The greatest perfumers travelled to Reunion Island to hunt down the best geranium essential oil in the world: Bourbon geranium. The perfumeries in Grasse swore by geraniums grown on Reunion Island, which were considered to be of exceptional quality. Back then Bourbon geranium, originally from South Africa, was one of the great treasures of the island.
Today geraniums are still grown, mainly in Saint-Paul (in Guillaume, Petite France, Maïdo, in the highlands in the west of the island), above an altitude of 1,000m. There are a 30 or so craft distilleries in these areas. You can visit these farms which are still in operation, producing essential oil. On the way, you will also find welcoming guest houses and tables d’hôtes.