What Does Bergamot Smell Like? And 8 Bergamot Perfumes

By Amy Derungs

August 28, 2021

Bergamot has the lively optimism typical of citrus. Incidentally, bergamot is the ingredient that gives Earl Grey tea its characteristic scent.

That question: ‘What does bergamot smell like?’ Bergamot does indeed have that classic sweet-yet-tart smell. Bergamot essential oil also brings its own floral, spicy edge to the appealing acidic scent. It’s hard to describe yet distinctive in its own right.

Bergamot oil is a very difficult ingredient for perfumers to use to create a fragrance that is truly unisex. Put in too much and it smells like old fashioned after shave. Add too little of the essential oil and that lovely fresh aroma is lost in the wastelands of perfume blends. When they get it right, citrus bergamot fragrances for men and women are a delight to wear.

What does bergamot smell like - bergamot tree

Bergamot trees

What Is Bergamot?

The name Bergamot has its origins in the Turkish words “beg-armudi” meaning “The Prince’s Pear”. 

Citrus Bergamia; the bergamot orange is a fragrant citrus fruit around the size of an orange. It is technically an orange, but has a greenish yellow, very lumpy peel, and yellow flesh. This differentiates it from other ordinary oranges, like navels, mandarins and clementines.

Where Does Bergamot Come From?

Bergamot is the most fragile of all the citrus plants. It needs a singular climate and soil for it to flourish. Bergamot fruit, and the essential oils derived from them, come from a spiny citrus tree originating in the tropical climates of South East Asia.

Today, it’s grown in Southern Italy in the province of Calabria which produces over 80% of the world’s bergamot oil. It also thrives in the south of France and the Ivory Coast in West Africa.

The tree blossoms in winter but it’s the skin of the bergamot fruit that is prized, and cold pressed for its unique essential oils. Bergamot oil first appears in 1714 as an ingredient to a cologne.
Bergamot oil

Bergamot popular essential oil

The Benefits And Uses Of Bergamot

Aside from it's use in perfumery, the bergamot fruit adds a delicious flavor to tea, and the fruit has a wide range of benefits and uses.

Italians have been using bergamot oil for years to decrease feelings of stress and create calm. It is also used to purify, revitalize skin and can help with body odor.

Bergamot oil is used in aromatherapy for reducing stress. Inhaling bergamot oil can also reduce headaches.

Bergamot oil mixed with a little water reduces anxiety and fatigue during menopause.

If you are going to use this popular essential oil on your skin, make sure it’s mixed with a carrier oil such as sweet almond. Whilst the benefits are numerous, the pure essential oil is very strong and can cause skin sensitivities.
What does bergamot smell like? Try Earl Grey tea

Earl Grey tea with bergamot

Why You Should Try A Bergamot Perfume

The way bergamot smells is unique for many reasons. You can find it in Earl Grey tea or in a fragrance, the fresh and sweet smell will lift your spirits always! All Earl Grey scented items are likely to be made with bergamot.

So what does bergamot smell like in perfume? Bergamot smells like other lovely crisp fresh citrus scents - it is irresistible and perfumers love it. Tart, acidic, and highly fragrant, bergamot oil can blend with and compliment a wide range of scents.

Bergamot essential oil is a sought after perfume ingredient. Its powerful citrus scent is an crucial top note in many fragrance styles, chiefly fresh scents.

Bergamot mixes well with jasmine, rosemary, sandalwood, vetiver and ylang -ylang. It is often used to enhance other citrus fragrances, enriching other citrus scents like, orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit.

What Does Bergamot Smell Like? 8 Perfumes With Bergamot

1. Bergamotto Di Positano EDP by Floris

What does bergamot smell like? try Bergamotto Di Positano eau de parfum by Floris

Bergamotto Di Positano

Bergamotto di Positano by Floris is a truly beautiful unisex citrus scent. The title ingredient - fresh bergamot - winds around crisp mandarin and deliciously warm marine notes.

