Orange blossom and its historical use in perfume is complicated and long. The orange tree produces several raw materials used in perfumery, and orange blossom is only one. Orange originated in Asia, and then spread from there, finding its way to Florida and California with its huge orange groves.
From the bitter orange tree, you get the orange blossom oil, the orange blossom absolute, neroli (slightly more tart smell than orange blossom), bitter orange oil that comes from the fruit, and petitgrain comes from the leaves and twigs. That's a seriously impressive perfume machine in one tree!
Orange blossom oil is the most expensive of the materials extracted, and it is liquid sunshine when you smell it - grabbing the sweetness of the orange and underpinning it with a lovely white floral butteriness. Through time and cultures, it has been the blossom used for weddings.
As far as selecting an orange blossom perfume, we have some excellent orange blossom sample sets that include both the more accessible and affordable orange blossom perfumes as well as the very expensive and stunning - in price and smell - perfumes that are haunting and ethereal. Orange blossom perfume can also go to the raunchy - like the cumin-laced Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger and Vero Profumo Rubj EDP (the extrait of that is not cuminy, it is civet and indoles) to the sorta scary Caron Narcisse Noir extrait made famous by Glora Swanson in "Sunset Boulevard."
If you are looking for a wedding perfume, orange blossom is a note that has a tradition behind it of being a wedding flower, and it makes a stunningly beautiful wedding perfume, like L'Artisan Seville a'Laube and Houbigant Orangers en Fleurs.
For a rundown of many of the orange blossom perfumes in this section, check out the Perfume Posse post on orange blossom perfume.