Gone are the days that mens fragrance was once conceived as heavy and pungent, and while ingredients like oud and musk still have a place in the grooming cupboard, bergamot has mades its mark as the freshest scent of the season.
Born from the citrus family, Bergamot offers a fresh, fruity fragrance with a unique layered profile, perfect for the summer but also a light alternative for the colder months. Expert perfumer Roja Dove says that bergamot is the grown-up’s way to wear citrus scents. “Because of its richness when compared to other citrus materials, bergamot really does separate the men from the boys,” he says.
What is Bergamot?
Bergamot is an essential oil found in the rind of the bergamot orange, a green/yellow fruit grows throughout Southern Italy. The highest quality oil is found in the Calabria region, and has been used in fragrances since the 18th century, with the first record of the oil used in fragrance set at 1714.
The oil is highly regarded due to its well-balanced profile, different to other scents like orange, lime and lemon. “Whilst it is very fresh and citrus, it is much richer and more rounded than any of the other citrus notes, which smell somewhat one-dimensional in comparison, making it a highly prized ingredient,” says Dove.
“Bergamot is a signature ingredient in the structure of the fougère and the chyrpré fragrance families – the two accords (balanced blend of ingredients) of masculine perfumery. Chypré fragrances are typified by their inherent warmth and dryness, whilst fougère fragrances are fresh and aromatic – but both contain bergamot. Since the birth of modern perfumery, there has been no escaping it. It is part of the DNA of men’s perfumery.”
The best Bergamot fragrances:
Everyone knows that Tom Ford sits at the top of the fragrance chain, so it is no wonder that they do bergamot justice. Its Venetian Bergamot EDP, offers a fresh take on bergamot, with woody and floral undertones for richness and depth.
Tom Ford Private Blend Venetian Bergamot Eau De Parfum 100ml / $460 AUD SHOP NOW
Another company highly regarded for its fragrances, Jo Malone has moved into mens scents and is killing it. In an unlikely pairing, bergamot and oud is combined for a rich and slightly more intense scent for those who like a heavier cologne.
Jo Malone Oud & Bergamot Cologne 100ml / $270 AUD SHOP NOW
Swedish luxury house Byredo has taken to Italy for inspiration, producing a modern twist on the bergamot scent. With notes of geranium, incense and lavender, the “Sunday Cologne” is fresh and floral.
Byredo Sunday Cologne EDP / $270 AUD SHOP NOW
New York based Le Labo is dabbling in European scents with its “Bergamote 22”. For those who enjoy a slightly musky scent, the company combines fresh bergamot with the sweetness of amber and musk.
Le Labo Bergamote 22 50ml / $270 AUD SHOP NOW
Yves Saint Laurent
For a fresh scent that screams summer break, Yves Saint Laurent offers a citrus infusion of bergamot, blood orange, grapefruit and mandarin. Contrasted with hints of black pepper and cardamon, along with a blend apple, geranium, thyme and lavender, the Bleue EDT is a unique and multifaceted profile.
Yves Saint Laurent LHomme Cologne Bleue EDT / $149 AUD SHOP NOW
Drawing inspiration from Greek mythology where Hesperides were the nymph guardians of a garden with precious citrus fruits, the fragrance takes on a fresh and zesty take, underpinned with peppermint. As the fragrance dries down, gains a spicy undertone for long-lasting scent.
Diptyque Des Hesperides EDT / $170 AUD SHOP NOW
Dolce & Gabbana
Lastly, Dolce & Gabbana’s addition to its fragrance line, “Light Blue” lends a tropical and refreshing EDT. With bergamot, mandarin, grapefruit peel and juniper, along with notes of musk wood and oak moss, the fragrance is easily Mediterranean.
Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme Eau De Toilette 75ml / $85 AUD SHOP NOW