Coastal Lifestyle

TRAVEL JOURNAL

The Exquisite Scent of Bergamotto 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

TRAVEL JOURNAL

gelato amore...

calabria's favourite pastime

If there is one phrase you will hear a lot in Calabria and should definitely learn it's "andiamo a prendere un gelato!" which translates to "let's go for an ice cream!" For those with a sweet tooth, there is nothing more enjoyable on a sun filled day than heading to the nearest gelateria, aka ice cream parlour, to choose your perfect flavour.

Gelato and sunshine go hand in hand not only because Calabria has more sunshine days than the rest of Italy, but also because "andiamo a prendere un gelato" is deeply rooted in the social traditions of the region, bringing people together to enjoy one of life's simple pleasures.

Italian-Gelato

Although the literal translation of gelato is ice cream, gelato should not be confused with ice cream because they are actually very different. Ice cream is a frozen dairy dessert made with cream, milk, sugar, egg yolks and artificial flavouring. Who hasn't eaten an entire pint of ice cream all by themselves and afterward felt full and unsatisfied? During the processing of ice cream, the ingredients are churned at a high speed in order to whip air into the mixture. This is a sneaky way to increase the ice cream volume making it up to eighty percent air. So the next time you finish a pint all by yourself, it's not because of your uncontrollable sweet tooth it's because of the quality of the ice cream you are eating.  

Italian-Gelato

Gelato on the other hand is made in small batches every morning  by artisan gelato makers using only natural ingredients like fresh milk, sugar, fruit, nuts and pure chocolate to create delicious flavours like pistachio, bacio, amarena and limone. Gelato is churned at a delicate slow speed, in order to prevent a lot of air incorporating into the mixture and generally the volume is made up of only twenty percent air that is drawn in naturally by the churning process. This is why gelato is much more satisfying than ice cream and one scoop is all you need. But if you do want to eat more remember that you don't have to feel guilty since gelato contains about half the fat of ice cream, is made with natural ingredients and contains no preservatives. Not to mention gelato contains high levels of protein, vitamin B, calcium and phosphorus. But who are we kidding, we don't eat gelato because it's good for us, we love it because it tastes amazing.

Italian-Gelato

So next time you're in Calabria or anywhere in Italy indulge in the national pastime and "andiamo a prendere un gelato!" 

DISCOVER CALABRIA & SOUTHERN ITALY ON YOUR NEXT HOLIDAY. LET US HELP YOU PLAN THE PERFECT EXPERIENCE WITH OUR CUSTOM TRAVEL PLANNING SERVICE OR JOIN ONE OF OUR UPCOMING RETREATS & TOURS.

By: Michelle Pedullà