#MakePERFUMEnotWAR …or why we love The 7 VIRTUES peace perfumes – NEW at FENWICK OF BOND STREET

Beauty brands that make a lot of money and hardly ever give-back – or simply don’t have a really strong ethical core – are sliding off my radar like flip-flops down a slippery slope.

With so many new launches about – and a world of beauty spanning global nations we can choose to shop from – isn’t it better to focus on the best launches with the best ideas and biggest-hearted people behind them? Sustainable brands that create products that perform well, brands that are beautiful to the core and support economically-challenged communities. Companies and individuals who make products that aren’t just good, but exceptional.

 7 Virtues founder Barb Stegemann wearing the T-shirt.

The 7 VIRTUES fragrances are now at FENWICK OF BOND STREET, LONDON

Canadian entrepreneur Barb Stegemann’s peacemaker perfumes, as I call them, are a great idea in anyone’s book.

THE 7 VIRTUES creates jobs in rural communities, helping workers in war torn regions, enabling the people to earn a living growing, harvesting and producing the essential fruit and flower oils that go into her 5 fragrances.

She pays farmers to produce Orange Blossom for her Afghanistan Orange Blossom scent, and Rose essential oil for Noble Rose of Afghanistan – so they earn a living this way, instead of producing the “notorious” poppy crops. Barb has been featured on CNN and her Dragon’s Den pitch (Canada) was one of the most “light bulb moments”, convincing and original in the series’ history.

I got to try all four of the 7 Virtues fragrance brand original blends,  including my original favourite – Middle East Peace – when they first launched in London and they’ve just arrived at FENWICK’s in Bond Street where the flagship store’s beauty offering has been getting more exciting by the week, lately.

A perfume called “MIDDLE EAST PEACE”…

The back story:

“The 7 Virtues’ Middle East Peace: The grapefruit essential oil in this crisp, citrusy scent has been sourced from Israel. The origin of the basil and lime raw materials is Iran. Yes, the fourth fragrance conceived by Canadian Barbara Stegemann establishes olfactive harmony between volatile nations.

Heads of state: Take note.

Everyone else: This is the feel-good scent of the season.”

Amy Verner – The Globe and Mail

The latest, and 5th scent, is Patchouli of Rwanda. It’s the only one I don’t know as I haven’t tried it.

The clincher with these scents, for me, is that they smell so divine (Barb is a believer in creating your own “peace blend”, so you can layer them – a little more citrussy…a little more rose, although I like to wear them “straight”.

What she’s done is exceptional when you think about it? It’s one thing to create a philanthropic brand, another thing entirely to create fragrances that stand proudly among the massively competition fragrance market and help communities who really need help.

All I can say is, you’re a citrus, rose or vetiver fan and have not spritzed yourself in these, you should sample them! Lime, Basil and Mandarin (Jo Malone) fans, I think you would love these.

“If you’re a Jo Malone fan, you need to check these scents out”

My original favourite was Middle East Peace (Sweetie Grapefruit, Lime and Basil – if you’re a Jo Malone fan you need to check these scents out!) but Noble Rose of Afghanistan is exquisite, too.  I’m not a huge rose fragrance fan normally, but this one’s got such a deep, velvety feel about it, with a modern twist, too.  It’s layered with clove, peppercorn and carnation and rather like drinking a rose-scented elixir, very ultra-luxe, ultra-rose and ultra-modern, all at the same time. Oof! Just gorgeous!!

Men – in case you were wondering, the most unisex blend of all is Vetiver of Haiti with notes of lime tree, bergamot and amber but Middle East Peace would work too for “pamplemousse” lovers, full of Sweetie Grapefruit zest, and very “summer”.

(Then again if you were heading for a weekend in Marrakech you might tempted to take Afghanistan Orange Blossom, layered with notes of delicious freesia and heady jasmine).

“A spicy fragrance, Noble Rose of Afghanistan is layered with notes of clovepeppercorn and carnation. There are 178 hand picked rose petals in each 50mL bottle, harvested by Afghan farmers who courageously transport the oils on the world’s most dangerous highway”

The 7 Virtues story is a wonderful one.  Barb is an incredible woman.  Everything about The 7 Virtues makes my heart sing and if you are a fragrance addict and love the idea of a perfume brand that is continuously “giving back”, the pleasure of these scents will be all yours while the proceeds will be enabling communities to survive and thrive by making one of life’s most priceless luxuries – perfume.

Barb Stegemann founded The 7 Virtues after her best friend, a soldier, was badly wounded in extraordinary circumstances.

Pop into FENWICK OF BOND STREET in London and spritz yourself to the hilt one lunchtime – and there’s much more on this extraordinary, beautiful, give-back fragrance story at:


and in the beauty hall at



The 7 Virtues Kickstarter funding video may bring tears to your eyes – if you’d like to support their give-back campaign,



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