What the * is Bergamot?
Countless notes are used as perfume ingredients. From roses to lavender, from cinnamon to vanilla, and so on and so forth. Fragrance notes such as these are familiar to most: you know what scent family the ingredient belongs to (flowers, spices, etc.) and what it smells like. In addition to these familiar notes, many perfume ingredients are less well-known. You have heard of them, but what they smell like is a mystery. The name doesn't tell you much, and you don't know 1, 2, 3 where the note comes from. Think ozonic, musk, benzoin... In the series 'Vague perfume ingredients', we highlight one vague perfume ingredient at a time.
What is Bergamot?
Bergamot is a small, green citrus fruit. The tree in which the fruit grows can be up to 4 metres high. Bergamot is a cross between a lime and a sour orange. The name 'Bergamot' comes from the northern Italian town of Bergamo. Some suspect that the name comes from the Turkish word 'bergamudi', which means "pear of the prince". This is because the fruits are pear-shaped.
How is Bergamot converted into a perfume ingredient?
To use it as a perfume ingredient it must first be converted into essential oil. Bergamot oil is extracted from the peel of the unripe fruit. This oil can then be used as a fragrance in a perfume.
What does Bergamot smell like?
Bergamot as a perfume ingredient smells citrusy, sharp and bitter. It is a light, elegant fragrance note with a mildly spicy tone. Bergamot is a complex perfume ingredient with fruity nuances and aromatic elements reminiscent of eau de cologne and Earl Grey tea. It is often found in the top notes of all perfumes.