Laboratorio Olfattivo Bergamotto Review



Laboratorio Olfattivo Bergamotto


Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven without repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays. ~ Summer Sun by Robert Louis Stevenson


Pamplemousse Erotique, Salvador Dali 1969.

If we could only trace the person(s) responsible for the much-beloved hybrid citrus fruit which is purported to be a cross between the lemon and bitter orange – bergamot. Native to southern Italy – in particular, Calabria – this zesty aromatic fruit grows to be roughly the size of an orange and sports a color closer to lime than lemon. Laboratorio Olfattivo Bergamotto, created in 2021 (as well as Limone), is part of Maître Parfumeur Jean-Claude Ellena’s Viaggio in Italia trilogy (Mandarino has been reviewed earlier) composed for the niche brand: a Veritable Citrus Celebration. Bergamotto is one of the most photorealistic fruits made sensate, a lucid olfactory dream.

Jean Claude Ellena for Laboratorio Olfattivo

 Jean-Claude Ellena via  Laboratorio Olfattivo

“Yes, I have preferences and they vary according to my needs, my desires. I have passing loves, as well as solid, perennial loves, among which there is my love for bergamot. It was time for me to make that official” ». Jean-Claude Ellena

Perfumers are prudent not to profess favorites – but who among us does not harbor one, or more? Jean-Claude Ellena describes the above so precisely: what we need, what we desire drives our capricious selves to crave and prefer particular aromas at specific times. Bergamot is one such ingredient that is favored as a sparkling prelude in perfumery. Like other citruses, it is a challenge to maintain throughout a fragrance due to its low molecular weight. Bergamot smells like golden unfiltered sunshine, as it helps to form a bridge between top and heart notes. In Laboratorio Olfattivo Bergamotto, finest Calabrian bergamot is succeeded by the expressed oil of the bitter orange – also known as bigarade orange, Seville orange, marmalade orange or sour orange.

Nina Ricci Bigarde 1971

Nina Ricci Bigarde ad 1971 and 1975 Nina Ricci fashion via tmblr

The essential oil from its rind imparts a familiar mood-elevating, delicately bitter tonicity to a fragrance which is immediately recognizable. This divine bitter orange reminds me of a long-discontinued Nina Ricci favorite entitled simply Bigarade: created by perfumer Francis Fabron in 971, with its fluted Lalique flacon – as well as Jean-Claude Ellena’s 2002 exquisite Bigarade Concentrée for Frederic Malle. Cardamom is an intuitive companion (it is gleefully included in the afore-mentioned fragrances as well), providing that sweet/savory spiciness which is so complimentary. Bergamotto’s soft musky base feels perfect; anything more would distract from its transparent étincelant elegance, ever-so-effortless and spontaneously joyful.

Best Italian Cocktails

Vecchio Amaro del Capo via wiki

Bottled Calabrian sunshine sings of being seated beneath a shady tree heavy with fruit and leaf – be it olive or citrus, while sipping an icy local specialty, Vecchio Amaro del Capo. I envision us anointing ourselves with liberal lashings of Laboratorio Olfattivo Bergamotto, while imbibing this aperitif distillation of 29 native herbs, roots, flowers and fruit which this region has produced for four successive generations by the Fratelli Caffo. The lively complex flavors of mint, anise, licorice, chamomile, rosemary, bay, both bitter and sweet orange, lemon, pepper, lavender and orange blossom swirl about our palates.

We are thoroughly engaged in the lovely Italian pastime of Dolce Far Niente (aka pleasant idleness) as a heavy sweet languor possesses our limbs and eyelids and we drink in the sun in undisturbed indolence; one’s private citrus celebration of summer at a snail’s pace. Hammocks are mandatory, along with light straw hats, sandals and crinkly pale-hued linen.

Notes: Calabrian Bergamot, Bitter Orange, Cardamom, White Musk

Flacon generously provided by Laboratorio Olfattivo – many, many thanks!  I adore it. My nose is my own…

~ Ida Meister, Deputy and Natural Perfumery Editor

Laboratorio Bergamotto Olfattivo

Thanks to the generosity of Laboratorio Olfattivo and KAON, we have a 100 ml  bottle of Laboratorio Olfattivo Bergamotto for one registered reader (you must register or your comment will not count) in the EU or U.S. To be eligible, please leave a comment saying what appeals to you about Bergamotto based on Ida’s review, where you live and whether you have tried other Laboratorio Olfattivo fragrances. Draw closes August 4, 2021

Please note that Mandarino, which was reviewed by Senior Editor Lauryn Beer was the first in the Viagga in Italia trilogy by Jean-Claude Ellena and received a CaFleureBon Best of Scent 2020.

Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief

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