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Bergamot Scent: What Does Bergamot Essential Oil Smell Like? 

Disclaimer - The information provided in this blog, including any linked materials herein, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. For accurate and personalized recommendations, please consult with your specialists.


Bergamot, a citrus fruit that grows primarily in the Calabria region of Italy, is renowned for its unique and captivating scent. This fruit, often referred to as "the prince of citrus," has a distinct aroma that sets it apart from other citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. Bergamot is often used in perfumery as a top note, providing an initial burst of freshness that evolves into a complex aromatic profile.

The oil extracted from the rind of bergamot is widely used in perfumery, aromatherapy, and even in the culinary world. The bergamot peel is rich in essential oils, which are extracted to create the beloved bergamot essential oil used in various applications. The oil is often used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety, providing a sense of calm and well-being. The smell of bergamot is both invigorating and soothing, making it a popular choice for diffusers and personal care products.

But what does bergamot smell like? This article delves into the scent profile of bergamot, its uses, and its historical significance.

History of Bergamot

The history of bergamot dates back centuries, with its origins rooted in Southeast Asia. However, it is in Italy where bergamot truly found its place in history. The region of Calabria in southern Italy became the primary producer of bergamot, thanks to its ideal climate and soil conditions. The fruit was highly prized for its fragrant oil, which was used in perfumes, teas, and traditional medicine.

Bergamot first gained prominence in the 18th century when it was introduced to Europe. The name "bergamot" is believed to have originated from the Italian town of Bergamo, where the essential oil was initially sold. 

Despite its long history, bergamot continues to be a favorite in modern aromatherapy and perfumery, cherished for its refreshing and calming effects.

The Scent of Bergamot | What Does Bergamot Smell Like?

Scent Profile

So, what does bergamot smell like? Bergamot has a complex scent profile that combines elements of citrus, floral, sweet, and spicy notes. The primary aroma is distinctly citrusy, reminiscent of a blend between a lemon and an orange. However, bergamot's scent is much more nuanced than that. It has a sweet, fruity undertone that balances the sharpness of the citrus, creating an uplifting and refreshing aroma.

Top Notes

The top notes of bergamot are fresh and zesty, characterized by a bright, citrusy scent. This initial burst of fragrance is invigorating and immediately captures the senses, making bergamot a popular choice for the top notes in many perfumes. The citrusy top notes of bergamot are beautifully complemented by its warm, spicy undertones, creating a balanced and enchanting aroma.

Middle Notes

As the top notes fade, the middle notes of bergamot reveal a slightly floral scent. This adds a layer of complexity to the aroma, making it more sophisticated and enchanting. The floral aspect of bergamot is subtle but noticeable, adding to its overall allure.

Base Notes

The base notes of bergamot are warm and slightly spicy, with a hint of earthiness. This depth in the scent profile makes bergamot a versatile ingredient in perfumery, capable of blending well with a variety of other scents, including sandalwood, patchouli, and vanilla.

Unique Scent Profile

Bergamot's unique scent profile is what sets it apart from other citrus oils. It is often described as having a sweet and uplifting scent with a hint of bitterness. This combination makes bergamot both refreshing and relaxing, a rare quality in essential oils.

Components of Bergamot

Bergamot stands out in the world of essential oils due to its complex and captivating scent profile, combining citrus, floral, and spicy undertones. The distinct aroma of bergamot can be attributed to its complex chemical composition. The primary components of bergamot essential oil include:

  • Limonene: This compound gives bergamot its citrusy scent and is also found in other citrus fruits like lemons and oranges.
  • Linalyl Acetate: This compound contributes to the sweet, floral notes in bergamot.
  • Linalool: Known for its calming properties, linalool adds a floral and spicy aroma to bergamot.
  • Bergaptene: This compound gives bergamot its characteristic bitterness and is also responsible for its photosensitivity.
  • Nerol and Geraniol: These compounds add to the overall floral and slightly spicy scent of bergamot.

