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Bergamot is probably the most commonly used fragrance in perfumes. Bergamot belongs to the group of citrus plants and is somewhat similar to the scent of a lemon. However, it is greener, spicier and sweeter. The fragrant oil of the bergamot is extracted by cold pressing from the very heat-sensitive peel of the bergamot fruit. Only the outer skin of the fruit peel is used for oil extraction. It contains the essential oil in small oil chambers that burst when pressed, releasing the valuable fragrances.

One problem with bergamot oil, however, is that unprocessed it can cause allergic reactions in some people. The ingredient of concern in the oil is called bergapten. To prevent the allergic reactions and to be able to use more than just 0.4% of bergamot oil in perfumes (according to IFRA), processes have been developed to produce bergapten-free oil.

However, there is another problem with bergamot oil and that is the problem of persistence. Bergamot oil is usually only perceptible for a few minutes in the top note of a perfume. To solve this problem, synthetic substitutes such as Linalyl Acetate are often used. Linalyl Acetate is based on the natural fragrance of the same name, which is also contained in the essential oil of bergamot at about 30%. In many cases, though, such synthetic fragrances do not completely replace the oil, but merely serve as a support.


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