TRAVEL JOURNAL

It's something in the air...

Photo courtesy of Geotag Aeroview

Photo courtesy of Geotag Aeroview

Scent is one of our five senses, it has an invisible force that has the power to evoke memories and even change our mood. Perfume has been a powerful mood enhancer used for centuries. 

When developing new scents, master perfumers seek out the best resources to create a balanced scent consisting of top, middle and base notes. Many of the finest perfumes are composed of the purest ingredients sourced from all over the world. Italy is no stranger to a perfumer’s extensive repertoire of ingredients in composing a scent. The bergamot (citrus bergamia) grown in Calabria is one of the most prized ingredients frequently used as a top note in many popular fragrances on the market. The essence of bergamot is said to have a powerful mood enhancing effect evoking a feeling of happiness.

Bergamot is a rare exotic fruit often described as a cross between a bitter orange and a lemon. It is zesty, floral and fruity creating a rich rounded scent and is considered one of the finest of the citrus notes. The essence is derived from the rind of the bergamot – the same essence giving Earl Grey tea its distinct but familiar scent.

Production of this rare fruit is limited to small coastal areas along the Ionian Sea in the province of Reggio di Calabria. Bergamot thrives in this area of Southern Calabria; a climate characterized by enduring, hot summers, rain in the spring and mild winters. The harvest runs from October to February; in the early months it evokes a softer, floral-woody scent, in the later months the fruit transforms into a fresher-citrus scent. The combined weather conditions and soil is the secret behind the success of bergamots making Calabria the largest global producer. 

Luxury brand Dior is world renowned for their exquisite fragrances and has an on-going love affair with Calabrian bergamot. Every year thousands of organically grown bergamot trees are harvested for the house of Dior as it is a key ingredient in all Dior perfumes. Dior's master perfumers believe capturing a scent is both an art and a science and spend years developing scents based on ancient perfumery traditions.

In every Dior perfume bottle there is an essence of Calabria inside - the air, sea, culture. It could be said that with each spray you are experiencing a beautiful scent tied to the magic of the Calabrian land.

François Demachy, Dior Perfumer describes his experience for capturing the essence of bergamot in Calabria.

"When you go to Calabria, you feel the reality of the environment brought to life, and draw inspiration from the beauty of the plantations."

Watch his journey on the quest for essences in the video below: 

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By: Monique Malais

Michelle Pedulla

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