The 7 Virtues Perfumes aren't just another scent to add to your shelf. It's a revolution in a bottle. It's where body, mind and spirit expand and evolve. And hopefully on a global scale as well.
Barbara Stegemann, Founder and CEO of The 7 Virtues, is best friends with Captain Green, who experienced PTSD after a tour in Afghanistan. It was during the healing process that the powerful role was scent realized. Stegemann was so inspired, she went on to create the first in a line of The 7 Virtues Perfumes.
Using premium essential oils such as patchouli - "one of the most important oils in the world," according to Stegemann - from regions around the globe impacted by war or strife (Afghanistan, Rwanda, Haiti, and now India), these precious resources are use to create unique fragrances made in Canada, while improving the lives of the farmers, growers and their families abroad.
“The inspiration for all our fragrances is to support farmers in nations rebuilding,” says Stegemann.
For the sixth and latest creation, Stegemann and internationally-acclaimed actress, model, TV host, entrepreneur and social activist Lisa Ray, came together serendipitously create a fascinating, heady, complex fragrance centered around real jasmine.
Launched on September 21st - United Nations International Day of Peace - Lisa Ray Jasmine of India is no ordinary perfume. Inspired by India’s rich and diverse culture, the rich, exotic scent drapes you in an intoxicating blend of rousing orange and bergamot, mixing with jasmine, orange blossom, cardamom and ginger, and a sultry, sensuous finish of vetiver, myrrh, frankincense, cedarwood and patchouli. The sights and sounds of India come alive with just one whiff. It's not just a scent - it's an adventure.
The commanding, intricate fragrance (a little goes a long way) is made with just three main ingredients - alcohol denat (denatured alcohol), parfum (fragrance), and aqua (water). The formula is vegan, not tested on animals, and free of any phthalates, parabens and sulfates.
I had the wonderful, rare opportunity to interview Lisa Ray, I was struck by her intelligence, wit, tenacity, kindness and beauty.
She shared how the fragrance came to be:
"I believe in the power of scent," Ray says. It "brings the divine into the every day, sacred into chaos."
"Our new jasmine fragrance takes me back to my childhood, where Jasmine adorned temples and decorated women’s hair. It acts as a reminder to slow down, breathe and recognize the divine in everyday life. I am humbled to have been part of a project that gives back to the Jasmine farmers of India with the purchase of every bottle,” she remarked.
A cancer survivor, Ray had to be vigilant about the products she used. "Most fragrance products don't list ingredients. We've listed them all on the website."
The award-winning actress says, "I bathe in it." Putting it in her hair and on her wrists, "when I smell the scent, I see the (jasmine) flowers." But don't think it's for just the ladies. In fact, the fragrance is unisex. "People here in the west are embracing 'spicer' scents," she says.
Ray was involved not just in the captivating scent, but the pretty, contemporary packaging too. She chose maroon as it's "a very regal, timeless colour," and gold because "I'm Indian. I like a little bling."
Lisa Ray recently completed three Hindi language films in Mumbai, including her most recent release 'Veerappan'. She is working on her first book to be published by Harper Collins.
Lisa Ray Jasmine of India is exclusively available at all 90 Hudson’s Bay stores across Canada, thebay.com and the7virtues.com.