38°N 16°E - Italy - Bergamot
Accord I - The Golden Fruit
With its fresh yet flowery-sweet scent, bergamot oil (extracted from the rinds of the bright yellow citrus fruit) is one of the finest fragrances in the world. The locals told us that bergamot trees grow only on lands from which Mount Etna can be seen – and judging from the maps, this is no legend: the trees grow exclusively on a 150 km long strip of land on the Ionic coast, in the province of Reggio Calabria. The golden fruit’s special scent has been valued for centuries and its essence was used in precious perfumes such as the legendary Eau de Cologne 4711.
Accord II - Traditions
As the sun grows warmer, the bergamot trees blossom in all their splendour, bewitching the southern tip of Calabria with their honey-sweet fragrance. The cultivation of citrus fruits is a family business, passed on from father to son. The atmosphere is dripping with tradition, knowledge of the land, good cooking, and dolce vita.
Accord III - Hidden Characters
In the small villages of the bergamot-growing region, many immigrants find a new home, bringing new influences with them. In a bar or at the market, local people mingle with Sikhs from Pakistan wearing colourful, intricately tied turbans and long beards. In this combination of cultures and smells, Eastern food, sandalwood and incense mix up with the pervasive scent of bergamot.
It started as pure fascination, then it became a profession.
Jean-Claude Richard is still haunted by the perfumes of the cultures and landscapes he discovered in the course of his travels. Since then, what had started as a passion for simple combinations of fragrances in the quiet of perfume chambers has evolved into a profession. In 1982, he founded with three friends from school his own cosmetics and perfume company, where he dedicates himself with great passion to the creation of perfumes. In addition to his day-today familiarity with natural materials, he developed his competences by training under the guidance of Valerie Worwood and Shirley Price. He later followed a 3-year training as aromatologist and osmologist.
Jean-Claude Richard has been distilling natural fragrances into sumptuous perfumes for over 30 years. He created countless masterpieces of perfumery for his own company and for renowned luxury hotels, always following the motto “perfumes are pure magic”.
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