We love to experiment, and citrus is an area where we think there is great potential. The red lime forms one of 30 varieties of citrus plants and is part of The Citrus Project and we are now in red lime harvesting season.
The red lime is a hybrid between the mandarin orange and the citrus fruit. It is believed to have originated in India and it was introduced to America in the late 19th Century. Historically, it was cultivated as an ornamental tree and even used as a citrus root stock. We begin to harvest the fruit one year after planting, with the highest yield expected in the first year.
In appearance; the red lime tree is small to medium sized with small green leaves, and lilac coloured flowers which have a sweet aromatic scent. The fruit has an orange peel and orange flesh, with a very acidic taste. In terms of perfumery; we recognise the scent of the fruit as sweet honey and a sharp citrus hit with a hint of smoke.
Citrons are perfect for oil production due to the fruit being composed almost entirely of oil-rich zest. As part of The Citrus Project, our aim is to find something a bit different, for instance, a variety that produces really good essential oil, that hasn’t traditionally been used in perfume before. The oil could be from the flower, leaf or the fruit. Once we have successfully found a suitable variety, we will propagate it so we can eventually create enough oil to use in future a fragrance.