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Nosy Be Island, Madagascar, 1967

Photo: Nosy Be Island

A simple sailboat rests on the shore of Nosy Be, a small island off the northwest coast of Madagascar. Known for its fragrant and luxurious exports, Nosy Be produces essence of ylang-ylang, the basis of most fine perfumes, and dried vanilla beans, seed pods from the yellow-green vanilla orchid that blooms in the morning and lasts only one day.

(Text adapted from and photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Madagascar: Island at the End of the Earth," October 1967, National Geographic magazine)

Photograph by Luis Marden

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