YUZU

Yuzu is a citrus grown in Japan that is used for flavoring and fragrance.  The peel is strongly scented and makes a good addition to any blend and in perfumery. Very refreshing odor and taste.

YUZU for Scent and Savor

By Jeanne Rose

A photo of yuzu fruit and the oil distilled from the peel.
Yuzu fruit and oil

NAME ~ YUZU Citrus x junos ((Citrus ichangensis × C. reticulata, formerly C. junos Siebold ex. Tanaka) Yuzu fruit It is like a Grapefruit.

OTHER NAMES ~ It is called Yuja in Korean cuisine

Family ~ Rutaceae

Countries of Origins ~ Yuzu is believed to have originated in China and grows wild in central China and is well-known in Japan and now grown elsewhere.

General description of Plant habitat and growth ~ Yuzu is believed to be a hybrid of sour mandarin and ichang papeda. The fruit looks like a small rougher-skinned grapefruit (much smaller) with its uneven skin and can be either yellow or green depending on the degree of ripeness. Yuzu fruits, which are very aromatic, typically range between 2+ and 3+ inches in diameter but can be as large as a grapefruit. Yuzu is an acidic citrus from China that is grown as rootstock for other citrus varieties & for its fruit. Fruits are acidic and moderately juicy with pleasant citrus aroma and can be used as a lemon substitute. It is unusual among citrus plants in being relatively frost-hardy, due to its cold-hardy C. ichangensis ancestry, and can be grown in regions with winters at least as low as -9 °C (15 °F) where more sensitive citrus would perish. Harvest fruit when ripe, October through December.

Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields ~ Yuzu peel is both steam-distilled, solvent extracted for the absolute, and cold-pressed. The oil is traditionally extracted from the peel using the cold press technique and contains limonene (up to 77.0%) as a major constituent. However, the steam-distilled oil has no phototoxicity.

            Yield ~ The overall mean yield is 0.18%.

Picture of various bottles of Yuzu oil and also showing different colors of the oil.
Various bottles of Yuzu oil – Yuzu collection, photo by Jeanne Rose

Organoleptic Characteristics of Yuzu

Color – colorless to pale yellow for the steam-distilled
Clarity – clear
Viscosity – non-viscous
Intensity of odor – 4-5

Taste – sour, umami, citrus

Tenacity –like other citrus and the unique tenacity lasts more than an hour after application.

Odor Assessment – Yuzu has a fine citrus odor, with fruity and floral subsidiary notes. Refrigerate this oil to keep it fresh smelling.

Yuzu fruit
Yuzu fruit

YUZU GENERAL PROPERTIES

Yuzu has radical-scavenging effects, antioxidant properties and is used in aromatherapy for its fine strong citrus scent.

Application/ Skincare ~ The peel is strongly scented and makes a good addition to blends and in perfumery. The scent is very refreshing. www.PrimaFleur.com. Yuzu in a blend treats the roughness of skin and warms the body.

Diffuse/Diffusion ~ It works well in many sorts of blends as it is invigorating and uplifting emotionally, some use Yuzu energetically as a mood-lifter.

CHEMICAL COMPONENTS of Yuzu ~ “Limonene was the most abundant monoterpene hydrocarbon followed by γ-terpinene and β-phellandrene in Yuzu. The volatile components of yuzu (Citrus junos Sieb. ex Tanaka) cold-pressed oil were analyzed by capillary GC and GC–MS, without prior separation, and compared with those of lemon (Citrus limon Burm. f., cv. Lisbon) grown in Japan. p-Mentha-1,4,8-triene, was newly found among the seventy-seven components identified in the yuzu oil.”1

BLENDS BEST WITH ~ Peel is a good addition to blends when you need astringency and in perfumery for its strong citrus scent. Use as a top note with Bergamot and Lemon.

EO and hydrosol of Yuzu

HYDROSOL of Yuzu is a wonderful fragrant and slightly astringent toner/tonic for skincare.  Save it for your facial care and use orange hydrosol for body care. The fragrance is refreshing and relaxing while it adds its astringency to the water.

HERBAL USES ~ YUZU fruit known for its characteristically strong aroma, and the oil from its skin is marketed as a fragrance. In Japan, bathing with yuzu on Tojio, the Winter solstice, is a custom that dates to at least the early 18th century. Whole yuzu fruits are floated in the hot water of the bath, sometimes enclosed in a cloth bag, releasing their aroma. The fruit may also be cut in half, allowing the citrus juice to mingle with the bathwater. The yuzu bath, known commonly as yuzuyu, but also as yuzuburo, is said to guard against colds, treat the roughness of skin, warm the body, and relax the mind. When Yuzu is in season, use it in your bath – 4-5 sliced in half.

CULINARY USE ~ Fruits are acidic and moderately juicy with pleasant citrus aroma and can be used as a lemon substitute. Citrus junos Tanaka (yuzu) has a strong characteristic aroma, and hence, yuzu juice is used in several Japanese foods. It stays tart and sour if cooked with foods. I keep a bottle of Yuzu Essence in my fridge and use a few drops in sauces for the floral scent, the pleasant tartness and to add umami flavor to my food. Yuzu essence is “extracted on-site after the fruit is hand-harvested from wild stock that grows in the Aki region of Koichi prefecture.”2

Historical Uses ~ Ritual use at the winter Solstice.

Key Use ~ Oil of Relaxing Calm

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References ~

1.Volatile components of Japanese yuzu and lemon oils. S.M. Nijoroge, etc., July/August 1994.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ffj.2730090404
2.  www.juapangoldusa.com

Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California:
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992

This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.

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