The Perfume Isles: Sweet Aromas

Situated between Madagascar and mainland Africa, Comoros is an independent, three-island nation and if you didn't already know about this country, its been under your nose the whole time.

Comoros is the world's primary exporter of oils from the ylang-ylang flower; which is a main ingredient in many perfumes. The islands are also a top producer of cloves and vanilla extract. Some say the islands can be smelled before they can be seen. 

Scents-ing a Profit
This aromatic dreamland did not happen by chance. The islands' cloves are native to the Philippines and the ylang-ylang flower is native to Indonesia. It's vanilla vines originated in Mexico. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and numerous other scent-laden plants were imported and eventually grown. And it was all in the name of trade. The French were desperate to break into the spice trade that had been dominated by the Dutch and began looking to the rich soils of volcanic islands. Comoros just so happened to be a perfect bouquet of sun, soil, and shipping lanes. 

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