August 13, 2014

{sneak peek} the 7 virtues ‘patchouli of rwanda’

Patchouli of Rwanda by The 7 VirtuesYesterday I had the absolute honour of meeting Barb Stegemann, founder of The 7 Virtues, while she was in town to promote the upcoming launch of her latest perfume, Patchouli of Rwanda.

The 7 Virtues is hands down my favourite collection of perfumes to-date not only because their aromas are so intoxicating (click here for my full review), but also because they’re made with essential oils from nations rebuilding from war.

Patchouli of Rwanda

Patchouli of Rwanda will be released on September 21st in celebration of International Day of Peace and to highlight 2014 as the UN’s International Year of Family Farming.

Our supplier, Ikirezi works with co-operatives providing a fair wage to farmers; 80% of those farmers are adult orphans and widows from the genocide rebuilding their lives –
W. Brett Wilson, Partner, The 7 Virtues

When I first heard Barb was launching a patchouli perfume I immediately thought what a bold move that was because patchouli is a very powerful scent that not everyone gravitates towards.

But after 6 months of tweaking the formula Barb finally came up with a blend that honoured this country so beautifully with notes of green hibiscus, red grapefruit, cedar flower and freesia to compliment the patchouli. It settled on my skin in a refreshing, yet earthy scent that evoked such euphoria when I sniffed it.

The 7 Virtues

I asked Barb why she chose Rwanda and their patchouli oil as her next creation and she told me that she didn’t choose it, but rather it chose her. She was approached to tell Rwanda’s story and the farmer she ended up working with, who had escaped the genocide with his wife, said to her:

I never thought a white person would want to tell my story.

After hearing more on-the-ground tales of the horror these people suffered through I was very close to tears as I stood in the middle of Hudson Bay. If ever there was a moment to feel lucky to live in a country such as Canada that would be it.

Rwanda is now the only country in the world with a female majority in government and they are passing laws to ensure this genocide never happens again. We, as world citizens, can get involved to tell their story as a united voice.

For your chance to win a bottle of ‘Patchouli of Rwanda’ and to help Barb spread her message of peace here’s what you need to do by Sept 21:

Pick up a temporary peace tattoo from any Hudson Bay location and wear it in a photo posted on Instagram or Twitter. Be sure to include the hashtags #MakePerfumeNotWar and #PeaceTattoo and follow The 7 Virtues (@The7Virtues)

The 7 Virtues Peace Tattoo

Or you can write your message of peace and post a photo on Twitter or Instagram (with the same hashtags as above). Signs can be picked up at any Hudson Bay location.

My message of peace was: Make life memories, not war.

Barb Stegemann of The 7 Virtues and Sonja of life in blush

Starting now, The 7 virtues is giving away one bottle of this special perfume per week until the September 21 launch. Good luck! (Full details here on The 7 Virtues website)

The 7 Virtues at The Hudson Bay

Don’t live in Canada? Here’s a list of the international stores where you can get your hands on this unique perfume once it launches:

  • USA: Lord & Taylor
  • London: Selfridges on Oxford and Fenwick on Bond
  • Scotland: McEwens of Perth
  • Austria: Esbjerg of Vienna
  • Germany: Galeries Lafayette (Berlin)


  • I had to find my disqus data first… So *straightens hair, flattens dress*

    Love that you have met, and loving your picture. Life memories. That’s so beautiful. What I love the most about Barb’s business is that it brings relevance and meaning into an otherwise shallow environment or let’s say, an environment that has *become* shallow due to countless scent lauches per year, copycat perfumes, photoshopped testimonials etc. etc.

    Can’t wait to discover the new fragrance now. Will have to wait one month from now, and can’t tell I’m particularly happy about that, duh.

  • Margie

    I remember seeing Barb pitch her product on an episode of Dragon’s Den. So good to see she has been successful and that partner, Brett Wilson, was kind enough to believe in her vision.

  • Nothing compares to meaningful beauty! Love this moving story. Thanks for sharing. I want to sniff all these fragrances so much. Barb sounds like a kindred spirit. ♡

  • What a beautiful and touching story! One of my favorite things about green beauty brands is the true thought and care they put into their products.

    • I completely agree! This brand is really doing something special 🙂