The finest rose geranium essence comes from Reunion (formerly ‘Bourbon’) Island, a tiny French overseas territory about five hundred miles east of Madagascar in the southwestern Indian Ocean. Perfectly suited to the tropical climate and rich volcanic soil, plantations for rose geraniums were first established there in 1880. It is this climate, as well as the island’s isolation, that also enabled evolution of the resident dodo, which thrived until Portugese settlement in the early sixteenth century. Members of the species — essentially a swan-sized, waddling, flightless pigeon – were entirely confined to Reunion and the neighboring islands of Mauritius and Rodriguez. With no predators on the island, dodos had not learned to fear man or his newly introduced companion animals. As one sailor of the times wrote about the birds, “They displayed themselves to us with a stiff and stern face and wide open mouth…very jaunty and audacious of gait, and would scarcely move a foot before us.” … And the rest is history.