The transition to lively orange blossom is smoothly creamy with hints of vanilla. Then the rich warmth of wood, amber and ginger mellows it all into a delicious and spicy creation. The dry down is vanilla, spice notes and amber with the bergamot opening wafting in and out.

Bergamotto di Positano is a fall fragrance. It's the sort of scent that will work well during the seasonal shift from either spring to summer, or summer to fall. 

Sillage is moderate, and the fragrance lasts well into 8 to 10 hours. 

Top Notes: Bergamot, Marine, Mandarin

Middle Notes: Green tea, Orange blossom, Ginger

Base Notes: Amber, Spice, Ambrette, Woods, Vanilla

2. Layton EDP by Parfums de Marly

What does bergamot smell like? try Layton Eau de Parfum by Parfums de Marly


Layton is an amber floral fragrance. The opening is gorgeous with its bergamot smell like leading a unique crisp storm. Sweet green apple lingers elegantly in the heart. Hypnotizing amber is enhanced by the natural grace of pink pepper. Illustrious and compelling, its charisma is carried by vanilla and precious woods. 

Sillage is strong! Layton is a wonderfully long lasting fragrance.

The dry down really tangos in and out. An amazingly fresh-spicy revitalizing scent moving to a sultry woody, vanilla scent. Smelling of warmth and sexiness its perfect for evenings in any weather. 

Top Notes: Apple, Bergamot

Middle Notes: Jasmine, Violet

Base Notes: Vanilla, Pepper, Woody notes

3. Eau de New York EDP by Bond no 9

Eau de New York Eau de Parfum by Bond no 9

Eau de New York

Eau de New York is an aromatic fragrance of citrus notes. The opening is neroli, warmly immersed in grapefruit, bergamot orange (Citrus bergamia), and sweet mandarin. Petitgrain arrives in the mix just a little to keep this opening smell out of the sweet oriental zone.

Then a white floral garland wafts in. Cyclamen, jasmine and verbena steady the neroli head note. And finally, oak moss, musk and vetiver deliver complex, seductive radiance to this fragrance.

The final dry down is a combination of a musk mixed with vetiver. If you like how bergamot smells, and love musk, then New York is you.

Sillage is potent coupled with all-day staying power. Eau de New York can be worn all year round. 

Top Notes: Bergamot orange, Grapefruit, Mandarin orange, Petitgrain

Middle Notes: Cyclamen, Basil, Vervain, Gardenia, Jasmine, Lily, Neroli

Base Note: Oak moss, Musk, Vetiver, White woods

4. Neroli Portofino EDP by Tom Ford

What does bergamot smell like? try Neroli Portofino Eau de Parfum by Tom Ford

Neroli Portofino

Neroli Portofino is a citrus aromatic fragrance. It opens with a smell like lively, juicy citrus fruits. Neroli and minty myrtle slip in together with white florals. The musk delivers to the fragrance an irresistible edge and classical polish.

The dry down is warm and comforting with amber and lavender rising to prominence.

There's delicate sharpness in the dry down that’s even more interesting with the addition of angelica. 

Sillage is mild and the fragrance is long lasting. 

This juicy, unisex, effervescent, absolute summer fragrance should feature in any collection!

Top Notes: Bergamot orange, Mandarin orange, Sicilian Lemon, Bitter orange, Lavender, Rosemary, Myrtle

Middle Notes: African orange flower, Neroli, Jasmine, Pitosporum

Base Notes: Amber, Angelica, Ambrette

5. 90 Pure White EDP by Banana Republic

90 Pure White Eau de Parfum by Banana Republic

90 Pure White

90 Pure White is a floral woody musk fragrance. The opening is dominated by fresh citrus smell and bright bergamot slowly descending below musk and lavender. Flowery fragrance notes of jasmine and lavender are slightly tempered by violet leaf. The composition is smoothly wrapped in musk and amber.

Sillage is notable. The jasmine does give it some bite in the projection. The smell is really great throughout the wear. The longevity is impressive (8 hours). At that point it becomes a clean woody scent.

