XERJOFF for BIOPHILIA
To develop and commercialize local products from remote rural areas is often a frustrating ambition due to the geographic isolation from the production and retail system and the lack of know-how. These are frequently among the most evident factors that hinder social and economic growth within rural communities and this is why BIOPHILIA shaped a strategic platform to connect small-scale farmers to high profile, ethical companies and organizations, bridging the gap between rural communities and the market.
Through 2015-16, BIOPHILIA plans to build up three laboratories with three different communities — in Argentina’s Northwest, Mesopotamia and Patagonia regions — with the goal to create new labor and employment opportunities, while contributing to reduce rural depopulation. Each facility will be administered by the community under BIOPHILIA’s guidance, allowing the sustainable exploitation and processing of locally grown and harvested aromatic herbs and plants, to produce a variety of essential oils, blends and other crossed products.
In order to make the project possible, BIOPHILIA signed a partnership agreement with XERJOFF, the worldwide celebrated Italian brand known for its excellence in luxury perfumery and its unique ability to create some of the most exquisite scents available on the international market. In line with the company’s high ethical standards and BIOPHILIA’s mission, XERJOFF committed to a significant endorsement crafting and commercializing CRUZ DEL SUR, a unique Eau de Parfum produced exclusively for BIOPHILIA.
The proceeds from the sales will go into funding the construction of the three laboratories and to provide specialized professional training. Subsequently, XERJOFF will buy the essential oils produced locally, in line with the Principles of Fair Trade that characterize the project, to produce new fragrances. The whole initiative will provide a significant set of fresh opportunities to empower local economies.
NAZARENO in the province of Salta, will be the first rural community involved in the XERJOFF for BIOPHILIA initiative.
SERGIO MOMO in conversation with Carolina Fernandez
Why did you choose to get involved with Biophilia?
I got to know Marco Vernaschi two years ago, when he visited me at the XERJOFF headquarters in Turin, bringing with him an inspiring proposal. I was very attracted by the overall idea of Biophilia and by the perspective to actively contribute to make it happen. On a personal level and as a brand we share the same values and vision, so I committed to the project.
How would you describe Cruz del Sur?
XERJOFF’s perfume CRUZ DEL SUR was created exclusively for the Biophilia Foundation. It’s a multifaceted blend full of energy and different meanings, reflecting Argentina’s complex mix of nature and history. It wasn’t easy to create an evocative blend to fully represent it. The top notes open with a marriage of marine, citrus and exotic fruity flavors – upon a flowery and balsamic heart – supported by a rich woody and musky base.
How did you choose the main notes that convey the specific character to this composition?
Well… As we all know Argentina is a country of great relevance, thanks to its unique natural heritage and its cultural diversity. This is what makes Argentina unlike any other country in the world. CRUZ DEL SUR‘s marine notes are a tribute to the Ocean coastline and to the Salt Flats of the Altiplano. The pre-Amazon region of the Northeast, inspires the zests of citrus and tropical fruits. The balsamic notes remind of the magnificent Iguazú falls and Patagonia’s glaciers, while the woody patchouli, amber and vanilla remind of the flat Pampa grasslands and the Andes. I also added a Bulgarian rose in the heart notes, to convey a romantic touch as a tribute to “Tango des Roses”.
Is there a message you intend to convey through this perfume?
The core message within the whole Biophilia enterprise; CRUZ DEL SUR is part of it.
While conceiving Cruz del Sur, what did you aim to achieve through the composition?
In my view a perfume is primarily emotions; each one of us has memories linked to perfumes and smells which are part of our own life, our personal story and experience and our culture. A perfume is more than anything an individual, artistic interpretation of a specific subject or a place; CRUZ DEL SUR reflects my first-sight impression of Argentina. Through the shared path we’re walking together through Biophilia’s projects, more fragrances and interpretations will come to light.
You are a consummate traveler. What attracts you most about South America in general and Argentina in particular?
The incredible blend of history, culture and nature: everything it´s vast and unique. Argentina is a whole universe, not merely a country.
As a renowned creator and accomplished businessman, how important is sustainability to you?
It’s very important. XERJOFF works in strong connection to nature, without sustainability we would have no future at all.
Your customers are very discerning. Do you think sustainability is also important to them?
I definitely think so. Most of our customers are committed and sensitive people who genuinely care about the conservation of the planet. Our creations address consumers that carefully choose what they purchase. As a brand of excellence it’s our duty to contribute in raising awareness while empowering sustainable practices behind our products, no matter which sector they belong to.
How would you relate modern luxury and sustainability? Should they coexist?
Of course they should coexist, however is not always possible or easy. All kind of production should be shaped through a sustainable approach and vision since the early stages. The pursuit of sustainability should be seen as a much-needed social challenge. It should be a globally shared value within every culture living on this planet. And of course, it should also be a drive when we choose how and what to consume. Standard or luxury markets, it doesn’t really matter.