January 28, 2014

{review} the 7 virtues

The 7 Virtures Custom Blend Box

With Valentine’s Day only a couple of weeks away you may be thinking about what perfume will be your pièce de résistance for that butterfly-inducing date or wicked awesome single girl’s dinner you have planned. After all, a woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future. Ok, clearly Ms. Chanel was being a little overly dramatic when she said that, but your perfume can be your calling card so it’s best to choose wisely.

If you’re looking for a non-toxic option that’s also incredibly unique then, my dear friend, lend me your ear…well I guess technically in this case it would be your beautiful eyes; if on the other hand you’re looking for Beyonce’s latest ‘it’ blend then my darling you best work that index finger to close your browser and leave. You’ll find nothing here for you.

angelina jolie as maleficent

The 7 Virtues, started by Barb Stegemann of Halifax Nova Scotia, was created to help war torn countries -like Haiti, Afghanistan and the Middle East – rebuild themselves. By sourcing high-quality and natural essential oils, and thus providing farmers with an alternative to illegal crop production, Barb helped bring fair trade to these regions.

First pitched for funding on the Dragon’s Den (click here to watch), The 7 Virtues was subsequently picked up by The Hudson’s Bay and Selfridges & Co., and recognized by numerous publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Globe & Mail, Tatler, Cosmopolitan, Best Health and Elle to name a few.

I don’t believe in charity, I believe in economic empowerment
Barb Stegemann 

And that is exactly what her perfumes are doing for so many individuals in those countries. Rose and orange blossom from Afghanistan, lime and basil from Iran and vetiver root from Haiti combine to “make perfume. not war”.

SJP in Sex and the City

Sold separately ($70/50ml), or all together ($85/30ml & 15ml) the unique element these perfumes bring to the market is that you can wear them on their own or blend them together to create your own signature ‘peace fragrance’.

The 7 Virtues

After a few months of spritzing and layering, spritzing some more and scribbling down notations that look liked some sort of chemistry equation I came up with two life in blush peace fragrances and one very special one for mr. life in blush.

The 7 Virtues Middle East Peace, Afghanistan Orange Blossom and Vetiver of Haiti

life in blush peace fragrance #1: (in order) one spritz Afghanistan Orange Blossom, one spritz Vetiver of Haiti, one spritz Afghanistan Orange Blossom, three spritz Middle East Peace

The 7 Virtues Middle East Peace and Noble Rose of Afghanistanlife in blush peace fragrance #2: (in order) one spritz Middle East Peace, one spritz Noble Rose of Afghanistan, two spritz Middle East Peace

The 7 Virtues Middle East Peace and Vetiver of Haiti

mr. life in blush peace fragrance: (in order) one spritz Vetiver of Haiti, three spritz Middle East Peace, one spritz Vetiver of Haiti

The 7 Virtues custom blend box perfume profile

Middle East Peace:

inspired by the citizens of Israel & Iran and their respect for one another, we felt something so intense could only be expressed in a thought-provoking perfume

made with sweetie grapefruit from Israel and lime and basil from Iran, it has a wonderfully fresh and sweet aroma; you can definitely smell the grapefruit more prominently, but the balance brought by the lime and basil creates a subtle and delicate finish that is accompanied by hints of cedar. It’s too sweet on it’s own for my skin, but instead I found it forms the base for all of my blends.

Noble Rose of Afghanistan: 

fifty hand-picked petals go into every 15ml bottle

if you love the scent of roses then you are going to want to bathe in this fragrance…probably hourly. Layered with notes of clove, peppercorn and carnation, I found this to be a little too rose-y for my liking, but blended with Middle East Peace and I got this deliciously sexy not-too-sweet-not-too-spicy fragrance. I tried layering it with Afghanistan Orange Blossom, but on me it became way too sweet.

Afghanistan Orange Blossom:

made from the delicate orange blossoms harvested by Afghan farmers who bravely choose to tend these ancient orange groves instead of the poppy crop

in addition to neroli (orange blossom), jasmine and freesia make up this potent fragrance so if you love those flowers then this one will totally be your lady jam. It didn’t settle as well on me so I found I needed to mix it with a more grounding scent like Vetiver for a warm and ooh la la sexy result.

Vetiver of Haiti:

our supplier employs thousands of Haitians to help rebuild their country after the 2010 earthquake. They endearingly call him The King of Vetiver

Vetiver (a tall grass grown in the volcanic areas of India/Hait) when sprinkled with notes of lime, bergamot and amber remind me of a guy’s cologne or aftershave. So not an option for me to wear on it’s own, but you can pair it with any of the three scents and get a truly gorgeous and unique blend. To me, it adds a very empowering, grounding and dominant quality; if I have a big presentation or want to feel like a boss lady I layer this with Middle East Peace and Afghanistan Orange Blossom and automatically feel more confident.

Apart from the fact that this socially conscious brand is made in Canada, is vegan and does not test on animals, and is literally changing the lives of it’s suppliers and their workers, it’s a damn fine blend of high-quality aromas.

So, here’s to you Barb for your incredibly noble mission and line of sensuous perfumes.

aaron paul

  • My favourite is the Afghanistan Orange Blossom. The jasmine in it reminds me of tea! Been wanting this set for awhile… gotta save up my pennies!

    • lifeinblush

      stuff that piggy bank! This set is definitely worth it 🙂
      p.s. which jasmine tea do you drink?

      • Unforunately, I have no recommendations for Jasmine tea, as I’ve never purchased it myself. I do know that I love it when I’m at an Asian food restaurant and they bring over a pot of freshly steeped Jasmine tea!

        I suppose I could try heading to an Asian supermarket and search for a loose leaf Jasmine tea… hmm…

  • Aw, that’s brilliant, I’ve been waiting for this post after seeing your T7V chart on Twitter, can you believe? 😉
    And to share a news with you: Barb is coming to Berlin next week and I CAN’T WAIT! They will launch in Germany, and I’m chuffed to bits because I’ve been the first here to write about them online (and my guess is: offline as well).

    By the way, I think you’ll like my interview with Barb on The Next Women (a business network and magazine for female entrepreneurs): http://beautycalypse.com/2014/02/03/can-business-create-peace/


    • lifeinblush

      haha oh goodness sorry for the wait! I wanted to take my time with this one and do it justice. I’m also chuffed (to borrow your awesome word) that a fellow maritimer’s business is having such an impact and is spreading globally – makes me feel proud to be Canadian 😀

      And you’re right, I did love your interview – but then again what don’t I love of yours? 🙂

  • OMG this sounds amazing! I need to try it. Which one is your fave?

    • lifeinblush

      I love them all when blended in various recipes! I don’t know if I can choose just one….middle east peace blended with vetiver of haiti and afghanistan orange blossom is my absolute favourite.

  • Margie

    I remember seeing this pitch on Dragon’s Den. Wonderful to see they are doing so well and helping others at the same time. What a thorough, interesting review!!

    • lifeinblush

      Agreed! It’s so great to see a brand positively impacting this world doing so well. I wonder if Kevin is rethinking his initial position??