Fragrance Profile of Bergamot Oil

Bergamot's Aroma Notes 


Citrus Brilliance

At first, it's like smelling fresh, sunny oranges and lemons—a cheerful start.

Fruity Lusciousness

As you keep sniffing, there's a hint of sweet, ripe oranges and tropical fruits. It adds a bit of juiciness to the smell.

Subtle Spiciness

In the mix, there's a gentle warmth, like a pinch of spice, making the scent more interesting.

Floral Elegance

Towards the end, it gets a touch of soft flowers. It's not too strong, just a subtle, flowery hint.

Harmonious Symphony

What makes Bergamot special is how all these smells mix together perfectly. It's like a symphony of scents working together.and marjoram essential oils

Aromatherapeutic Feel 

Besides smelling good, Bergamot can also make you feel better. The fresh and sweet scents can lift your mood, and the overall smell can help you relax

Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil

1. Mood Enhancement

The uplifting scent of bergamot can help improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression. Inhaling the aroma of bergamot can stimulate the production of serotonin and dopamine, the "feel-good" hormones, helping to boost overall well-being.

2. Promotes Relaxation

Bergamot essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy for its ability to promote relaxation and reduce stress. The soothing scent of bergamot can help calm the mind and body, making it an excellent choice for use in diffusers and massage oils.

3. Antimicrobial Properties

Bergamot oil has potent antimicrobial properties that make it effective in combating bacteria and fungi. This makes it a valuable addition to natural cleaning products and skincare routines, helping to keep surfaces and skin clean and free from harmful microbes.

4. Skin Health

Bergamot essential oil can help improve skin health by reducing inflammation and promoting the healing of wounds. Bergamot also has antiseptic properties which make it effective in treating acne and other skin conditions, while its astringent properties help to tighten and tone the skin.

5. Digestive Aid

Bergamot oil can also be used to support digestive health. It can help alleviate symptoms of indigestion, bloating, and gas by stimulating the production of digestive juices and enzymes.

6. Pain Relief

The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of bergamot oil make it effective in relieving pain and discomfort. It can be used topically to reduce muscle and joint pain, as well as headaches and migraines.

7. Respiratory Health

Inhaling the aroma of bergamot can help improve respiratory health by clearing congestion and promoting easier breathing. This makes it a useful remedy for colds, coughs, and other respiratory conditions.

8. Sleep Support

The calming nature of Bergamot makes it a potential aid for promoting restful sleep. Diffusing the oil in the bedroom or incorporating it into a bedtime routine may contribute to a more tranquil sleep environment.

Uses of Bergamot Essential Oil

The versatility of bergamot makes it a popular choice in aromatherapy, skincare, and perfumery, owing to its uplifting and soothing properties.

1. Aromatherapy

Bergamot's uplifting and mood-enhancing aroma makes it a popular choice for aromatherapy. Diffuse the oil in your living space to create a refreshing and invigorating atmosphere.

2. Skincare Products

Bergamot essential oil is often added to skincare products for its antiseptic and astringent properties. It can help cleanse and tone the skin, reduce acne, and promote a clear complexion. However, it is important to dilute bergamot oil before applying it to the skin to avoid irritation.

3. Massage Oils

Bergamot essential oil can be combined with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil, to create a soothing massage oil. The calming and pain-relieving properties of bergamot make it an excellent choice for massages, helping to relax muscles and reduce tension.

4. Stress Relief

Inhaling Bergamot's aroma can help alleviate stress and anxiety. Carry a personal inhaler with Bergamot oil or simply inhale from the bottle during moments of tension.

5. Perfumery

The unique and captivating scent of bergamot makes it a popular choice in the perfume industry. Bergamot is often used as a top note in perfumes, providing a fresh and invigorating aroma that blends well with other floral and spicy scents.

