Black peppercorn is a perennial climbing vine, native to the Indian Malabar coast. The pepper that grows here has an earthier, more autumnal feel that the popular Madagascan variety. The reddening corn clusters are picked when ripe and sun dried for three days before hydrodistillation. The resulting essential oil has a fresh, spicy smell with a woody accent. Pepper has been valued throughout the centuries, and in the Middle Ages earnt the name of 'black gold' due to its high cost.