Did you know that bergamot is a type of citrus? Yes, and that gives away a lot of information about how bergamot smells like. Bergamot has a yellowish-green color that looks almost like a lime, and the size of an orange. Its taste is quite complex combining the bitterness of grapefruit, the sparkle of lemon, the sweetness of orange, with a floral facet Bergamot is the fruit of the Citrus bergamia, a small tree that blooms in the winter and is native to southern Italy.
Known as the “Prince of citrus,” bergamot is barely used in the kitchen as its cousins the orange and the lemon, it’s mainly known for its fragrance, the use of its essential oil and as an aromatic ingredient in tea, and yes, perfume!
The reason why Bergamot is not so commonly used in food is that this citrus has a very thick skin, and gives less juice than an orange or a citrus, this juice being less fragranced than the ones of other citrus. Essential oil of bergamot used in perfumery is produced from the zest of the fruit.
A Little Bit of History
Bergamot oil has been mostly used as a top note in both masculine and feminine Eau de Parfums and colognes. According to the study “The Fascinating History of Bergamot, the Exclusive Essence of Calabria,” around 1686 it was a Sicilian gentleman, Francis Procopius, who introduced bergamot in France with his “Bergamot Water”, a very fine essence obtained from the peel of the bergamot fruit.
“The scent became the more precious component of the most charming perfumes,” the study explains. Almost around the same time, in the German town of Cologne, an Italian emigrant, Paolo Feminis, created the uber-famous “Cologne Water”, which became an instant phenomenon when his son-in-law, Giovanni Maria Farina started commercializing the water as the first eau de Cologne : Eau de Cologne 4711. “I have discovered a scent that reminds me of a spring morning in Italy, of mountain narcissus, orange blossom just after the rain. It gives me great refreshment, strengthens my senses and imagination,” Farina wrote in 1708 in a letter to his brother The name “Eau de Cologne” directly comes from this famous creation, and has become the generic name to describe fresh citrusy fragrances all over the world.
Where Can You Find It?
It’s safe to say that for centuries, bergamot has been a super popular note in the world of perfumes. Some famous fragrances celebrate this scent like Le Labo’s Bergamote 22, Bergamote Calabria Guerlain
Bergamote Soleil Atelier Cologne, Tom Ford’s Venetian Bergamot.
At Dossier, Citrus Neroli, Fougere Bergamot, Musky Oakmoss, Ambery Vetiver, Citrus Peony, are perfect fragrances for the lovers of this majestic top citrus smell.
Because of its pleasant smell, Bergamot’s scent is also used in aromatherapy to relieve pain and symptoms associated with stress-induced anxiety and depression, and it’s also great for candles and room diffusers to brighten up not only your mood, but your entire home.