No doubt many people have heard of lavender, rosehip, sandalwood and even hempseed, the classic rat pack of the essentials and extracts world. However, there is little to no love given to bergamot oil, the rising star native to the south of Italy, which is a shame. The wonderfully fragrant and unique palate that comes with bergamot oil is simply too good not to share.
Thankfully, recent years have brought this rising star to the forefront, and more products are beginning to incorporate the wonderfully decadent, impressively fragrant, and overall unique extract for the masses.
While the use of bergamot oil has been noticeable in certain pockets of the world for generations, the wonderful nature of online salesmanship and experimentation has led to a renaissance of new concoctions and impressive mixtures, heralding a new age of natural ingredients for our skincare, haircare, and general day-to-day utilities.
This article will be going over the various uses people have found with bergamot oil, as well as some tidbits from its long and winding history, and the journey it’s taken to the forefront.
An Italian Heritage Of Bergamot Oil
Bergamot oil is derived from the skin of the fruit of the same name, native to the southern regions of Italy. The fruit is classified technically as an orange, though its infamous green-yellowish tinge is often mistaken for a class of lime or lemon. It’s more famous for its scent than its look though, having a refreshingly potent profile and a very zesty citrusy palate.
The taste of the fruit is certainly definable as a ‘niche’ flavour, often being touted as being a little too sour for general consumption on its own. However, this hasn’t stopped a slew of experiments over the years in an attempt to find the right balance for bergamot oil.
It certainly hasn’t slowed down the use of bergamot oil in a variety of capacities, ranging from aromatherapy to enhancing the fragrance of various products.
While the rest of the world is catching up to the unique sensations that can be derived from bergamot oil and its fruit origins, the Mediterranean’s have been utilising this wonderful extract since the 18th century.
The fruit itself was named for the Italian town of ‘Bergamo’, where bergamot oil used to be distilled and sold originally. The process of extraction was a little more archaic in simpler times, with the process being done by hand and typically taking an exorbitant amount of fruit to distil a finite supply of the essential oil. The delicate and spicy profile of the scent made it popular in a range of iconic perfumes of the time, and even still to this day.
The utilisation of bergamot oil for medicinal purposes was thought to be a gamechanger when it was first discovered centuries ago, with it playing an important role in Italian folk medicines of the time.
While modern science has overtaken the folk tales quite extensively, the mood-boosting anecdotal evidence cannot be denied. After all, it is still used widely in aromatherapeutic contexts and is still widely regarded as an essential ingredient for certain fragrances and perfume profiles.
The Modern Practicalities Of Bergamot Oil
While bergamot oil has a very enigmatic history, the practicalities and utilities of the extract cannot be overstated. While the jury is still well and truly out on many of the medicinal claims being made by certain sects of the community, there are a range of useful interpretations and uses that can certainly enhance your homemade beauty products, aromatherapeutic practices, or general fragrant requirements.
Uses In Aromatherapy
Bergamot oil has been used extensively in aromatherapy circles for generations. The distinct flavourful profile of the fruit has led many to describe it as a mood enhancer, particularly when it is incorporated into diffusers or candlewax.
There have been countless attests by aromatherapists and general users who have touted the unique and burgeoning scent as revolutionary and immensely helpful for focusing and energizing.
The unique palate and scent that characterizes bergamot oil has been used in a variety of aromatherapy blends in recent years as the reactions from users around the world seem to indicate a strong connection with the scent given by the ubiquitous fruit and a feeling of focus and attentiveness.
It’s this commonplace connectivity that has allowed the extract to be so widely popular in the aromatherapeutic circles around the world, and a staple for many popular blends for diffusers and candles.
When diluted with another essential or carrier extract, the results can be incredibly flexible and versatile, allowing for a wider range of incredible scents to manifest themselves that had never been done before, when scrounging around for your next experimental scent, there is perhaps no better baseline to go from than bergamot oil.
Uses In Culinary Arts
While the consumption of any extract should be tested and considered beforehand, you’ll be surprised to learn that if you are a tea drinker in any capacity, you’ve likely encountered a whiff or slight taste of bergamot oil.
As a principal reason for Earl Grey tea’s unique flavourful profile, the use of bergamot oil in small amounts have led to one of the most popular tea blends in the market today. Many have ascribed the scent and flavour as being wholly unto itself.
While the jury is still well and truly out with regards to the other health claims being made by certain circles, one cannot deny the strong foundational popularity of Earl Grey as a good signifier of potential enhancements in the future.
Uses In Perfumes
It certainly wouldn’t be a discussion on the nature of bergamot oil without mentioning the more popular use of the extract – perfumes and fragrances. The unique and potent scent that the extract is infamous for has been the star of many recipes over the years.
The flexibility of the chemical profile allows the extract to be blended with a variety of other essentials and extracts to bolster or enhance already existing scent profiles, which has led many to experiment endlessly with different results.
The perfume industry has a few reliable scents that can be foundational or additional in a wide variety of projects, bergamot oil is often ascribed as a foundational scent due to the overwhelming popularity of a potent and zesty scent, coupled with a flexibility and adaptability with other scents, there’s no wonder why this particular extract is on the rise in beauty and perfume industries.
Uses In Skincare Products
Speaking of beauty industries, bergamot oil is also a wildly popular addition to beauty and skincare products and regimens. Again, being an essential extract typically signifies that it’s very potent and should require dilution before incorporation.
However, when properly diluted, the resulting products have become more popular as time has gone on. Bergamot oil has been used as a minor ingredient in a variety of skincare products, including lotions and creams for its unique scent, and overwhelming softness.
While there is still much to learn about the intrinsic and mysterious extract, bergamot oil is still widely regarded as the prince of citrus for some very good reasons. The overall palate, incredibly potent and alluring scent and Italian heritage all plays to its advantage and solidifies its spot as a most essential, essential.