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Lay down your lemon - why bergamot is the king of citrus

Updated: Nov 26, 2019

You might think that when it comes to fresh, citrusy zing nothing comes close to the humble lemon. Well, we see your lemon and raise you a bergamot - and here's why.

Is it a lemon? Is it a lime? No, it’s an orange! Honestly.

The bergamot fruit is a funny thing. When fully ripe it looks suspiciously lemon-like and has a very similar scent but in reality it’s quite different. Actually called the bergamot orange, this fruit is more akin to a bitter orange with the flavour profile of a very sour lime. It’s so sour that it’s rarely ever eaten yet still has a huge prominence in Europe – the city of Bergamot in Italy is the biggest known grower of the fruit and a large proportion of the population’s wealth come from processing and exporting bergamots. If it’s so unpalatable then why is it so popular?

It smells incredible.

Bergamot essential oil is a staple in modern perfumeries. Light and zingy like a lemon but without the food-like association, combined with a complex floral tone of orange blossom, the scent features regularly in some of the world’s most popular luxury perfumes.

Not only that, but it’s a powerful disinfectant too. The naturally occurring chemical components in the oil (namely limonene, Linalyl Acetate, Bergaptene and Terpineol) are power-houses against bacteria, infection and inflammation. As such, it’s hugely effective at eliminating odours and can often be found in the ingredients list for many high-end household cleaning products on the market today.

The bergamot oil we use is pressed from the rinds of the Italian bergamot fruit and has a fresh and punchy brightness that smells like a lemon mixed with delicate white petals. Because it’s such a versatile fragrance top note with powerful anti-odour qualities we use it in most of our signature fragrances;

  • In ROSES AT THE GRAND HOTEL it adds brightness to the rose fragrance without overpowering it

  • In BY THE RIVER it enhances the fresh and grassy lemon tones in the verbena oil

  • In WALKING IN VINEYARDS it brings a summary tone to the fragrance profile without overpowering the leading lime oil scent

  • In DAY OF THE DOGS the delicate floral side of the scent is shown off by being paired with orange blossom and neroli fragrances

It’s clear that we absolutely love bergamot oil but it isn’t the only citrus fruit oil we use. Learn more about all of our fragrance profiles here.

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