Aqua Aurantii Florum. Orange Flower Water.
Aq. Aurant. Flor.
Aqua Aurantii Floris, Br., Aqua Florum Naphae; Eau distillee (Hydrolat) de Fleura d'Oranger, Fr. Cod.; Eau de Naphe, Fr.; Orangenblüthenwasser, G.; Acqua distillata di arancio. It.; Agua destilada de azahar, Sp.
"Stronger Orange Flower Water, Distilled Water, recently boiled, each, one volume. Mix them immediately before use. Orange Flower Water complies with the tests for identity and purity given under Aqua Aurantii Florum Fortior." U. S. "Orange-flower Water is the orange-flower water of commerce, prepared by distillation from the flowers of the Bitter Orange tree, Citrus Aurantium, var. Bigaradia, Hook., f., diluted, immediately before use, with twice its volume of Distilled Water." Br.
The U. S. Pharmacopoeia, 1890, and the U. S. P. VIII and IX introduced "Stronger Orange Flower Water," providing for its dilution with an equal volume of distilled water to make "orange flower water." This plan enables American pharmacists to employ the imported "triple" water, as it is known in commerce. This retains its fragrance longer than a weaker water; moreover, economy is effected through saving customs duty and freight, and a fresh, delicate water can be dispensed.
"Colorless or with a slight yellowish tint; odor very fragrant. Yields no reactions for lead or copper. The orange-flower water of commerce is a saturated solution of the volatile oil of the fresh flowers." Br.
This preparation is also considered by the British Pharmacopoeia as an object of importation. According to this authority, it is obtained from the flowers of the bitter orange tree; this is concurred in by our own official standard. In Italy and France, where it is largely made, the flowers of the bitter orange have long been preferred, as yielding the most fragrant product. It may be prepared in the most southern districts of our country from the fresh flowers; and these may be brought to the North for the same purpose, if previously incorporated with one-third or one-fourth of their weight of common salt. The proper method is to arrange the flowers and salt in successive layers in jars of stoneware or glass. They may also be preserved by means of glycerin. Notwithstanding, however, the facility of preparing this water here, it is generally imported from the south of France, whence it usually comes in cans of tinned copper.
L. Malenfant observed that fresh orange flowers, mixed with cold water, yield, on distillation over the naked fire, a milky water, possessing a somewhat empyreumatic odor and a strong, somewhat acrid taste. Kept for twelve or eighteen months in glass vessels covered with parchment, it loses its empyreuma, and after filtering has an agreeable odor and taste. If the flowers be mixed with boiling water and immediately distilled, the water is limpid, and gradually separates some thick oil of a brownish color; the water has the odor and taste of the flowers, but complicated with an odor of the still, which it loses after long keeping; it seems to alter less rapidly than that obtained by the former process. Distilled by steam, limpid water of a pure odor and taste it at once obtained, free from empyreuma; it may be at once used, and keeps better in the light than when obtained by the two former processes. (A. J. P., June, 1874.) Hesse and Zeitschel (J. Pr. Chem., 1901, 525) found by exhausting with ether the orange flower water obtained in the distillation of the orange blossoms that the quantity of oil dissolved in the water represented about one-third of the total amount of oil from the blossoms. A distilled water of the leaves is also prepared, and sometimes a mixture of the leaves and flowers is employed. But this is a fraud, as the distilled water of the leaves never has the sweet perfume of that of the flowers. (J. P. G., 4e ser., iii, 249.) Orange flower water is used exclusively on account of its agreeable odor as a flavoring agent.
Orange flower water is stored in large glass vessels or carboys in cool cellars by the manufacturers in Grasse, France, care being taken not to stopper them tightly, but simply cover the orifice with a piece of paper or coarse cloth.
Nitric, sulphuric, or hydrochloric acid produces a red coloration with orange flower water, particularly if the water be shaken with ether to take up the oil, and the acid added to the ethereal solution. (P. J., 1878, 248.) It is used as a vehicle, and to flavor syrups and elixirs.
Off. Prep.—Syrupus Aurantii Florum, U. S.