90 Pure White offers fruity sweetness smell along with the woody notes. It's a unisex scent for summer.

Top Notes: Grapefruit, Green tea, Bergamot

Middle Notes: Jasmine, Violet leaf, Lavender

Base Notes: Musk, Vetiver, Amber

6. Amber Oud Gold Edition EDP by Al Haramain

Amber Oud Gold Edition Eau de Parfum by Al Haramain

Amber Oud Gold Edition

Amber Oud Gold Edition is an amber vanilla fragrance. The opening of fresh bergamot turns quickly to a charming melon and sweet fruit smell. This lasts a while before the vanilla and musk take over.

As the dry-down continues, the musk becomes evident, counterbalancing the sweetness of the vanilla but never overshadowing it. The musk is a marvelous, harmonious fusion of rich and resinous aromas. The fragrance develops into a fruity sweet, slightly creamy, warm and sensuous scent.

After a few hours the fruitiness is replaced by a still-fresh woody muskiness.

This is a sillage beast, and projection is huge. 

Top Notes: Bergamot, Green notes

Middle Notes: Melon, Sweet notes, Pineapple, Amber

Base Notes: Vanilla, Musk, Woody notes

7. Incense Wood EDP by Ajmal

What does bergamot smell like? try Incense Wood Eau De Parfum by Ajmal

Incense Wood

Incense Wood is a unisex oriental fragrance. The opening is a bitter tart bergamot smell like lemony pink pepper. This develops beautifully with the delicate sweetness of saffron.

The middle notes deepen the fragrance with mysterious incense and luxurious cashmere. Undertones of enigmatically sweet patchouli, erotic musk and vanilla warm this divine creation beautifully.

This perfectly poised announcement is made with spicy incense coming to the forefront. 

A beautifully blended bergamot scent with pronounced sillage and very long lasting; at least 12 to 14 hours. Its best worn on cold winter evenings.

Top Notes: Saffron, Bergamot, Pink pepper

Middle Notes: Incense, Olibanium, Cashmere, Wood

Base Notes: Vanilla, Musk, Patchouli

8. Virgin Island Water EDP by Creed

Virgin Island Water Eau de Parfum by Creed

Virgin Island Water

Virgin Island Water is a citrus fragrance. The opening is dazzling with white bergamot, moist lime, super titillating Sicilian mandarin with a delicious whiff of rum. Coconut, sugar and vanilla begin a leisurely take-over. All the while white florals are meeting up with ginger in the background.

The white florals are the super stars of this fresh scent, combined with other citrus fruits.

The dry down is creamy smooth coconut-white rum, slightly sharpening with just a whiff of the citrus, overlaid with an exquisite jasmine floral.

The sillage is quite strong at first; after about an hour it calms down to a lovely fresh atmosphere. This is a long lasting scent. Undeniably unisex and perfect for hot summer days and long warm casual evenings.

Top Notes: Coconut, Lime, White bergamot, Sicilian mandarin

Middle Notes: Ginger, Ylang-ylang, Indian jasmine, Hibiscus

Base Notes: White rum, Sugar cane, Musk

Frequently Asked Questions About What does bergamot smell like?

Why is Bergamot good for you?

Bergamot has the potential to be an effective supplement for cholesterol drugs and can help increase "good" HDL cholesterol. It may also help to reduce the levels of the "bad" cholesterol LDL.

Is Bergamot good for sleep?

Bergamot is a citrus fruit and it can be helpful in getting your body ready for sleep. It quiets the heart rate and lowers blood pressure, it reduces stress and anxiety, and has strong sedative qualities.

In Conclusion

About 200 kg of fruit is needed to extract one kg of bergamot essential oil. 

Growers graft three bergamot branches onto a bitter orange plant and then wait. Only in its third year does it begin to yield fruit. The skins are cold pressed to extract tiny amounts of rich essential oils that perfumers pounce on with delight.

So what does bergamot smell like in perfume? Bergamot fragrances are undoubtedly the most delightful of the fresh citrus scents available. Try to smell them, you won’t be disappointed.