Citrus Bergamia


Bergamot is a small citrus tree with fruit shaped like a pear. It is believed to be a hybrid of either a sour orange and lemon, or sour orange and lime. While Bergamot is grown mainly in southern Italy it, like many other citruses, is believed to have originated in SouthEast Asia or China. How it got its name and how it made its way to Europe is still shrouded in mystery. There are many who say the name comes from the Italina city of Bergamo, but there are others who say that the name is derived from the Turkish language: “bey armudu” or “bey armut” which mean “prince’s pear” or “prince of pears” correspondingly.

Nevertheless, we do know for sure that once it was introduced in Europe in the 1600s, it was grown almost exclusively in southern Italy in the region of Calabria. Yet it wasn’t until after 1750 that the characteristics of the essential oil were recognized and appreciated, especially once it became a main ingredient in the wildly popular Eau de Cologne.

Bergamot essential oil is extracted from the rind of the fruit just before it ripens. Fun fact, this oil is responsible for the delightful flavor in Earl Grey tea. I love Earl Grey so much that I buy it in bulk. Anyway, Bergamot essential oil was traditionally used in Italy as a fever reducer and to treat intestinal parasites. Now it is mainly used for perfumes.

Citrus Delight

Bergamot’s fragrance is a wonderful mixture of vibrant citrus and floral aromas that make this a prized ingredient in perfumery

USE: Perfume | Diffusion 

Bergamot FCF (Furanocoumarin-free): Bergamot is highly phototoxic. Like most citruses, Bergamot essential oil contains furanocoumarins (FCs). It is thought that perhaps FCs are produced by plants as a defense mechanism against insects and fungi. They also protect a plant against mammals, as these plant chemical compounds enter the nucleus of skin cells and interact with the DNA in such a way that the skin is unable to protect itself from sunlight, which leads to a serious skin inflammation resembling a severe sunburn. However, there are several producers who sell a furanocoumarin-free variety (look for Bergapten-free Bergamot or Bergamot FCF). Keep in mind, however, that the process of removing the FCs affects the fragrance profile and perfumers consider the scent lacking.

Blends Well With

  • Black Pepper
  • Citruses
  • Coriander
  • Cypress
  • Geranium
  • Helichrysum
  • Jasmine
  • Juniper Berry
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Neroli
  • Patchouli
  • Rose
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Sandalwood
  • Vetiver
  • Ylang Ylang

Key Benefits

  • Anti-depressant/Uplifting
  • Analgesic: helps with nerve pain
  • Relaxing
  • Skin conditions: acne, eczema, dryness, irritation
  • Balancer: helps with excess of oil in skin and scalp
  • Deodorant
  • Anti-fungal
  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-congestive/Expectorant
  • Digestive system
  • Helps with cramps: Uterus and digestive system


Do not use topically in high concentrations: furanocoumarins within Bergamot will cause a negative reaction in your skin resembling a severe sunburn. Use Bergamot FCF or avoid using bergamot on skin that will be exposed to sunlight within 12 hours of use.

Safe dermal concentration: use only 1% to 2% in blends to reduce risk of phototoxicity.

Do not use if oxidized: limonene (among other key compounds in most citrus EOs), can cause dermal irritation when oxidized. Be sure to check that the cap is tightly closed, store citrus oils in a dark glass bottle, and (if possible) store inside a refrigerator to extend shelf life.

Do not ingest.


Diffusing Blends

Melody of You

  • 3 drops Bergamot
  • 3 drops Frankincense
  • 2 drops Helichrysum


  • 3 drops Bergamot
  • 3 drops Geranium
  • 3 drops Lavender

Happiness Is…

  • 3 drops Bergamot
  • 2 drops Frankincense
  • 2 drops Orange
  • 2 drops Tangerine/Mandarin

Don’t Worry Be Happy

  • 2 drops Bergamot
  • 2 drops Frankincense
  • 2 drops Orange

Good Night Kisses

  • 5 drops Bergamot
  • 2 drops Frankincense
  • 1 drop Roman Chamomile


  • 3 drops Bergamot
  • 2 drops Frankincense
  • 2 drops Petitgrain

Stars Fading

  • 9 drops Bergamot
  • 6 drops Frankincense
  • 6 drops Lavender

Sweet Dreams (For Her)

  • 4 drops Lavender
  • 3 drops Bergamot

Sweet Dreams (For Him)

  • 3 drops Bergamot
  • 3 drops Cedarwood


  • 4 drops Bergamot
  • 3 drops Copaiba
  • 2 drops Tangerine

Topical Application

I HIGHLY recommend you purchase Bergamot FCF if you choose to use any of the following massage/beauty blends. See safety notes for more info.

Quarantined Beauty

2% dilution for face and neck:

  • 2 drops of Bergamot
  • 2 drops Lavender
  • 1 drop of Lemon
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) carrier oil OR lotion

Rejuvenating blend for oily skin. Because of the presence of Lemon, use this only if you are not going to go out into the sun for at least 12 hours.

My Pretty

1% dilution for face and neck:

  • 2 drops of Bergamot FCF
  • 1 drop Rose Otto
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) carrier oil OR lotion

My Darling

1% dilution for face and neck:

  • 1 drops of Bergamot
  • 1 drops Rose Otto
  • 1 drops Neroli
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) carrier oil OR lotion

Cramp Ease

2% dilution for body:

  • 4 drops Bergamot
  • 2 drops Clary Sage
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) carrier oil

Massage on lower stomach/abdomen using a gentle, clock-wise motion


My Imaginary Boyfriend

3% total dilution rate (2% Bergamot):

In a 10 mL roll-on bottle add:

  • 6 drops Bergamot
  • 3 drops Sandalwood

Fill the rest of the bottle with your carrier of choice. (I prefer sweet almond, rosehip, or fractionated coconut). Apply to wrists and neck as needed

Notes of interest:

  • Both Bergamot and Sandalwood act as as fixatives in perfumery. Play around with the ratios to achieve your perfect fragrance (Remember to keep total Bergamot content to less than 2%, or less than 6 drops per every 10 mL). Refer to the list of oils that Bergamot blends well with to customize your perfume


Bergamot been long been used as a remedy against fevers. To relieve heat stroke or fever, add 2-3 drops to cool water and add to a compress. Then apply compress directly to the skin. 

Featured in Episode 13