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Author:  Dolores Bender White
E-mail:  doloresxxxv@aol.com
Date:  1/25/2004 2:36:00 AM
Subject:  Blessing on orange blossom water
Message:  Dear Rabbi Abadi,

What is the appropriate blessing to make on orange blossom water: blessed . . . who gives a pleasant smell to fruit, or blessed . . . who creates various kinds of spices?

[Orange Blossom Water is made by distilling water over orange blossoms. It has the scent of oranges from the flowers. It’s used in the Middle East, in Lebanon, Syria. I’m not certain, as I don’t read Arabic, but there is an English word under some Arabic writing on the bottle, “Mazaher.” The manufacturer of this bottle of Orange Blossom Water is Cortas in Beirut, Lebanon. (It is similar to rose water, which is made by distilling water over rose petals, which gives that the scent of roses.)]

In further explanation of orange blossom water, the following is from http://www.ethnicgrocer.com/eg/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=EthnicGrocer&product%5Fid=21003 :

"About this product:
This perfumed distillation of the flowers of bitter oranges has a delicate, flowery flavor and clear color. It is widely used in the Middle East to flavor syrups, pastries, and puddings, as well as some tagines (Moroccan stews). In fact, it's such a part of Moroccan culture that it often perfumes the water that diners use to rinse their hands after a big feast."

Thanks in advance for your help with the blessing.

Reply:  Borei Minei Besamim
who creates various kinds of spices

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