What Does Bergamot Smell Like


Bergamot is the queen of citrus fruits in perfumery. This airy and light scent is used as the top note for most fragrance compositions. We have at some point in time in our lives come across the bergamot scent, although we may not have taken notice of it. It is citrus scent used to create a fresh and uplifting mood in candles, cosmetics and perfumes. It is also used to give a relaxing vibe when added to teas such as Earl grey tea. This article will talk about what bergamot smells like and it's other unique attributes.

What Does Bergamot Smell Like?

The smell of bergamot is floral, tangy, green and sweet. It is similar to other citruses but the floral nature adds an extra layer to it's acidic zesty allure. The scent of bergamot is as a result of this three components limonene, linalool and linalyl acetate.

Limonene which accounts for 37.2% is aromatic and gives odd a sharp, sour, slightly bitter-sweet scent. It is also found in lemons where it makes up 94% of the scent.

Linalyl acetate accounts for 30.1%  and give bergamot it's floral, sweet, minty and crisp smell.

While linalool accounts for 8.8% and also contributes to the airy, light, floral and clean bergamot aroma.

What is Bergamot?

Bergamot is a citrus fruit. It is known as Citrus Bergamia or simply called bergamot orange. It is a type of orange although different from other orange species such as mandarin oranges, tangerines and your regular orange fruit. While the other species of orange are roundish in shape with relatively smooth skin, the bergamot is pear shaped with a thinner tapered top with a roundish base and bumpy outer layer.

It has a green or yellow outer body depending on if it is ripe. It is also very acidic hence cannot be consumed raw like other oranges. It is cultivated majorly for it's rind which is used in flavoring of food, teas and in perfumery.

It is a versatile citrus that is utilized for healing, as a flavorant, used in ointments among others. It also was a popular scent among courtiers of the French court under King Louis XIV rule. Eau de cologne was a popular bergamot scent dating back to 500 years ago.

Bergamot may also be used to refer to the bergamot herb belonging to the mint family. It is perennial plant that is native to North America and comes in various forms such as the lemon bergamot, wild bergamot or orange mint. Hence when you come across the word bergamot, look closely to see what is being referred to, the bergamot orange or the bergamot herb.

What Does Bergamot Mean?

Bergamot has it's main origin from bey armudu  or bey armut a Turkish word, meaning The Prince's Pear or The Lord's Pear.  In English it is known as 'Ber-ga-mot' (Burger-mott) in French 'Bergamote' in Italian 'Bergamotto'. The bergamot name also gets it's influence form the Italian town of Bergamo, where bergomot oil was initially sold.

    What is the Origin of Bergamot?

    Bergamot originates from Southeast Asia. It was however transported to the regions of south Italy especially in Calabria (Ionian Sea Coast), which is the primary home of bergamot cultivation today. Calabria accounts for 80% supply of the world's bergamot needs. The quality and production of the bergomot oil is maintained by the Italian Calabria chamber of commerce.

    France, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, Algeria, Brazil, Southeast Asia are among other countries that grow the bergamot orange as well. However Italy tops the chain and the the city of Reggio di Calabria, where it is majorly cultivated as the bergamot fruit as it's symbol.

    During the second world war when Italy was unable to export the bergamot fruit to her trade partners, other countries took up the exportation and combined the juices from other cituses to try and recreate the bergamot flavor.

    What Countries are Bergamot Grown in?

    Today, bergamot is primarily grown in Italy, in Calabria. Other countries with a substantial bergamot cultivation is the South of France and the West African country, Cote d'Ivoire.

    How Big are Bergamots

    The average bergamot is about 6 - 8 cm long, with an ovoid shape and a tapering end.

    What Does Bergamot Taste Like?

    Bergamot has a sharp, astringent, zesty taste that makes it difficult to consume directly. It feels like a mix of the sharpness of lemon and bitter orange.

    What is Bergamot Essential oil

    Bergamot essential oil is the oil derived from the rind of bergamot fruits and it has a variety of uses in the food, beauty and health industries.

    How is Bergamot oil Extracted?

    Bergamot oil can be extracted traditionally through the sfumatura technique or more morden methods such as the use of peelers may be employed.

    • Traditional Technique

    Traditionally, bergamot is extracted by a process known as sfumatura. Sufumatura is known to provide the highest quality of extracted oil, however this process is being phased out. Sufumatura also known as slow-folding, manually extracts the bergamot essential oil from the rind through thr use of sponges.

    A unique spoon-knife called rastrello is used to retrieve the rind. Which is then cleansed using limewater. The limewater works to neutralise the peels acidic pH. The rinds are then allowed to dry up on crafted baskets or mats for about three hours to a day. The length of time is determined by how ripe the bergamot was, the humidty of the atmosphere as well as temperature. Once the rind is dry and hard, the oil comes out of readily.

    A concolina or terracota basin is then used, which contains a number of natiural sponges held in together by a bar made of wood. The rinds are then pressed up against the sponges to get them to release their oils and other liquids.This is done in a circular motion. Then are then removed and any extra oil squeezed out. The final step involves removing the extracted bergamot oil from the watery liquids.

