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Thread: Bergamot

  1. #1
    Asha's Avatar
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    Default Bergamot

    Bergamot EO from AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo:

    Much more fruity and green than other bergamot oils I have smelled. It is bitter, sharp and juicy, like a cross between grapefruit, lime and rosewood. It does not smell as much like Earl Gray tea as I expected, so the aromatic herbal quality I normally associate with bergamot is not as prominent here. As it dries down, it gets sharper and a tiny bit like lemony peppercorns (I think it is white pepper which has the lemon note). It also takes on a woody tone as some citruses seem to do in their drydown.

  2. #2
    Asha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bergamot

    Compiled from the Note Identification Project Thread:

    Bergamot, Italy, Eden Botanicals- My life would be much worse if it weren't for bergamot. I drink Earl Grey tea every day. It is my absolute favorite flavor of tea. The majority of my perfumes are chypres and contain a large dose of bergamot, which I eagerly seek as soon as I spray them from the bottle. This lovely aroma falls halfway between orange and lemon. It is quite adaptable. I am surprised at how fast this natural bergamot fades. I wonder if a synthetic form of bergamot is used in most perfumes, because this one would not last very long. But while it does, it is lovely.

    Bergamot 10%: fresh citrus

    Bergamot - I think this is a fail-safe essential oil because I have never smelled a bad sample yet. This particular one smells more like peel than others, with a hint of bittersweetness. My favorite tea is Earl Grey. Enough said.

    Bergamot: tart citrus, more yellow/lemon-ish than orangey to my nose. Also kinda grapefruit-y, in the vein of the opening of AA Pampelune.

    Bergamot (natural) – a nice grade of bergamot. Very fragrant, halfway between lemon and orange, strong but short-lived.

    Bergamot – Natural, Italy : comparing a 2% concentration in carrier oil with a 10% concentration in alcohol…unfair, I know! Bergamot always reminds me of citron peel (citrus medica, which is very popular in Italy), although greener and more exuberant. There’s nothing much to say apart from the fact that the higher concentration has a fresher, almost minty smell but evaporated quickly after the initial burst, while the lower concentration seems sweeter somehow and the oil keeps it anchored to skin a bit longer.

    Bergamot (eo, italy): halfway between lemon and orange, very suave. also a little waft of damp herbs. definitely there is more to is than just "earl grey".

    Bergamot – I expected it to smell more like Earl Grey tea. It is a bit sweeter and more mellow than I expected.

    Bergamot Citrus bergamia EO from Aura Cacia
    Well, I smell Earl Gray tea...also quite nice. It is slightly medicinal and powdery, with an aromatic wood-like component. Not really delicate, but I can see why purplebird would make the comment about needing "support" from other notes. I think most citrus notes are really "top". The bergamot still smells mostly like Earl Gray tea, but much less intense and a bit more fresh, tangy and fruity than before. My EO lasts a very long time on the cotton, apparently! It still smells very pleasing, unlike the grapefruit. So far, the help the bergamot needs from heart or base I think is mostly due to fading.
    Last edited by Asha; 1st July 2009 at 02:08 AM.

  3. #3
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bergamot

    This is amazing information. Whenever I ask what berg. is supposed to smell like, I'm told 'Earl Gray' tea. This is always unsatisfactory bcs I'm almost never picking up that note.

    Thanks for this , Asha!!!

  4. #4
    bonni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bergamot

    Bergamot EO is high in bergapten, which makes it quite phototoxic. Fortunately, it's not hard to find bergapten-free bergamot, and all the ones I've smelled are just as nice as the ones with bergapten in them.
    "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
    -Karl, age 5

  5. #5
    Dependent
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    Default Re: Bergamot

    Bergamot is the most unique and complex citrus I've smelled. Mine has the bergapten removed. I own a number of citrus oils: lemon, lime, pink grapefruit, yuzu, green mandarin, tangerine, sweet and blood orange. I'd love to catch citron some day.

    The citrus character is quite dry (not nearly as sweet as sweet orange or pink grapefruit) but still juicy. It sits somewhere between lemon, grapefruit, and lime (toward lime), but with its own special character as well. Green, almost a galbanum plant nectar note, like the milky stuff coming out of fresh weeds when you snap the stem in half. Subtle woody/resinous undertones for sure. It's very deep and evocative while it lasts (10 minutes or so). It's bracing yet smooth, deep yet crisp.

    I can see why it's a favorite of perfumers since it suggests so many different directions. As Luca Turin says, the way to make harmony in fragrance is to share at least one note.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Bergamot

    I have had the good fortune to experience on a number of occasions, Bergamot growing in the Calabrian countryside. Love its fragrant qualities.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bergamot

    its good to know that every perfume nowdays can only have synthetic bergamot , real one is on IFRA list

    i love this note , and can agree to everything said above! most rich citrus note there is,

    new Shalimar, opens up with blast of synthetic bergamot....its beautiful but sharp,it bites for the nose, and longlasting, colour orange

    Shalimar vintages ,some evaporation is due to age, i have EDT from 80s, that bergamot there is so much softer, and more like real citrus, leaning more to some sweet lemon, bright yellow smell

    the devil is in the details!

  8. #8
    David Ruskin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bergamot

    Many companies (for example Capua) sell Bergamot Bergaptene free (which actually means low Bergaptene concentration) and are working on Bergamot oil with even lower concentrations of the banned substance. Bergamot Oil is not banned, but the level of Bergaptenes in a fragrance is. Bergamot oil is still used widely in Perfumery. IFRA has announced that they are going to reduce the level of Bergaptenes allowed, but have not yet stated what the new level will be. Not only will this affect Bergamot Oil but several other Citrus Oils too (including Lime and Grapefruit, and Lemon). Capua sell the oils that will be affected and are finding it very difficult to produce "safe oils" when they don't know, yet, quite what they have to do.

    Wasn't aware that the top note of Shalimar had much Bergamot, I always thought it was mainly Lemon, but of course I could be wrong.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bergamot

    David does this mean that perfume produced this year still can have 100% real beragmot oil, without restrictions on the level of bergaptene?

    new Shalimar i smell lots of synthetic bergamot, which is in a way similar to bergamot from 31 Rue Camobon,

    vintage Shalimar, indeed smells more of nice lemony note to me , but i read everywhere its bergamot top

  10. #10
    David Ruskin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bergamot

    You can use as much Bergamot oil in your fragrance that contains less than the cut off point of bergaptine. New Shalimar smells less complex and thinner because it has been cheapened, and I suspect the Opoponax has been reduced. I don't think that Bergamot is the problem; but I could be wrong.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bergamot

    I wanted to mention Shalimar here, for its famous bergamot-citrus opening and not as the main difference between vintage and modern one,to me modern smells of hay notes, dry, rather then soft powdery opoponax and musk from the vintage version, i thought there is little difference in that bergamot top note as i smell more lemon in vintage, as if more natural

    31 Rue Cambon has similar kind of bergamot opening, in general the construction of that perfume reminds me a lot of Shalimar

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