Exploring the Uses of Grapefruit in Perfumery

As if the name “Grapefruit” wasn’t polarizing enough already, the fruit draws both affection and ire from people from the back when times, even referring to it as the “forbidden fruit”. But do you know that such a polarizing fruit is actually utilized and favored in practices of perfumery?


The Grapefruit originated from the island Barbados, and was considered a relatively modern fruit of its time of discovery- The late 18th century. During Spain’s frequent raids on the small island which lead to the island being abandoned for much of the 16th century, the Spaniards brought with them oranges and another member of the citrus family, pomelo- Both not native to Barbados. 

As citrus fruits hybridize easily, the pomelo, which holds a tart, bitter flavor, grows side by side with the sweet, acidic orange over time- And eventually, what came to be was the grapefruit. Named by naturalist Griffith Hughes, it is suggested that the reasoning behind the name grapefruit is named according to the disbelief that such fruits can grow on an abandoned, lush tropical island, which greatly resembles the biblical Golden Apple from the Garden of Eden. Another theory was that it was aptly named so by people back when to warn each other of its unpleasant flavor.


Who knew that grapefruit, despite its reputation for being an unnatural blend akin to pineapple toppings on pizza, actually makes one of the most perfect, if not an extremely favorable specimen to be utilized in perfume making? In a mix as a top note, the inherent sweet and bitter-blended nature of grapefruit packs a zesty, sharp, and refreshing punch for those looking to lift their spirits up.

Best Match

The grapefruit works best with fellow citrus notes or spice oils, with both lavender and cedarwood being the best combination to bring out its best.


Mood Balancer

For those seeking healthier alternatives to relieve anxiety, limonene, a colorless compound contained in grapefruit, or citrus fruit peels in general, contains calming and anti-anxiety properties.

Antibacterial & Antimicrobial

In aromatherapy, grapefruit essential oils were proven to have powerful antimicrobial effects against MRSA — a group of bacteria that is often resistant to common antibiotics and harder to treat. Likewise, many perfumes containing grapefruit often provide a sharp, refreshing feel, which may very well be its powerful antibacterial properties coming into play.

Lower Blood Pressure

It is proven that grapefruit essential oils, when combined with lavender, had immediate and long-term effects on lowering both blood pressure and stress. In an experiment, participants wearing a necklace containing grapefruit essential oils for 24 hours experienced a decrease of systolic blood pressure (especially during daytime).They also showed a decline in cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress.

Popular Variants

Red Grapefruit- Contains lycopene, responsible for granting the fruit its hue– Of which is a powerful antioxidant.
Pink Grapefruit- Packs a punch of tartness, tanginess, and its own bit of sweetness. Widely regarded as one of the more delicious variants.
White Grapefruit- Sporting a yellow skin and more aromatic, this variant leans more towards sour and tartness instead of bitterness.

Synthetic vs Natural

Due to the hoo hahs surrounding trade secrets, perfume manufacturers are not obligated to disclose every single ingredient used in their products. Likewise, notes represent what the product should resemble in scent, not necessarily in content. Grapefruit, being a species that sees its origin from crossbreeding, lies in the somewhat gray territory when it comes to the “authentic” label, as grapefruit scent can be easily recreated with other members of the citrus family.

Here, we present to you the S.L.A.P.- Pinpointers when it comes to identifying if a perfume containing grapefruit is synthetic or authentic. Do keep in mind that these pointers are applicable only when identifying for perfumes marketed as “natural”.


While there is no easy way to tell, having an experienced sense of smell is quintessential in identifying synthetics, or watered down bottles. The disparity between a pure natural extract, and the more alcoholic or artificial extracts is more than often obvious. On a side note, if a perfume is marketed as “natural”, it does not contain additives usually involved in perfume productions to prolong shelf life, thus lasts shorter, and the scent should not come off as “too intense”. 


If a perfume is marketed with “using natural ingredients”, it should always have the scientific name of the element listed, and should be traced online with ease. If the name of the ingredient is not in Latin/ is in English instead (ex: Cedarwood instead of Cedrus Dedora); this is your cue to look elsewhere. Likewise, although a hassle, always cross check the list of ingredients contained online to tell if it contains toxic or harmful chemicals.


Please purchase from trusted sellers or fragrance houses.


As essential oils from natural ingredients are more labor intensive to source, it is expected for products of this nature to be more expensive. If your gut feeling or research makes it clear that the deal is too good to be true, it probably is.

At Precision Perfume, we aim to deliver extravagance with the utmost care to our customers. We source only the finest materials; and share those stories with you.