When I discovered the enormous possibilities of hydrolates and their many important properties (see Hydrolates, a luxury by-product), I came to the conclusion that the water used in distillations was of vital importance. If I was thinking about marketing the hydrolates as moisturisers with therapeutic properties, I was going to have to pay special attention to the quality of the water and where it came from.
In this way I chose to learn about the best natural springs of the Empordà and other districts nearby. Most can be easily found on maps and in guide books, although many of them have fallen into disuse, either abandoned or covered over with shrubbery. Only the inhabitants of each respective place really know where they are, but they will not always willingly say it.
This search for ideal water (in my cinematographic mind, like the search for the Holy Grail) has given me wonderful excuses to take my children on trips to discover beautiful, far-off nooks and crannies, turning our family outings into authentically adventurous expeditions.
On the lower plains, runoff from animal faeces has ruined many water resources, and few people now dare to drink from local fountains. Not even in towns where you have local drinking water can you really trust it, and many town halls have to regularly analyse what is churning through their pipes to test for nitrate levels. The problem has become especially dire, and it is getting worse and worse as years go by. There are certain organizations, like Salvem l’Empordà de Purins [Save the Empordà from Slurry], who are fighting to regulate the introduction of new pig farms and create purification systems for water reserves. But this is not easy. For the farmers, investing in pork production will always pay off, since they can get maximum results from a minimum surface area. Once again, economic and personal interests find themselves in conflict with commonly shared concerns and environmental conservation.
In the mountains, however, things are different. L’Albera, Serra de Tramuntana, Bassegoda, Les Salines, Mare de Déu del Mont and many others still have good water quality, and while in most cases the natural founts and springs do not have as much flow as they used to, they still have quality water, rich in minerals and free from animal residues and other pollutants.
It was only later that I learnt that, once distilled, water is stripped of everything that formerly came with it, such as minerals, metals and nitrates, so that it makes little difference if it comes from a natural spring or my tap at home. I also came to understand many other things related to water that I will explain later.
Even so, the fuse had been ignited. Our outings had been so pleasant that I decided to continue to look for natural springs as an excuse to continue visiting new, unknown parts of our landscape. The same happened when we found a book on the most majestic trees in the region. You do not really need a reason to go for an outing or get out of the house for a walk. Quite often I enjoy doing it without having a clear idea where I am going, although certain kinds of incentives help to make outdoor experiences more entertaining and exciting.
BEE BRAVE is a Bravanariz project aimed at promoting the biodiversity of our natural environments.
Conceived and financed by BRAVANARIZ, it is carried out in collaboration with various actors, both private (farm owners, beekeepers, scientists) as well as landscape protection associations.
MEL is our first solid perfume and the result of a long collaboration with bees, our winged harvest companions. Made from organic beeswax (from the hives installed in our Bee Brave pilot project in Can Bech de Baix) and sweet almond oil from organic farming. Formulated only with essential oils from honey plants, which serve as food for our environmental heroes. Soft and balsamic, delicately aromatic. Its warm and welcoming background will make you feel good, with yourself and with your surroundings.
MEL is our sincere tribute to these fascinating social beings who have silently taught us for years the art of combining plants and aromas. Not only are they the natural perfumers of our landscape, but thanks to their tireless collecting work, they ensure the biodiversity of our landscapes.
«One of the most inspiring and remarkable olfactory experiences I have ever had.» Lourenço Lucena (Portugal)
«The experience, with Ernesto as a guide, is highly interesting, entertaining and sensitive. Being able to see, smell and know the origin, directly, of multiple plants, from which raw material for aromas is extracted, is simply a privilege» Juan Carlos Moreno (Colombia)
«What an unforgettable day. A powerful reconnection to the very essence of life around us. We started the day as strangers and ended the day as friends.» S.Baber (U.S.A.)
«The capture we collectively made during Ernesto’s workshop in January was an olfactory time machine. It had the power to transport me back to a beautiful winter's day in the Can Fares forest with new friends and new findings. Truly magical.» Wendy (U.S.A.)
«This olfactory voyage with Ernesto was a reconnection to something instinctive, an enlivening reminder to open all the senses back to nature.» Bojana J. (Barcelona)
«Last Saturday I went to one of the Bravanariz walks and I came back inspired by so much good energy and by having been in tune with nature in such an intimate way, such as smell. It is a day of living with a group of wonderful people, learning about plants and perfumes and how they are made in Bravanariz, sharing incredible food and wines, but, above all, giving you a feeling of harmony and serenity that I greatly appreciate.» Marta Sierra (Madrid)
«Fantastic day in the Albera, Ernesto transmits his great knowledge of the landscape, the plant world, and perfumes in a very enthusiastic way. A 100% recommendable experience. Excellent food.» Lurdes B. (Osona)
«The experience lived thanks to Bravanariz has left an indelible mark on my brain and my heart and of course on my nose. Never again without smelling one of their magical perfumes, they create a positive addition!» Claudia (Cadaqués)
«It has been incredible to see how an essential oil is created thanks to an explosion.» Ángela, 7 años (Cadaqués)
«Unforgettable experience and highly recommended. It is a formidable start to introduce you to the olfactory world. The day flies by. Frankly good and attractive staging. A 10 out of 10!» I.L.B. & Y.C.V. (Barcelona)
Every year, we create a series of olfactory experiences open to the everyone to share our personal creative process: the OLFACTORY CAPTURE.
It can be an Intensive Workshop (more technical) or a playful experience of immersion in the landscape through smell, which we call “Walks”.
