Bergamot is a citrus fruit that grows on the Bergamia plant and is native to the Mediterranean. Around the same size as an orange and with similar bumpy skin, you'll sometimes see the bergamot fruit referred to as "bergamot orange."
However, that's where the similarities end—Bergamot tends to be green or yellow in color, and it's not nearly as sweet as an orange.
You probably won't find bergamot fruit in your produce aisle, and there's a good reason for this. The fruit has a bitter, tart flavor that makes it hard for most people to stomach it fresh. Outside of using it as a flavoring for baking or tea, the other place you're likely to see bergamot pop up is in candles or perfumes since it has plenty of herbal properties.
In fact, if you check the back of your favorite colognes or perfumes, you may be surprised how many of them include a hint of the bergamot scent. But what does bergamot smell like?
What Does Bergamot Smell Like?
Although you may not want to eat the bergamot fruit outright, the bergamot scent, especially in candles, is a lot more pleasing. Bergamot can have a potent odor, so it's rare to find bergamot as the primary fragrance note or the only fragrance note in a candle. Most of the time, the bergamot scent is combined with a more balanced fragrance, like sandalwood or rosemary.
The scent of bergamot is fruity and citrusy, with floral hints and spice notes. If you've ever taken a whiff of Earl Grey tea, bergamot is what gives it its distinctive, tart scent. If you're looking for a smell to fill up your home or office, bergamot's powerful aroma is an excellent choice.
Besides candles, you may also notice bergamot included as an essential oil or added to deodorant sprays. The strong, citrus scent of bergamot is not only effective for masking unpleasant smells, but the oil can even help neutralize body odor.
Keep in mind that many people opt for a bergamot scent or candles due to bergamot oil's herbal properties and health benefits.
Benefits of Bergamot Oil and Candles
Bergamot oil is a staple in aromatherapy, and for good reason. As an essential oil or a candle, bergamot's health benefits include elevating your mood and reducing stress. Studies have shown inhaling bergamot oil can reduce stress or anxiety and promote relaxation. Even if you're already feeling relaxed, bergamot oil can act as a nasal decongestant for stuffy noses—just inhale.
While it's less relevant for bergamot scented candles, bergamot oil has also been used as a herbal remedy for minor skin infections. The oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and alternative medicine practitioners have sworn by its benefits for conditions like acne and psoriasis.
Inhaling the bergamot scent may not be able to do much for your skin condition, but if you're feeling stressed or depressed, it could help elevate your mood. When it's used in combination with other herbal scents, like rosemary, bergamot's anti-anxiety and relaxation properties become even more effective.
History of Bergamot
The history of Bergamot is somewhat of a mystery, although its origins have been traced back to Italy. Bergamot is not a new herbal remedy and was often used in Italian folk medicine. Alternative medicine practitioners would peel and grind up the rinds of the fruit to create Bergamot essential oil.
While patients may have inhaled bergamot oil to relax or get rid of a headache, its primary use was topical. Practitioners would apply the oil to minor wounds, and the antibacterial and antifungal properties worked against potential infections.
During the 1800s, bergamot oil was added to low-quality black tea to enhance the flavor, and Earl Grey tea was born.
Which of Our Candles Have a Bergamot Scent?
When it's alone, bergamot oil can be overpowering, which is why we've combined it with a more balanced scent: rosemary. Our Rosemary & Bergamot: Mediterranean Garden candle contains the best of both worlds: while the sweet and citrusy bergamot scent is noticeable, it pairs perfectly with the pine and minty smell of rosemary.
We've also included other primary fragrance notes, such as blonde woods, Lilly, and vanilla. The result is a blend of wood notes from the blonde woods, a hint of sweetness from the vanilla, and just enough of the bergamot's citrus scent. It's not entirely a romantic scent, but it is a clean, sweet, fresh scent.
Pairing rosemary and bergamot oil together also means that you'll get even more herbal benefits when you let the aroma spread throughout the room. After a long day of work, light this candle to ease any lingering tension or stress. Or, if you have a home office, keeping our Rosemary & Bergamot Candle in your work area can balance out your stress levels while you're on the job.