Autumn’s Kindest Fragrance

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Autumn’s Kindest Fragrance

Patchouli of Rwanda


“Eighty percent of farmers employed through cooperatives that harvest patchouli oil are adult orphans and widows from the 1994 genocide.”

– Barb Stegemann, founder, The 7 Virtues Fragrance Company


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The Brand: The 7 Virtues Fragrance Company

City: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Founder: Barb Stegemann

International Day of Peace: September 21st

The scent: Patchouli of Rwanda, a refreshing scent for men and women with notes of organic patchouli oil, soothing green hibiscus, red grapefruit, cedar flower, & freesia

A green scent: paraben free, phthalate free, and vegan

Patchouli of Rwanda, 50 ml, $70

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The quote: “Meeting our farmers in Rwanda in their community and seeing the positive results of our supplier’s employment ignited us to do more to share the story of trade to provide jobs to rebuild,” says Stegemann. “I could hear the birds singing loudly in the fields, a sign that the farm is organic, which makes our work even more impactful.”

A different kind of fragrance mission: “International Day of Peace is about ending violence and empowering communities to rebuild. This is at the very heart of what we do! The 7 Virtues pay a fair price and really commit to our farmers in Haiti, Afghanistan, The Middle East and now Rwanda. Our growing business has meant that more and more local people are now working on these farms, helping their families rise out of poverty. And in return, we get incredible, natural essential oils that make beautiful fragrances women and men feel good wearing. Together we can all play a role in building peace.”

Background: Approximately 800,000 people lost their lives after the war and genocide in 1994.

New leadership: Rwanda is the only country in the world with a female majority in government. They are passing laws to ensure a genocide never happens again.

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Patchouli from Rwanda: The 7 Virtues buys patchouli oil from a Rwandan company called Ikirezi, which represents four cooperatives made up of more than 500 farmers. Widows and orphans comprise 80 percent of current members.

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