Grandma Mara, who had nine decades of life, remembers she earned her pocket money in early 1970’s by collecting herbs.
“I remember that some people after World War II were passing through the village and asked to collect Immortelle. I remember when they said that it is for some factory in Europe and that they mentioned some name as ‘cocos’, or something like that. I know that my late father gave some immortelle to those people. They also said that someone from Dubrovnik was managing that purchase,” said grandma Mara.
She remembers that they took only yellow and quality Immortelle that was in full bloom. When asked if it went to France by some chance or maybe Paris and if she remembers whether they said Coco Chanel, grandma Mara said: “They said something like that, but I cannot remember those strange words.”
Did Gabrielle Coco Chanel, French fashion designer and a pioneer in the world of fashion, took Immortelle from Herzegovinian village of Buhovo for her famous perfumes? Was the famous Chanel No. 5, which was launched in 1923, made of the essential oil of Herzegovinian Immortelle in its composition?
“I’m not familiar with that information, but I know that Buhovo is the ideal place for the highest quality Immortelle in the world. We have the best climate, as well as the soil for this culture. The whole village of Buhovo smells of Immortelle during the summer,” said Vinko Topic, the resident of this village in Herzegovina.
Today, small gardens and oasis in which was previously produced kale and tobacco, slowly but surely are getting covered with immortelle. About 300,000 of Immortelle replaced tobacco and vegetables, and the expansion of this plant could make village Buhovo entirely yellow.