In all the experiences, you will have the opportunity to practice the artisan processes of harvesting and distillation of aromatic plants, elaboration of essential oils, tinctures and hydrolates, as well as some of the best kept secrets of traditional perfumery.
You will learn about the plants that give the landscape its aromatic personality and you will discover a new way of relating to nature.
March, 25 (Saturday)- Make your Natural Cologne Workshop
We capture the essence of any natural environment that you choose. The aroma of your region, the perfume of your farm or that of the landscape that you contemplated years ago from the window of your room, in that summer house. But not only that, we can also capture the fragrance of a lived experience, a party, a house full of memories, of a workshop or work space. As long as it is based on natural essential oils, we can design your personalized perfume and capture the fragrance of what matters to you.
Perfume SON BRULL. Creation of an exclusive perfume for a Relais & Châteaux in Pollensa, on the island of Mallorca. Made with the most abundant plants on the estate and capturing the aroma of its deeply Mediterranean landscapes.
INCAVI project. Five olfactory captures for five wineries in five Destinations of Origin (D.O’s) in Catalonia. In this commission from INCAVI, we traveled to five wine regions to capture the aromas of the plants that influence the territory and the wines of five very unique wineries.
Casa Cuervo. After the success of our ESSAI/Olfactori Digression, inspired by the farm of our creator’s father, we were commissioned to create a perfume, this time, with the plants collected on the farm, to capture the essence of this corner of the Extremaduran landscape.
We design tailor-made olfactory experiences adapting to your needs. From capturing the aromatic essence of a private garden, to an aromatic walk in a city. Talks, multi-sensory installations, natural perfumery courses for business groups or team building events. Whether you are a private group or a company, we will put together all our knowledge about plants and their aromas, in addition to enormous creativity, to create an unforgettable and transformative olfactory experience for you.
Tell us what you have in mind and we will make it happen.
These are our suggestions:
Experiences for Destination Management Companies
Team-Building Experiences for Companies
Come and visit our laboratory, the place where we formulate our perfumes. By the hand of the creator and perfumer of BRAVANARIZ, Ernesto Collado, you will do a tasting of 100% natural fragrances, tinctures and hydolates, you will discover, first-hand, the artisanal processes and the secrets that make us special and while you have a glass of good wine from Empordà with us, you will get to know our brand philosophy in depth. At the end, if you are still curious and want to take one of our 100% natural fragrances with you, you will have a special discount on the purchase of any of our products.
VISITS WITH BOOKING IN ADVANCE
Price of the visit: 25€ x pax.
+34 633 22 42 05
Objetive # 1
The main idea is to combine minimum intervention with maximum mutual benefit. We have to let Nature do her thing. We are just there to assist and
-The first important thing is to recover the optimal state of the Prat de Dall. For this reason, we have to remove the poplar trees and clean away brambles and other bushes. We also need to cover the holes from fallen trees in order to level the ground well, so that it can be mowed.
-Along with this cleaning work, we will place the hives. Not on the prat de dall, but some 500m away (limit of the usual minimum radius of action for honey bees) , on a shrubland of aromatics, so we also give a chance to all the other pollinators to also take advantage of the prat de dall’s biodiversity.
Objetive # 2
-Monitoring and maintenance of both lines of action: the hives (health of the bees, quantity and quality of the honey) and the prat de dall (variety of flora, mowing quality).
Become a donor meadow
Due to its characteristics, the Prat de Dall from Can Bec could become a perfect
donor meadow. Then, in collaboration with Prats Vius, we would collect its seeds in order to help restore other prats de dall in the area and use this location as a project showcase.
Replicate the project
After collecting enough data (2-3 years), we would love to replicate the project in other properties, making the necessary adjustments based on each propert
If you want to collaborate financing the project ,you can buy some of the garments that we have designed for it. You have a t-shirt and two different models of cap. The entire profit will be used to cover the expenses derived from the actions, monitoring and management of the Bee Brave project. Furthermore, you will help to gove it more visibility. Many thanks for your
Near Agullana (Alt Empordà), almost near the French border, in the Les Salines Mountains, we found an abandoned Prat de Dall, now covered with poplar trees. The presence of these trees caught our attention, since they usually need humid soils. The first botanical studies made by Joan Font (a biology professor
at Girona University) confirmed our intuitions, and they exceeded our expectations. The richness of its biodiversity is outstanding. We convinced the owner to join the project and started the cleaning work to accommodate our first organic bee hives and recover the prat de dall.
Bee Brave starts from a basic idea. If there are flowers, then there are bees. And if there are more bees, there will be more flowers, and thus more plants. This, for thousands of years, has been one of nature’s most beautiful feedback cycles. However, excessive human ambition is changing this equilibrium and breaking the
cycle. BEE BRAVE wants to restore this cycle, even if only locally, focusing on two parts of the equation: the bees and their habitat here.
Bee Brave recovers semi-natural habitats of great biodiversity and in regression in the Empordà, called Prats de Dall (Mowing Meadows). The action focuses on the adaptation of the Prats de Dall and subsequent follow-up. This is how we ensure the health and good nutrition of the ecological hives that we have installed there. And on the other hand, these bees help with their pollination task, the recovery and maintenance of this semi-natural habitat.
“The idea is simple: give a bit back to the landscape that gives us so much. It is
a gesture of gratitude. While the landscape does not need us to be what it is,
the landscape builds us and shapes us much more than we recognize. We owe a lot to our natural environment. Being aware of that is already a first step. BEE BRAVE is Bravanariz’s humble way of going one step further.”
Ernesto Collado, CEO & Found