    • Modern Technique

    The most advanced machines still do not produce up to the same level of quality of extracted oil, as you get with the sufumatura technique. However modern techniques involves the use of machine peelers which remove the rind while creating an emulsion under running water. With the aid of centrifuhes the oil is seperated from the water.

    What are the Uses of Bergamot?

      • The Beauty Industry
      Bergamot oil is used in the beauty industry in the creation of perfumes, candles and cosmetics. In perfumery bergamot is used as a versatile top note as it combines well with other fragrance notes. It is also light, fresh and refreshing so it makes an excellent addition for summer fragrances.
        • The Food Industry
        Bergamot has been used as a flavor agent for centuries. The popular Earl grey tea, makes use of bergamot as the flavorant for their teas. It also helps create that refreshing taste citruses are known for.

        • Skin Care Routines
        Bergamot has been used as an astringent to reduce sebum and fix open skin pores. Bergamot essential oil should however not be applied directly on the skin or eyes as it may cause irritation to the skin. Carrier oils like jojoba oil, almond oil can be used when applying it to the skin. Bergamot essential oil also increases the skin sensitivity to ultraviolet rays, hence you should avoid it on a day out.
        • Aromatherapy Uses

        Bergamot has several aromatherapy benefits. It's brightness has a citrus is energizing and gives you the alertness to drive your day. It also elevates one's mood and reduces anxiety, while keeping you alert. 

        • Health Benefits

        In some traditions bergamot is used to relieve the pain from tensed and sore muscles. This is done by massaging the tender region with some drops of bergamot mixed in with carrier oil. Remember that bergamot essential oil is irritating to the skin, so it will be counter productive to use it without the use of a carrier oil.

        Bergamot tea such as Earl grey tea has been said to help improve digestion, aid in weight loss, reduce cholesterol levels, prevent cardiovascular problems and diabetes, however there are not enough studies to support this. If you are pregnant or nursing you should consult your doctor before using essential oils.

        Are Bergamot Edible?

        As a result of the high acidic nature of bergamot, bergamots are not edible, in the sense that it's juice and pulp cannot be eaten raw but it can be used to flavor food items and create uplifting scents. It is thus grown specifically for these reasons.

          What Smells Similar to Bergamot?

            The most similar notes to bergamot belong to the citruses. Citruses such as lemon, bitter orange others similar notes include lemon verbena, peppermint, pine, thyme, spearmint, rosemary and tea tree.

              Is Bergamot a Manly Scent?

                Bergamot is a manly scent. It's airy and citrus nature makes it great for summer male fragrances. It is not your typical manly animalic or woody scent. It brings a zesty life to sweets blends and adds character to other manly notes like lavender.  Bergamot can also be worn by ladies, making it a unisex fragrance note.

                Is Bergamot a Strong Scent?

                Bergamot is not a strong scent. It is a airy, light and bright scent. Hence it's use as a top note in most fragrances. It can however be combined with other dense notes to create a strong scent.

                Why is Bergamot Expensive?

                Bergamot is expensive because of it's high demand as the citrus composition of bergamot makes it a popular ingredient in compositions as well as flavoring. However their is limited supply to meet this demand. The production process also adds to the high price of bergamont, as to produce just 85g that is 3 ounces of bergamot oil, you have to make use of 100 bergamot fruits.

                Which Perfumes Have Bergamot - Women

                • Bergamote Calabria Aqua Allegoria by Guerlain 
                • Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf 
                • Soliel Blanc by Tom Ford
                • Amazing grace Bergamot by Philosophy
                • Cruel Intentions by Kilian 
                • 212 Sexy by Carolina Herrara
                • Woman in Gold by Kilian
                • Dior Addict Eau Fraiche by Dior
                • Byredo Pulp
                • Montauk by Bond No 9

                Which Perfumes Have Bergamot - Men

                • Floris Bergamotto di Positano
                • Blu Mediterraneo by Acqua di Parma
                • Viking by Creed
                • Brit for Men by Burberry
                • Bal d'afrique by Byredo
                • Allure Homme Edition Blanche by Chanel
                • Cool Blend by Aramis
                • Musc Ravageur by Federic Malle
                • Aqua Universalis by Maison Francis Kurkdijan
                • Jo Malone Oud & Bergamot

                In Conclusion

                Bergamot is the refreshing scent of citrus. It can be likened to the queen of citruses especially in the fragrance world. Bergamot is versatile and brings along with it a refreshing fragrance in it's wake. Although you may not be able to eat the bergamot directly, the bergamot scent remains ever present in our daily lives, be it in some of the food we eat, our personal care products, cleaning agents or in the scents we use to liven up our rooms and environment. It is clear to see that the bergamot is a cherished member of the citrus family.

                What bergamot products do you enjoy and what is your favourite bergamot perfumes? Let us know in the comment section below!

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