Decoding Aromas: What Does Bergamot Smell Like?

Have you ever found yourself unable to describe what a particular aroma smells like? Or, frustrated that your efforts at capturing an elusive scent with words failed miserably? If so, then you're not alone!

There is something about aromas that draw us in, leaving us enraptured and questioning how something as fleeting as a smell can evoke such powerful memories and emotions? It’s been said that scent has the power to transport people back to another time, all from simply catching a whiff of something familiar.

In this blog post, we'll explore one of today's most popular fragrances- bergamot! We'll discuss its origins, typical uses, and answer the burning question: What does bergamot actually smell like?

Introduction to Bergamot: The Prince of Citrus

Bergamot, also known as the Prince of Citrus, is a fascinating fruit that is highly valued in the world of perfumery for its signature scent. Extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange, this essential oil emits an exquisite fragrance that is fresh, lively, and sweet.

The distinctive bergamot scent is not only renowned in the fragrance industry but also in the culinary world, where it is used to add an Earl Grey-like flavor and aroma to teas and other beverages. With its unique scent and versatility, bergamot is undoubtedly a fruit worth exploring.


What Is Bergamot?

The bergamot fruit is actually a hybrid of a lemon and an orange, and is primarily grown in Italy, particularly in the Calabria region. It's a small, round fruit with a thick, bumpy skin that's yellow-green in color. The juice of the bergamot fruit is sour and acidic, which makes it unsuitable for eating raw, but it's commonly used as a flavoring agent in cooking. Its botanical name is Citrus bergamia, and it is widely cultivated in Italy, Greece, and Ivory Coast. 

The name bergamot is derived from the Italian word "bergamotto," which in turn, comes from the Turkish word "beg-armundi." The fruit was given this name when it was first introduced to Europe in the 17th century and it has since become one of the most popular essential oils and scents in the world.


The History Of Bergamot

There are different opinions about where it actually comes from.
Some sources say that it was first found in Southeast Asia, and others believe that it originated in Morocco or Egypt. Nevertheless, it was the Italians who popularized the use of bergamot in scent and flavoring, so they are the ones who seem to get the credit for it.

The early history of bergamot tells us that it was used to soothe a variety of ailments, particularly fevers and digestive problems. The oil extracted from the rind of bergamot is considered to be useful as an antiseptic, analgesic, and antidepressant, among other things.

During the Middle Ages, it was used as a remedy for malaria and was known to have a calming effect on the mind and body, which made it a popular ingredient in fragrances and perfumes. Bergamot oil was also used to treat skin conditions and to stimulate hair growth.

As the popularity of bergamot grew, it became the perfume of choice for royalty in Italy. During the Renaissance, the bergamot aroma was even added to the water in public fountains to create a pleasant fragrance for those passing by.

In the 18th century, the fragrance industry began to grow, and bergamot was one of the essential ingredients used in perfumes, soaps, and colognes. It was also used in the food industry, particularly in the production of candy and flavorings for desserts.

One of the most popular uses of bergamot today is in Earl Grey tea, which is a blend of black tea and bergamot oil. Its unique flavor and fragrance have made it a favorite of tea drinkers around the world.

Another interesting aspect of the history of bergamot is its association with the Italian city of Reggio Calabria. In the 19th century, it was discovered that bergamot thrived in the area's climate and soil conditions, and it became a primary source of income for many local residents.

The demand for bergamot oil led to the cultivation of the fruit in several other parts of the world, including Ivory Coast, Brazil, and Argentina. These countries have since become major producers of the fruit, each with their own unique flavor profiles and characteristics.

The Unique Scent Profile: What Does Bergamot Smell Like

Bergamot, a fragrant citrus fruit, is known for its unique scent that is both sweet and tangy. Its aroma is a mix of fruity citrus, floral, and spicy resinous notes that create a refreshing and uplifting experience for the senses.

This distinct scent profile has made bergamot an essential ingredient in many perfumes, colognes, and aromatherapy oils. The smell of bergamot is often described as bright, zesty, and invigorating, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy fresh and vibrant scents. While there are many variations of bergamot fragrance, its distinct signature scent remains one of the most beloved in the world of perfumery.


Bergamot on a tree


The Different Species Of Bergamot

There are several different species of bergamot, each with its own distinct scent profile.

The most common species of bergamot is Citrus bergamia. This is the species that is used to produce bergamot essential oil, the oil that is used in aromatherapy and perfumery. The oil from this species of bergamot has a fresh, citrusy scent with notes of floral and spice. It is often used in perfumes that are designed to have a fresh, clean, and uplifting scent.

