smell like heaven. February 14, 2014 at 2:46am Reply

      • Annette Reynolds: Thanks a million, Victoria. I’ve got the bottle out and ready to go! All best… February 14, 2014 at 11:38am Reply

        • Victoria: You’re most welcome! 🙂 February 14, 2014 at 1:12pm Reply

  • Lisa: What is the shelf life once opened and does it need to be refrigerated. FYI, it’s great in a martini! February 26, 2014 at 10:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: I recommend refrigerating it. This way, a bottle can last for a couple of years, but you’ll notice that after a year the liquid might change color. February 27, 2014 at 8:15am Reply

  • diann: i love cortas orange flower water too. mostly i use it to clean my eyes – put a few drops on a damp cotton ball – it is really refreshing and helps with itchy eyes. you can also do this with rosewater.
    i personally find rosewater more drying to my skin than orange flower water – but i will use rosewater for my dogs eyes – they get itchy too – but for me i use orange flower water and i decant the cortas into a spray bottle and a little carafe that sits on my vanity… always have it can’t do without it!!! i love to splash or spray some on when it is hot outside and i love the smell even more than rosewater. and since my boyfriend hates rosewater i am happy to have an alternative that smells even better imo. July 1, 2014 at 1:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Diann, for a great tip. I will try orange blossom water this way. I tried it with rose water and also liked the results. July 1, 2014 at 4:07pm Reply

  • Christine: I’ve seen the posts for café blanc with OBW… but how about in regular coffee or espresso? My husband has recently started roasting our own coffee and I think OBW would make a nice addition. August 16, 2014 at 10:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: You can definitely use it in regular coffee too, but not too much or else the coffee will taste soapy. August 24, 2014 at 12:32pm Reply

  • Sherry Wright: Found a link to your site on the web that I thought was a recipe for ironing water using orange blossom water. I wasn’t able to find any reference to it after clicking on the link, although the things I read sounded interesting. I am using my iPhone to search, so perhaps I just overlooked it. Thanks in advance for your help. January 17, 2015 at 4:24pm Reply

  • Caroline: What an amazing blog! I started a small business this year focusing on all natural ingredients (as much as possible!) such as herbs and essential oils this past year. I make candles, and bath and beauty products as well as essential oil blends. It was not a far leap since I LOVE to be in the kitchen cooking. I had been looking for an easy orange blossom water recipe when I stumbled across your blog and I am so glad I did! The recipe I am making now is from the “Herbal Home Spa” by Greta Breedlove, and it is an orange blossom face cream. If you like cooking, try making some of your own beauty products- I have saved a ton and my skin and hair has never looked better! My friends liked my products so much I started to sell some to friends…..long way to go considering FDA approval and such in the states! This book has a ton of ideas for rose water and lavender water as well. I will be looking for your next blog thanks so much for sharing!!! January 28, 2015 at 10:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: Good luck with your project, Caroline! January 29, 2015 at 11:38am Reply

  • Katherine Reel: I absolutely LOVED this post on orange flower water! I’m a NY-based makeup artist who recently stumbled upon this nice alternative to rosewater in the Latino section at Rite Aid.
    I wanted to find out more about the product and your article was the perfect read!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Katherine August 17, 2015 at 2:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: Glad that it was helpful! There are so many ways to orange blossom water, and I keep two bottles on hand–one in my cupboard and one in the fridge as a backup. August 18, 2015 at 3:26am Reply

  • Carolyn Taylor: I love orange blossom water aside using it as a spritzer I hAve a special fall recipe I make nearly every year. Dark choc chip pumpkin bread with orange blossom and honey cream cheese spread. The spread is delicious and creamy and pairs nicely with the choc chip pumpkin bread. *Simply blend cream cheese with honey to taste and a small splash of orange blossom water to taste until u get a nice sweet creamy spread with a hint of orange blossom. November 7, 2015 at 3:26am Reply

    • Victoria: Wow, this sounds delicious! November 8, 2015 at 12:05pm Reply

  • a.: and here i go on a comment-spree throughout your blog…! 😉 in this case, on a post of yours i read a couple of times already, and i’m only now commenting. 🙂 i purchased a bottle of “indo-european” brand orange blossom water at a local middle-eastern grocery store 2-3 years ago and i’m wondering if anyone else has experience with this brand. i seem to remember my mother buying their products when i was a kid… maybe because they’re importers based in LA, where i’m from, i’m biased (but perhaps i shouldn’t be?).

    it lists “distilled orange blossom water” as the ingredient, is a product of lebanon, and even says “special reserve” on the front – if that means anything. i’m mostly surprised that it’s been this long, and the bottle, which i’ve barely used, still smells good (maybe even better due to some evaporation), and it has no discoloration. should i be suspect? i have been storing it in the back of a dark, dry cupboard, so there’s that. December 2, 2015 at 2:28am Reply

    • Victoria: It sounds fine to me. Not all orange blossom waters discolor, especially if kept in a cool spot.

