“My real job is to make rebuilding sexier than destruction. I do that through perfume.”
Peace through perfume. That’s Barb Stegemann’s mission. But it’s less about the perfume and more about the peace. In fact, the perfume fell into her lap while she was exploring solutions to end the opioid crisis in Afghanistan after her friend—a soldier—was wounded in the war.
She found the farmers in Afghanistan had little to no choice in growing poppy crops to sell to drug lords. There wasn’t a comparable market for any other crop and to sustain a family they had to partake in opioid production.
Stegemann’s company, The 7 Virtues, was founded to create an alternative source of income for farmers in war-torn countries. By purchasing various crops from farmers to make scents for her fragrance brand, Stegemann provided farmers from Afghanistan, Haiti, Israel, Iran, Rwanda, India, and Madagascar with an alternative to joining the drug world.
“Today, The 7 Virtues works with farmers around the world to secure natural, organic and fair trade essential oils that create long-lasting fragrances and provide jobs, dignity and security to the farmers and their families,” said Stegemann.
As a socially conscious and environmentally friendly brand every scent is vegan, cruelty-free, organic, all-natural, and fair trade. The new Peace Eau du Parfum (EDP) collection has been selected for Sephora’s new Clean Beauty Initiative.
The new Peace EDP collection includes seven scents:
- Orange Blossom (Afghanistan)
- Rose Amber (Afghanistan)
- Vetiver Elemi (Haiti)
- Grapefruit Lime (Israel & Iran)
- Patchouli Citrus (Rwanda)
- Jasmine Neroli (India)
- Vanilla Woods (Madagascar)
In 2017, Stegemann created a documentary following the plight of these farmers, the drug crisis and her role in aiding the situation. Perfume Wars won Best Humanitarian Film in the 2017 Sedona Film Festival and Audience Choice at the Sonoma Film Festival. The documentary can be found on iTunes and Netflix. She is also the author of the bestselling book The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen.
To learn more about Barb Stegemann, her story and The 7 Virtues new line check out Sephora’s online store.