Another species of bergamot is Citrus aurantium var. bergamia. This species is also known as the organic bergamot, and it is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. The oil from this species has a slightly different scent profile than that of Citrus bergamia. It has a more subtle, floral aroma with notes of lavender and jasmine. It is often used in aromatherapy treatments for anxiety and stress.

There is also a hybrid species of bergamot called Citrus limon x Citrus aurantium. This hybrid is a cross between a lemon and an orange, and it has a unique scent that combines elements of both fruits. It has a bright, zesty aroma with notes of citrus and sweetness. It is often used in perfumes and personal care products that are meant to have a fresh, uplifting scent.

Finally, there is a species of bergamot called Citrus maxima x Citrus reticulata. This hybrid is a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine, and it has a complex scent profile that combines the tartness of grapefruit with the sweetness of tangerine. It has a bright, citrusy aroma with notes of floral and spice. It is often used in perfumes and personal care products that are meant to have a sophisticated, exotic scent.

Whether you are looking for a fresh, uplifting scent or a sophisticated, exotic aroma, there is a species of bergamot that will meet your needs. 

Bergamot in Perfumery: The Alluring Aroma

Perfumery is an artful craft that blends together different scents to create something truly captivating. One such scent that has captivated perfumers for centuries is the alluring aroma of bergamot. This small citrus fruit, with its distinct floral and spicy notes, has been a staple in perfumery since the 18th century. Its unique scent has been used in countless perfumes, from classic men's colognes to modern women's fragrances.

The scent of bergamot is like no other, with its freshness, complexity, and depth. It creates a sense of sophistication and mystery, making it a favorite among perfumers and enthusiasts alike. Regardless of the other notes it is blended with, bergamot always manages to stand out, making it a true cornerstone in the world of perfumery.

The Versatility of Bergamot: Pairing with Other Fragrances

Bergamot is a fragrance that stands out on its own, but its versatility shines even brighter when paired with other scents.

First and foremost, the bergamot scent is often paired with other citrus fruits, such as lemon, lime, and orange. These scents have a similar freshness and uplifting effect, making them perfect for a summer day or a citrusy fragrance. The combination of bergamot with lemon or lime can add a zesty and invigorating twist to your fragrance, while the addition of orange can provide a sweeter and more complex aroma.

Another classic combination that bergamot is often paired with is floral scents. Jasmine, rose, and lavender are some of the popular floral scents that go well with bergamot. The floral scents complement and enhance the fruitiness of the bergamot smell, creating a bouquet of aromas that can be great for a romantic or sensual fragrance. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more calming and soothing aroma, bergamot can also be paired with chamomile, which has a delicate, herbal scent that can balance out the fruitiness of bergamot.

If you are looking for a more exotic and mysterious fragrance, bergamot can be paired with spicy and woody scents like patchouli, cedarwood, and sandalwood. These scents provide a deeper and more complex base to the fragrance, creating a luxurious and sophisticated aroma. The combination of bergamot with patchouli, for instance, can create a warm and earthy aroma, perfect for a cozy winter scent.

Lastly, bergamot can also be paired with gourmand scents like vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. These scents can be used to create a sweet and delicious aroma that is reminiscent of some of our favorite desserts. The combination of bergamot with vanilla, for example, can create a creamy and comforting scent that can be great for a relaxation scent.

Whatever combination you choose, bergamot is the perfect scent to add depth and intrigue to any fragrance.


Beyond the Scent: The Benefits and Uses of Bergamot Oil

Bergamot oil is a premium essential oil that offers more than just a refreshing scent. It boasts of several benefits and uses that are worth exploring. For instance, it is an excellent mood enhancer and can help alleviate stress and anxiety. This makes it popular in candles and wax melts.

Bergamot oil is also good for your skin and has antiseptic properties that can soothe and repair damaged skin. Its antiviral and antibacterial properties make it an excellent oil for boosting the immune system and fighting infections. Bergamot oil is also a common ingredient in cosmetic and personal care products such as soaps, shampoos, and perfumes.

Given all these benefits, it's no surprise that bergamot oil remains a favorite among aromatherapy enthusiasts and is used widely in different settings.

Why Bergamot Stands Out: Its Role in Popular Products

Bergamot is a citrus fruit commonly found in the Mediterranean region and known for its unique scent and flavor. What sets this fruit apart is its ability to lend its distinctive aroma to a variety of popular products, from perfumes and teas to cosmetics and sweets.

