Although bergamot is used in tea to make the famous Earl Grey, its main application is in perfumery and has been since the first eau de colognes appeared in the 18th century. Nowadays, bergamot can be found in many fragrances and the greatest perfumers flock to Calabria to choose with care the one that suits their need. To obtain the essential oil, the fruit is first washed with reverse-osmosis water, then cold-processed using peeling machines and centrifuges.
In Reggio Calabria in southern Italy, bergamot is harvested from November to February from trees that each produce between 80 and 120 kilos of fruit per year. This citrus fruit, widely used in perfumery, gives the famous Earl Grey tea its citrus notes. Bergamot is grown in all the valleys in the region (pictured here: San Carlo valley), which offer breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea or the Strait of Messina.