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;