As I’ve been slowly making my way through some various fragrance reviews, I’ve been wanting to take some time to discuss having favorite notes. Some of us will develop notes that we absolutely love. Some of us will have notes we can’t stand. And then many people will also have death notes aka a note that does not mesh well with your body chemistry. My death notes are almond, and to a lesser extent vanilla (though if blended well, I can usually get around it). I also have notes I really don’t care for, chief among them being green apple.
But my favorites, oh, I have a few. And one of them, one of my all-time favorite notes, is bergamot.
This is a citrus fruit, roughly the size of an orange, but yellow or green. Though some enjoy drinking bergamot juice (the fruit is edible), many more might recognize this as a component of the world-famous Earl Grey tea blend. Beyond that, it’s a highly popular citrus note in fragrances around the globe. So what does one do when they want to find fragrances that give your favorite note the primary focus? You look around. Google bergamot-heavy fragrances. Do some sampling.
For me, the ultimate bergamot fragrance, the one I judge every other bergamot fragrance against, is Le Labo’s Bergamote 22 (EDP).
Now, you might be saying “Kori, isn’t that unfair? Don’t different fragrances have different notes and blends?” You’re right, they do! But for me, my personal favorite has been Bergamote 22 ever since I got a whiff of it in 2015. I’ll be profiling other bergamot fragrances in the future, so you can stay tuned to see if any of them of dethrone the queen.
But back to Bergamote 22. Let’s take a look at the actual notes in this scent, thanks to Fragrantica:
Bergamot, vetiver, grapefruit, orange blossom, petitgrain, musk, cedar, vanilla, and amber.
Remember how I said I could wear some scents with vanilla if they’re blended well? This is one of them.
However, what I really love about this blend is the bergamot, vetiver, cedar combo. Vetiver and cedar are also some of my favorite notes, and Bergamote 22 does a tremendous job in blending it all in to give you a citrusy punch, grounded in greenery. Also, because some citrus/fresh scents can tend to have a shorter longevity than other fragrances, I feel like the focus on these two notes expands Bergamote 22’s life well beyond that 4-5 hour average. Additionally, the vetiver adds a borderline Mediterranean vibe to this scent, which also helps it stand out.
Ultimately, you’re getting a well-rounded bergamot vehicle that does more than smell like bergamot lemonade. This can easily stand on its own and last for quite a while, not to mention it’s a fantastic spring and summer scent.
Now, all of that said. This is not a cheap fragrance. In fact, the price tag is pretty eye-watering, with a 50mL bottle coming in at a whopping $192. A 100mL bottle? That’s going to run you $275. For me, it was worth it to get a 50mL, but I know that’s not exactly in the cards for everyone, which is why I’ve ordered several clones of this fragrance from a variety of houses.
Once I get them all in and let them macerate (clone batches are generally made to order, and so need to have additional time to sit since they’re mixed with alcohol, from 2 up to 4 weeks), I’ll be doing a comparison article to follow this review up, and see which one can most closely match Bergamote 22, and is the best bang for your buck.
That said, if you truly don’t mind spending that money and want to order a bottle now (or at least order a sample to try it out), you can do so here.