6. Culinary Delights

A drop of Bergamot oil can elevate the flavor of both sweet and savory dishes. Use it sparingly to add a unique citrusy and floral note to your culinary creations.

7. Sleep Aid

Diffuse Bergamot oil in the bedroom or add a few drops to your pillow to promote a restful night's sleep. Its calming properties can create a serene sleep environment.

8. Diffusers

Using bergamot essential oil in a diffuser is one of the most popular ways to enjoy its benefits. The diffused aroma can help create a calming and uplifting atmosphere, perfect for relaxation and stress relief. Adding a few drops of bergamot oil to a diffuser can also help purify the air and eliminate odors.

9. Natural Deodorant

Harness the antibacterial properties of Bergamot by adding a few drops to your homemade deodorant. Enjoy a fresh and citrusy scent while combating body odor.

10. Bath Soaks

Adding bergamot essential oil to a warm bath can provide a luxurious and therapeutic experience. The calming scent of bergamot can help relieve stress and promote relaxation, while its antimicrobial properties can help cleanse the skin.

11. Bergamot Candles

Bergamot essential oil is also used in candles to create a calming and uplifting atmosphere. The sweet and citrusy scent of bergamot can help create a relaxing environment, perfect for unwinding after a long day.

12. Homemade Cleaning Products

Harness Bergamot's antibacterial properties in your cleaning routine. Add a few drops to your homemade cleaning solutions for a natural and fragrant clean.

Why is Bergamot So Expensive?

Bergamot essential oil is often considered a luxury item in the world of aromatherapy and perfumery, and its price reflects this status. There are several reasons why bergamot is more expensive than many other essential oils:

1. Limited Growing Regions

Bergamot is a citrus fruit that primarily grows in the Calabria region of southern Italy. This specific geographical area provides the ideal climate and soil conditions necessary for producing high-quality bergamot. The limited growing regions mean that the supply of bergamot is naturally restricted, driving up the cost.

2. Labor-Intensive Harvesting

The process of cultivating and harvesting bergamot is labor-intensive. Bergamot trees are carefully tended, and the fruits are typically handpicked to ensure that they are harvested at the peak of ripeness. This meticulous care and manual labor contribute to the higher costs of production.

3. Complex Extraction Process

The rind of the bergamot is carefully harvested and cold-pressed to extract the pure essential oil, capturing its full aromatic potential. This method, while effective in preserving the delicate components of the oil, requires specialized equipment and skilled labor. The cold pressing technique is more time-consuming and costly compared to steam distillation used for many other essential oils.

4. High Yield Requirements

It takes a significant amount of bergamot fruit to produce a relatively small amount of essential oil. For instance, it is estimated that approximately 100 bergamot oranges are needed to produce just three ounces of essential oil. This high yield requirement adds to the overall expense of the oil.

5. Quality Control and Certification

High-quality bergamot essential oil undergoes rigorous quality control and certification processes to ensure its purity and potency. These processes include testing for chemical composition, verifying the absence of adulterants, and certifying the oil as organic or sustainably sourced. The costs associated with these quality control measures are reflected in the price of the oil.

6. High Demand in Perfumery and Aromatherapy

Bergamot’s unique and complex scent profile makes it a highly sought-after ingredient in the perfumery and aromatherapy industries. Its ability to blend well with other scents, providing both a top note in perfumes and a middle note in aromatherapy blends, increases its demand. High demand coupled with limited supply naturally leads to higher prices.

7. Seasonal Availability

Bergamot is a seasonal fruit, typically harvested between November and February. This limited window of availability means that the oil must be produced in sufficient quantities to meet year-round demand. The seasonal nature of bergamot adds another layer of complexity and cost to its production and supply chain.

DIY Recipes Using Bergamot Oil

Bergamot essential oil is prized for its enchanting scent and versatile uses in daily routines. Here are some detailed DIY recipes incorporating bergamot essential oil for different purposes. These recipes will help you harness the benefits of bergamot’s distinct scent, enhancing your wellness and home environment.

