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Bergamot, Oil Of

BERGAMOT, OIL OF, an essential oil obtained from the rind of the fruit of the Citrus bergamia. The bergamot is a small tree with leaves and flowers like the bitter orange, and a round fruit nearly 3 in. in diameter, having a thin lemon-yellow smooth rind. The tree is cultivated in southern Calabria, whence the entire supply of bergamot oil is drawn. Machinery is mostly used to express the oil from the fruit, which is gathered in November and December. The oil, which on standing deposits a stearoptene, bergamot camphor or bergaptene, is a limpid greenish-yellow fluid of a specific gravity of 0.882 to 0.886, and its powerful but pleasant odour is mainly due to the presence of linalyl acetate, or bergamiol, which can be artificially prepared by heating linalol with acetic anhydride. The chief use of bergamot oil is in perfumery. The word apparently is derived from the Italian town Bergamo. The name Bergamot, for a variety of pear, is an entirely different word, supposed to be a corruption of the Turkish beg-armudi (= prince's pear; cf. Ger. Fürstenbirn).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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