A Week of Virtues – The 7 Virtues – Afghanistan Orange Blossom

Report by Hannah JV in Canada.

This Saturday 21st of September is the United Nations International Day of Peace. Since 1981, the International Day of Peace has been a recognised day of ceasefire and non-violence – the UN asks that people observe a minute of silence at noon on September 21st to honour those killed in conflict and survivors who live to tell the tale.

This day has come to be very special for perfume brand The 7 Virtues – CEO Barb Stegemann and team choose the International Day of Peace to launch fair trade fragrances that empower war and disaster stricken countries. This year is no different – The 7 Virtues is releasing a Custom Blend Box of its four fragrances, which can be combined to create your own signature scent.

Photo Credit- Peter Parsons, The Chronicle Herald

Barb Stegemann. Photo Credit – Peter Parsons, The Chronicle Herald

In the lead up to the release of The 7 Virtues’ custom blend box, we are going to take you through the four scents that make up the collection, starting with the fragrance that started it all – Afghanistan Orange Blossom.

A Quick History of The 7 Virtues

The 7 Virtues was just a fledgling company when CEO Barb Stegemann walked onto the set of Dragon’s Den to ask for $75,000 for 15% of her business. She had sold more than $30,000 worth of product in just two months, but needed a boost to increase production. Speaking to the business minds of the dragons was not enough – Barb also proved a hit when she explained the empathetic side to her work. The 7 Virtues pays above market value for oil from Afghani orange blossoms, ensuring that local suppliers will want to grow this legal crop instead of the illegal poppy crop, used to make opium and heroin. By creating worldwide demand for the orange blossom, Barb is helping to build and empower local business; no charity required. Three of the five “dragons” saw potential in her business model and decided to fund her. When the TV crew updated viewers on the growth of The 7 Virtues, Barb was pleased to announce that the company had made more than half a million dollars in just a short while.

Photo: The 7 Virtues

Orange grove harvest, Jalalabad.
Photo: The 7 Virtues

Jalalabad Farmer's Hands with Blossoms. Photo: The 7 Virtues

Jalalabad Farmer’s Hands with Blossoms.
Photo: The 7 Virtues

Afghanistan Orange Blossom the 7 virtues barb stegmann the fragrant man thefragrantmanAfghanistan Orange Blossom

The scent that has captivated TV “dragons” and perfume lovers alike is bold and bombastic, just like the idea behind the perfume itself. Upon application, this enchanting scent erupts with bergamot. This aroma lingers, and the middle notes of freesia and orange take their time making themselves known. But the real magic of the Afghanistan Orange Blossom is the base – a soft, relaxing blend of musk and sandalwood.

Still to Come This Week

Stay tuned for our reviews of the entire 7 Virtues range, including the custom blend box, which is available on the International Day of Peace; September 21.

Further viewing:
Barb Stegemann on Dragon’s Den
Dragon’s Den Follow Up with The 7 Virtues

Further reading:
Australian Perfume Junkies – review by Feral Jasmine
The Scented Salamander – review by Chantal-Hélène Wagner
Beauty on the Outside – review by Dionne
Daly Beauty – review by Jane Daly
Make Perfume Not War
Afghan Woman

Noble Rose of Afghanistan
Vetiver of Haiti

17 responses to “A Week of Virtues – The 7 Virtues – Afghanistan Orange Blossom

  1. A big bold orange blossom would be lovely right now. It would help me pretend summer is still here. Since there’s a frost warning on the news I know it’s really long gone. I haven’t tried this but I do love all those big white flowers. I hadn’t seen that show but I remember hearing about it. I’m happy to see that she was successful with her idea and business plan. I like it when people are given the chance to succeed and then do. Sometimes all it’s takes is a little opportunity. Well, that and a bit of money too usually.

    • The Dragon’s Den videos are quite interesting to watch – I think Barb did well to balance her humanitarian interests with her entrepreneurial sense, and I think that spoke to the “dragons”. There’s a company in New Zealand called Tonzu that has a slogan – “Not Just For Profit” – and I think that applies to The 7 Virtues too. Barb has not created a charitable organisation – she has created a viable business that is not just for profit.

      As for the weather – I went from being in 34°C heat in Portland, Oregon last week to 15°C back in Vancouver, BC this week. All of my beautiful summer shirts will need to be packed up for a few months in favour of umbrellas and jackets. Say it ain’t so!

  2. How lovely to be reminded of this scent, Jordan. The more I wear it, the more it reminds me of bright, clear mornings. I’m very interested to hear about the custom blend box, and hope to be one of their first customers for that.

    • I wish I could tell you all about the Custom Blend Box right away Jasmine, but Jordan is making me be mysterious! Discovering the blends is a huge part of what makes this brand fun and progressive – I can’t wait to share my thoughts on what it’s all about.

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