Recipe #1 - Bergamot Earl Grey Tea Sugar Scrub


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 10 drops of bergamot oil
  • 1 tablespoon earl grey tea leaves


  • Melt the coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl until it becomes a liquid.
  • Mix the sugar and earl grey leaves in a separate bowl.
  • Add the melted coconut oil to the sugar mixture and stir well.
  • Add 10 drops of bergamot oil and mix until everything is well combined.
  • Transfer the scrub to a jar with a tight lid for storage.

How to Use:

Use the scrub in the shower or bath, gently massaging it onto wet skin in circular motions. Rinse off with warm water.


The bergamot oil in this scrub offers a refreshing scent with citrus notes, while the sugar exfoliates dead skin cells, and the coconut oil moisturizes, leaving your skin soft and smooth. The earl grey tea leaves add an earthy undertone and additional antioxidants.

Recipe #2 - Bergamot and Orange Blossom Relaxing Bath Soak


  • 1 cup Epsom salts
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 15 drops bergamot oil
  • 10 drops orange blossom essential oil


  • Combine Epsom salts and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add 15 drops of bergamot oil and 10 drops of orange blossom essential oil to the dry ingredients.
  • Stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure the oils are evenly distributed.
  • Store the bath soak in an airtight container.

How to Use:

Add 1/2 cup of the bath soak to a warm bath and stir to dissolve. Soak for at least 20 minutes to enjoy the full benefits.


The soothing blend of bergamot and orange blossom creates a calming atmosphere with a distinct scent. Bergamot’s citrus notes and the floral sweetness of orange blossom help promote relaxation and stress relief, making bath time blissful.

Recipe #3 - Bergamot and Lavender Pillow Spray


  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 10 drops Bergamot essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil


  • Pour the distilled water and witch hazel into a spray bottle,
  • Add 10 drops of bergamot oil and 10 drops of lavender essential oil.
  • Shake well to combine all ingredients.

How to Use:

Spray the mixture lightly on your pillows and bedding before going to sleep.


This pillow spray combines the citrusy scent of bergamot with the calming properties of lavender. The combination of bergamot and lavender promotes a peaceful sleep environment, enhancing overall sleep quality.

Recipe #4 - Bergamot and Patchouli Calming Diffuser Blend


  • 5 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 3 drops patchouli essential oil
  • 2 drops sandalwood essential oil


  • Add water to your diffuser up to the fill line.
  • Add the essential oils directly into the water.
  • Turn on the diffuser and enjoy the calming aroma.

How to Use:

Diffuse this blend in your living space, office, or bedroom to create a calming and relaxing atmosphere.


The blend of bergamot, patchouli, and sandalwood creates a distinct scent that is both earthy and uplifting. This combination helps reduce stress and promote relaxation, making it ideal for unwinding after a long day.

Recipe #5 - Bergamot and Rosemary Hair Rinse


  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 10 drops bergamot oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil


  • Combine the distilled water and apple cider vinegar in a mixing bowl.
  • Add 10 drops of bergamot oil and 5 drops of rosemary essential oil.
  • Stir well and pour the mixture into a bottle.

How to Use:

After shampooing and conditioning, pour the rinse over your hair. Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse with cool water.


This hair rinse combines the refreshing scent of bergamot with the invigorating properties of rosemary. Bergamot’s citrus scent and antibacterial properties help cleanse the scalp, while rosemary promotes hair growth and adds shine.

Recipe #6 - Bergamot and Bitter Orange Uplifting Perfume


  • 2 tbsp jojoba oil
  • 15 drops bergamot oil
  • 10 drops bitter orange essential oil


  • Combine the jojoba oil, bergamot oil, and bitter orange essential oil in a small glass bottle.
  • Shake well to mix the oils.

How to Use:

Apply a few drops to your pulse points, such as wrists, neck, and behind the ears.


