Organic Lemon Vs Organic Sweet Orange


Energetically, emotionally, and chemically speaking, these two oils are family: They each possess a fresh, cleansing, citrus scent that can be smelled immediately and uplift any mood or space.

The most important difference between these oils is that lemon is phototoxic, meaning it can cause a severe sunburn when applied topically at a higher than a 2 % dilution.

Here are some similarities and differences to look for between these remarkable oils:

The Similarities:

- Smell: both have fresh, citrusy scents

- Chemical composition: Both Lemon and Sweet Orange have a chemical composition made highly of Monoterpenes like d-limonene, which gives these oils many of their benefits; Sweet orange is made up of over 90% d-limonene, and Lemon over 60% d – limonene.

- Both are known for being analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antidepressant, antioxidant, antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, immunostimulant, and skin penetration enhancer.

- There are both top notes, which means that they are the first scent you recognize in a blend, but can fade quickly by themselves.

- Both our Orange and Lemon oils are cold pressed from freshly organic fruits grown without nasty chemicals or pesticides.


The Differences:

 -Lemon is phototoxic when used topically at more than 12 drops per 1 ounce, which means you can get a nasty sunburn if you go over this dilution and head outside. To be safe, aways use a 1-2 percent dilution, or avoid sun exposure for 12 hours. (Tisserand, Young, 331.)

-Sweet Orange is not phototoxic, but it is still recommended at a 1-2 % dilution when used topically, to avoid skin irritation.

Storage instructions:

Citrus oils have a shorter shelf life than most oils, so once opened they are best stored in a dark, airtight container in the refrigerator to avoid oxidation.

Which works best?

Use Orange (Citrus sinensis) for…

  1. Stomach distress
  2. Mood
  3. Skincare
  4. Pain

Use Lemon (Citrus limon) for…

  1. Circulation
  2. Mood
  3. Immune support
  4. Eliminating odors

Lemon and Orange are both famous for their natural cleaning and degreasing abilities.


Since citrus trees are heavily sprayed, and oils are cold pressed from the rinds, conventional fruit peels that have absorbed bug sprays bring pesticides into the oil. Going organic prevents you from applying the chemicals to your skin and letting them into your respiratory system while inhaling.


 Works Cited:

  • Tisserand, Robert, and Rodney Young. “Chapter 13, ‘Essential Oil Profiles’ (Lemon Subsection) Page 331.” Essential Oil Safety, 2nd ed, Churchill Livingstone, 2000.


  • Tisserand, Robert, and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety, 2nd ed, Churchill Livingstone, 2000.