It seems it is in everything doesn't it ? Bergamot , that ubiquitous topnote that leads the list of notes in almost every fragrance ( statistically 1/3 of men's and 1/2 of womens fragrances contain bergamot ! ) But what it begamot really ?
Bergamot , Citrus bergamia , the wonderful fragrance of Earl Grey Tea , is a citrus fruit grown almost exclusively in Calabria , Italy . The climate and soil are perfect there , and although some is also harvested in Ivory Coast , none has the superior quality of that from Calabria .
The oil is pressed from peel of the unripe fruit , has been used for hundreds of years in the middle east for all sorts of skin conditions and is now known to contain over 300 chemical constituents , several exclusive to the bergamot .
Complex on it's own and refreshing without being tart , bergamot is rich and sweet , becoming more tender and floral , drying down to an herbal/balsamic note .
Three hundred pounds of fruit will produce about a pound of oil . However , the scent is destroyed by distillation and is therefore produced through expression /extraction with a specialized machine , " La Machina Calabria " , invented by Nicola Barilla in 1844 and utilizing abrasion to efficiently extract the highest quality of essence .
Some sources say Columbus brought the tree from the Canary Islands to Italy , where in began to thrive in the tiny region of Calabria . Older sources say it was a lemon originally grafted onto bergamot pear ! The word bergamot is derived from the Turkish begarmundt , meaning prince of pears .
The main odor constituents of bergamot are a-pinene , linalool , limonene , nerol , geraniol .
An essential ingredient in classic Eau de Cologne , begamot can be found in so many fragrances , but my favorites which feature bergamot :
Guerlain Philtre d'Amour
Annick Goutal Eau de Sud
Acqua di Parma ( original and Intensa )
Perfumer's Palette drawing #3 next Monday , so don't forget to comment this week and tell me your favorite lavender or bergamot fragrances to be entered in the drawing ! Diana has until Friday to claim her prize , drawing #2 !
Today I am wearing Vintage First parfum from Van cleef & Arpels , created by Jean Claude Ellena ( his first smash success in commercial parfumery ). Said to contain over 200 essences , it must have some bergamot in there somewhere....