This DIY perfume features the uplifting and refreshing scent of bergamot combined with the sweet and tangy aroma of bitter orange. It provides an enchanting scent that invigorates the senses and boosts mood throughout the day.

Recipe #7 - Bergamot and Black Tea Face Mask


  • 2 tbsp kaolin clay
  • 1 tbsp brewed black tea (cooled)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3 drops Bergamot essential oil


  • In a mixing bowl, combine kaolin clay and brewed black tea.
  • Add honey and bergamot oil to the mixture.
  • Stir well to form a smooth paste.

How to Use:

Apply the mask to your face, avoiding the eye area. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.


This face mask combines the detoxifying properties of kaolin clay with the antioxidant benefits of black tea and bergamot oil. It helps cleanse the skin, reduce inflammation, and leave your face feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Risks and Precautionary Measures To Adopt When Using Bergamot Oil

While bergamot essential oil offers numerous benefits, it is important to use it with caution. Here are some precautions to keep in mind:

1. Photosensitivity

  • Risk: Bergamot oil contains compounds that may increase sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Precaution: Avoid sun exposure for at least 12 hours after applying Bergamot oil to the skin. If topical application is frequent, consider using Bergamot oil at night.

2. Skin Sensitivity

  • Risk: Some individuals may experience skin irritation or an allergic reaction.
  • Precaution: Always perform a patch test before widespread use. Dilute Bergamot oil with a carrier oil to reduce the risk of skin sensitivity.

3. Avoiding Undiluted Application

  • Risk: Applying undiluted Bergamot oil directly to the skin can lead to irritation.
  • Precaution: Always dilute Bergamot oil with a carrier oil before applying it to the skin. A common ratio is 2-3 drops of Bergamot oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.

4. Pregnancy and Nursing

  • Risk: Limited research exists on the effects of Bergamot oil during pregnancy or nursing.
  • Precaution: Consult with a healthcare professional before using Bergamot oil during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

5. Interaction with Medications

  • Risk: Bergamot oil may interact with certain medications, potentially affecting their efficacy.
  • Precaution: If you are taking medications, especially those metabolized by the liver, consult with a healthcare professional before using Bergamot oil.

6. Quality and Purity

  • Risk: Poor-quality or adulterated Bergamot oil may pose health risks.
  • Precaution: Purchase Bergamot oil from reputable suppliers to ensure quality and purity. Look for oils that are labeled as 100% pure and undergo third-party testing.

7. Ingestion Caution

  • Risk: Ingesting essential oils can be harmful if not done with caution.
  • Precaution: If considering internal use, consult with a qualified aromatherapist or healthcare professional knowledgeable in essential oil ingestion. Never ingest Bergamot oil without proper guidance.

8. Sensitive Populations

  • Risk: Children, elderly individuals, and those with compromised immune systems may react differently to essential oils.
  • Precaution: Use caution and consider consulting with a healthcare professional before using Bergamot oil on sensitive populations.

9. Allergic Reactions

  • Risk: Allergic reactions to Bergamot oil are rare but possible.
  • Precaution: If you have a known allergy to citrus fruits or experience any adverse reactions, discontinue use and seek medical advice.


Bergamot's scent is a masterpiece of nature—a fragrant symphony that combines citrusy brightness, fruity sweetness, subtle spiciness, and floral elegance. Whether experienced in perfumes, skincare products, or diffused in aromatherapy, Bergamot's olfactory allure is a testament to its timeless and universal appeal.

Bergamot essential oil has a crisp citrusy aroma with floral and resinous undernotes. The aroma of bergamot oil is due to the presence of compounds including limonene and linalool. The oil is quite popular in aromatherapy as it has a soothing effect on the mind and body. It has widespread use in skincare.

Bergamot has been used in Italian folk medicine for a long time. The sunny and yellow fruit with the citrus scent is a good pair with musk as it elevate the aroma. The sweet and citrusy aroma is often used to overpower bad odors.

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