I feel like I’m spending these first few weeks of 2020 catching up to perfume brands I covered before and subsequently lost touch with. At Sniffapalooza, in 2013, I met Barb Stegemann who was starting her new perfume brand; The 7 Virtues. Ms. Stegemann wanted to create a perfume brand using free trade materials from the developing world. In those early days she was focused on Afghanistan and Haiti. The perfumes she featured back then were Orange Blossom and Rose from the former and Vetiver from the latter. Working with perfumer Angela Stavrevska they were nicely constructed soliflores featuring the ethically sourced ingredient on the bottle. I liked them. I admired the ethos of Ms. Stegemann. I forgot about them until the end of last year. That was when I got a sample set called The 7 Virtues Peace Blend Box. Inside I found an evolution of the brand over the five years as these were now fuller constructs then the linear soliflores of the beginning. Within that set the one which captured my attention was Vanilla Woods. Ms. Stegemann collaborating with perfumer Julie Pluchet created a nice fruity floral gourmand. It had sat in my “to be reviewed box” for months. To start 2020 the same team decided to try a different version of fruity floral gourmand. This time The 7 Virtues Blackberry Lily got put on the review schedule.
The sustainable ingredient in the case of Blackberry Lily is the vetiver from Haiti. Instead of using the classic vanilla gourmand ingredient the creative team pairs vetiver and caramel in a surprisingly tasty accord. Before we get there, we go through a thick jammy accord of blackberry supported by a rose exuding the same quality. This is a familiar fruity floral accord done well. It recedes just enough for the green tinted floral of lily to find space. I like the choice here to allow lily to carry the floral piece instead of just expanding the rose into it. The lily wraps the berry in clean floral lines deepened with cedar. Then we get this grassy green vetiver which arises from the lily. Just as those two begin to find a harmony caramel oozes over it all. This is when the woody part of vetiver comes forward. Patchouli adds a chocolate-like complement to the caramel accord. When this all comes together in jam, lily, and caramel it is very nice.
Blackberry Lily has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Ms. Stegemann is a brand owner of uncommon drive. I am not sure what made her re-think the types of perfume she wanted to make. It has resulted in something which is evolving to something I am much more interested in like Blackberry Lily.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Sephora.