The oil extracted from its skin is a popular ingredient in perfume making, adding a fresh and lively note to fragrances. In tea making, bergamot oil is well-known for its use in Earl Grey tea, giving the tea its distinct flavor as well as fragrance. This ingredient is also an essential component of many skincare products, providing anti-inflammatory benefits and helping to unclog pores.

From its aromatic qualities to its many benefits in consumer products, it's no surprise that Bergamot continues to be a favorite among consumers and industries alike.


The Mood-Boosting Properties of Bergamot Aroma

With its sweet, citrusy scent, bergamot is more than just a flavorful addition of scent. This unique aroma has been found to have mood-boosting properties that can help you feel more relaxed and centered. Whether diffused in your home or added to your favorite personal care products, bergamot can have a positive impact on your mental and emotional well-being.

Research has shown that inhaling this scent can reduce anxiety levels and even improve symptoms of depression. So, the next time you need a little pick-me-up, consider reaching for bergamot. Its bright, uplifting fragrance may be just what you need to feel rejuvenated and refreshed.


Bergamot’s Role in Aromatherapy: Healing with Scent

Aromatherapy has been gaining popularity over the years as a natural alternative to traditional medicine. One essential oil that has been making waves in this field is bergamot. In aromatherapy, bergamot oil is often used to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. It has also been known to promote restful sleep and improve overall mood.

With its many healing properties, it’s no wonder that bergamot has become a staple in the world of aromatherapy.

Bergamot in the Culinary World: A Twist of Zest

Bergamot has additionally made its way onto the plates and palates of culinary enthusiasts around the world, infusing a twist of zest into an array of dishes. This unique fruit, with its distinct sweet and sour taste, has become a popular ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes, adding a burst of flavor to everything from delicate desserts to hearty stews. Its subtle floral notes and pleasant bitterness make it a perfect addition to cocktails, teas, and other drinks.

Bergamot has been used for centuries in Italian, French, and Turkish cuisine. In Italian cuisine, bergamot is used to flavor liqueurs like Campari and to enhance the flavor of traditional Italian desserts like panna cotta and almond cake.

In French cuisine, bergamot is used to add flavor to teas and candies. Turkish cuisine uses bergamot to enhance the flavor of traditional dishes like manti (small dumplings stuffed with ground meat and topped with garlic yogurt sauce).

Bergamot is not just limited to these three cuisines. Chefs around the world are experimenting with bergamot to create new and innovative dishes. In the United States, chefs have been incorporating bergamot into cocktails, marinades, and dressings. Bergamot's unique flavor is also being used to give a new twist to classic dishes like roasted chicken and baked fish.

One of the most popular uses of bergamot in the culinary world is in tea. Earl Grey tea, which is a black tea flavored with bergamot oil, is one of the most popular teas in the world. The origins of Earl Grey tea are shrouded in mystery, but it is believed to have been created in the early 19th century by a British diplomat named Earl Grey, who was given a Chinese tea flavored with bergamot as a gift.

Bergamot oil is also used to flavor other types of tea, like green tea and oolong tea. Bergamot's floral and citrus notes complement the earthy taste of tea, making it a popular choice among tea drinkers.

Bergamot has become a must-have for avant-garde chefs who seek to incorporate new and unusual ingredients into their creations, and it seems that this little-known fruit has found its place in the culinary world.

Conclusion: The Enduring Popularity of Bergamot's Scent

To sum it all up, bergamot is an incredibly versatile and beloved essential oil that has a long history in perfumery and aromatherapy. Its distinct scent has been praised over the centuries, and its popularity continues to rise.

Bergamot’s mood-boosting abilities make it a highly sought after ingredient in shampoos, soaps, lotions, candles of all types, essential oils, and more. Beyond fragrant products, bergamot also shines in the culinary world with its unique flavor profile that isn’t found in other citrus fruits. Not only is bergamot an immensely gratifying aroma, but its benefits are total body wellness when diffused or inhaled as part of aromatherapy.

The enduring popularity of bergamot continues to captivate individuals from all walks of life. Perhaps it's the distinctive and refreshing bergamot aroma that invigorates the senses, or maybe it's the nostalgia that comes with its long history of use. Whatever the reason, there is no denying that the bergamot scent is here to stay. Its timeless appeal ensures that it will continue to be used for many years to come.

If you want to see bergamot blended into scented candles - see the selection below!


Experience our White Dragon Candle, with a rich blend of scents taking things to the cooler side of fragrance.

Vibrant Bergamot is mixed with eucalyptus, snowcapped woods, vanilla, and more.

Enjoy this uplifting yet soothing scent.

Made with: coconut soy wax, and phthalate free fragrances.