      P.S. I’m enjoying your comments. 🙂 December 2, 2015 at 12:28pm Reply

      • a.: aww, thank you, victoria! i’ve enjoyed your blog on and off for so many years at this point – a true “lurker” i guess! but i suppose i’ve only recently felt ready to leap in and join the conversation. but i’ve wanted to for a while – i love your writing and the way you think, and (obviously) i share so many of your interests! plus, you’re so welcoming to and engaged with your readers. it’s truly a lovely space you’ve created here on your blog. 🙂

        oh, and a follow up about the orange blossom water: turns out it was more like 4-5 years old! (i found a “best before 04-2011” on the cap.) but still SO fragrant. inspired by this post of yours and others (ie. the one on cologne baths – that sounds *luscious*), that night i drew myself a bath with sea salts and epsom salts, plus copious amounts of orange blossom water. i mean, what good does it do to for the bottle to be hiding in the back of my kitchen cupboard, unused? (well, save a tasty almond-apricot-mascarpone tart i used it in soon after i bought it :-))

        i even added in a few drops of perfume oils i’d bought at a shop in mumbai years ago – i used lily, frangipani, and sandalwood. it might have been a bit of overkill 😉 but baths are something i do so rarely anyway… it ended up being entirely heavenly. and after the bath, i ended up doing a sort-of-ayurvedic style self-massage with various other oils (sesame and others in a blend), something i’ve been meaning to try for forever. it was all so relaxing! i hope i’m able to make this all more of a regular ritual for myself – with all the stress in my life, i could really use it. so, thank you for the inspiration!! December 6, 2015 at 4:40pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you for delurking. 🙂 I’m enjoying your comments very much, and I loved reading about this spa at home experience. No such thing as too much of a good thing in this case, and I can just imagine how wonderful your bath must have smelled. I ended up taking out my jasmine and rose attars that I bought in Delhi and rubbing a bit of each on my wrists. Thank you for an inspiration! December 7, 2015 at 2:27pm Reply

        • a.: aww, well, i’m glad you’re enjoying them. 🙂 and, that i could inspire you too! jasmine and rose attars from delhi on your wrists – sounds divine. i don’t have either, in either perfume oil or attar form… now you’ve got me thinking about what i need to go hunting for on my next trip to india. i think both are going on the list. 😉 December 14, 2015 at 2:38am Reply

          • Victoria: Chandni Chowk has several great attar-wallahs, and of course, the flower markets are quite a sensory rollercoaster. As is the whole place, for that matter! December 14, 2015 at 1:05pm Reply

  • wen chen: OMG why I didn’t visit this page earlier.
    I bought a battle of orange blossom water yesterday, putted it in my freezer and took a big swallow this morning.
    it taste sooo aweful and now my mouth smells real nice.
    FML December 16, 2015 at 3:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you and welcome! 🙂 I like water mixed with orange blossom water, both cold and hot. December 16, 2015 at 4:12pm Reply

  • Nicole Poulin: I bought this Orange Blossom Water thinking it was a drink. I took a big gulp and swallowed it. Yakkkkkkkkkk. I didn’t know that it wasn’t a drink. The label should mention what it is used for. It really looks like a delicious drink. I felt sick in the stomach for a few hours after drinking some of it. I will give it to my friend so that she can pamper herself in her bath tub. LOL March 7, 2016 at 5:51pm Reply

  • Jennifer Shaw: I finally have tried the orange blossom water with a tall glass of cold water. It is fantastic! Thank you so much, Victoria for all of the wonderful suggestions. April 2, 2017 at 7:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for letting me know that you liked it. Isn’t it such an easy and delightful way to enjoy orange blossoms? April 3, 2017 at 6:14am Reply

  • Tuesday Browell: Hello Victoria and everyone.
    I just wanted to say I love the blog and I distill and make orange blossom water on my farm in Torrumbarry Victoria Australia.
    I have a 60 year old citrus orchardand each year in October our orange trees burst into flower. The whole property has an air of sweet calm. I collect as many flowers as I can and I put them into my 200 litre copper Alembic still and I extract neroli essential oil and lots of orange blossom hydrosol(water). From 350 kilos of orange blossoms came 200ml of neroli oil and 220 litres of orange blossom water. It takes me at least 2.5 weeks to harvest and distill. I can see why the bottle of orange floral water from Lebanon had premium written on the bottle. I sell the water to chefs and to local friends and family.
    Real Orange blossom hydrosol is a most wonderous water that has a thousand uses.
    Thanks you for the opportunity to add a producers perspective. June 9, 2017 at 5:09am Reply

  • Ryan: I just bought a bottle of the Cortas brand Orange Flower Water. If there’s a heaven, it probably smells like this! I splash it on my skin every hour at work, smells so beautiful. I can’t wait to try it in a diffuser and also cook with it. Thanks for the post 🙂 January 30, 2018 at 2:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: One of my favorite brands too. February 1, 2018 at 4:45am Reply

  • Inma: Hello,
    I want to share some of my experiences with my orange blossom water.
    Loving it with vanilla ice-cream. Also, I add it to my yoghourt and honey desert and I find it really deliciuos.

    Nevertheless, I don´t like it at all with mineral water. It is a flavour I’ve felt before and it keeps me away. I´d love to enjoy it and maybe it is related to the type of orange blossom I am having. It is said to be natural although maybe it is because of the orange blossom it is made of, I don´t know.
    The orange blossom water I am having does smell to bitter orange blossoms. It is beautiful by itself.

    Willing to make the orange blossom and mint lemonade.
    Thank you for proposing so many options to explore! June 14, 2019 at 9:05am Reply

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