Did you know that bergamot is a type of orange? Yes, and that gives away a lot of information about how bergamot smells like. With a yellowish-green color that looks almost like a lemon or lime, but with a taste that is even more bitter than grapefruit, Bergamot orange is the fruit of the Citrus bergamia, a small tree that blooms in the winter and is native to southern Italy. Actually, the word Bergamot comes from Bergamo, a town in Italy.
Known as the “Prince of citrus,” the bitterness of this citrus fruit might be the main reason why instead of being popular for its taste or use in the kitchen as its cousin the orange, it’s mainly known for its fragrance, the use of its essential oil and as an aromatic ingredient in food, tea, and yes, perfume!
A Little Bit of History
The scent of Bergamot is fresh, fruity, and a little bit sweet with a slightly spicy touch. In perfumery, 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” (eau de cologne) which became an instant phenomenon when his son-in-law, Giovanni Maria Farina started commercializing the water as the first eau de Cologne. “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.
Where Can You Find It?
It’s safe to safe that for centuries, bergamot has been a super popular note in the world of fragrance. Some famous Eau de Parfums that celebrate this scent are Versace’s Bright Crystal, Dolce & Gabbana’s The One, Le Labo’s Bergamote 22, Jo Malone’s Oud & Bergamot, Byredo’s Palermo, Tom Ford’s Venetian Bergamot, and of course in some of our 80+ selection of perfumes too.
For example, our Fougere Bergamot, inspired by Versace’s Dylan Blue, or Fruity Magnolia, is our fan-favorite version of Versace’s Bright Crystal, are two perfect fragrances for the lovers of this majestic 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.