Scent Sense: Bergamot

Bergamot is often described as the ‘finest flower of citrus’, said to be a cross between pear, lemon and Seville orange or grapefruit.

There are two theories as to where the name came from. One is from the Italian city called Bergamo where it has been cultivated for 600 years. Secondly in Arabic the expression ‘beg-armûdi’ means ‘lords pear’ and might also be a link given that the Moors might have been the ones to introduce bergamot in Europe. Today bergamot is also cultivated in the Ivory Coast, Argentina and Brazil.

Bergamot Essential Oil was used historically in Italian folk medicine and in Ayurvedic medicine to treat problems related to digestion, skin health, and fever to name a few ailments that it could effectively relieve.  

Today one can smell bergamot everywhere. From your Earl Grey tea, to candles, soaps, air fresheners, cosmetics, candies and perfumes.

Bergamot is a complex acidulous and fresh scent but also bitter, fruity, and subtly floral with a mild spicy tone, recalling lavender. Used as a top note in perfume composition. Beautifully described as a multi-faceted application in various fragrance families such as floral, oriental, chypre and woody. Perfumers like to use bergamot to contrast with ambery or vanilla dry down, to bring lift to heavier and rounder compositions.

In current aromatherapy applications bergamot essential oil is known to help reduce anxiety and stress and thereby alleviate symptoms of depression. Used cosmetically or topically in general, bergamot oil can disinfect the skin by preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.

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