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ROBIN WALL KIMMERER ( (1953, New York)

We continue with women, and we continue without leaving the USA, the indisputable cradle of a great lineage of writers and nature writers who have drunk from Thoreau, Muir, Burroughs, Emerson and many others. But in this case, our protagonist has also drunk from very different sources. Not of personalities, but of an entire culture rooted in the land, which has not needed a writer to rediscover its environment, because it never ceased to be part of it.

Robin is a graduate botanist, writer, and distinguished professor at SUNY College of Environment Science and Forestry in New York. Of mixed European and Anishinaabe descent, she is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. In collaboration with tribal partners, she has an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural importance to native peoples.

Everything in her gives off a creative energy that calms. There is something kind in her eyes. Warm. And this energy is present in everything she writes.

I discovered her, like most people, through her wonderful and sobering book “Braiding Sweetgrass”. From its first pages, I was absolutely fascinated by the way she weaved (pun intended) together the three different types of knowledge that she treasures: scientific, spiritual and her personal experience as a woman, mother and Indigenous American.

To begin, her position with respect to nature is one of enormous and sincere humility, which dismantles all preconceptions about the usual bombast and superiority of scientific writing. She is full of humility to learn, to respect and empathize with nature. The Indigenous worldview originates from the fact that humans are slightly inferior. We are the little brothers of Creation, and as little brothers, we must learn from our older brothers: the plants, the eagle, the deer or the frog. Isn’t that beautiful, as well as true?

Starting from here, the book does not stop teaching us things, lessons that are hard to forget. All are included within what the author calls the Culture of Gratitude, which is in the marrow of Indigenous life.

One of the ideas that has stuck with me is that of the grammar of animacy. Robin alerts us to the danger of the pronouns we use for nature. We call the tree that, and that makes it easier for us to pick up the saw and cut it down. If the tree was a him instead, maybe we’d think twice.

“Maybe a grammar of animacy could lead us to whole new ways of living in the world, other species, a sovereign people, a world with a democracy of species, not a tyranny of one—with moral responsibility to water and wolves, and with a legal system that recognizes the standing of other species. It’s all in the pronouns.”

A “democracy of species“. What a beautiful and desirable idea. Will we be able to get down from our pedestal and reorganize ourselves from that perspective? I think it’s worth a try.

Another idea: the economy of the gift. A gift, as Robin explains it, is something for nothing, something for the obligations that come with it. In the gift economy, ownership carries with it a list of responsibilities.

A gift relationship with nature is a “formal give-and-take that acknowledges our participation in, and dependence upon, natural increase. We tend to respond to nature as a part of ourselves, not a stranger or alien available for exploitation. Gift exchange is the commerce of choice, for it is commerce that harmonizes with, or participates in, the process of [nature’s) increase.”

There is so much wisdom and erudition in this book, but perhaps what surprised me the most was the enormous common sense that all of Kimmerer’s words give off. Common sense, which, within the Indigenous culture, her culture, maintains all its meaning.

This idea hurts. In the West, as I once heard from Tom Waits, “common sense is the least common of the senses.” It is as if, in our individualistic society, we have already abandoned the idea that there is a “meeting space,” a “common place” in which we could all agree, without the need to argue or discuss. We have lost the notion of the common.

I will not spoil any more for you. I strongly encourage you to read this book, and practice since then and forever, the culture of gratitude. To reemphasize, this is a book that makes people better, that heals people. We need these books (and their authors!).

I’d love to have breakfast with Robin one day. Look into her eyes, and thank her for how much she has taught me. Offer her, in a gesture, all the love that she has injected into my actions and thoughts. Her book is a gift, and as such she has generated in me a series of responsibilities, which I try to fulfill every day that passes. I would like to make a proposition to her. That we embark on a project together. Her, me and the Indigenous peoples of America. I would like to capture the scents of their rituals, of the plants that are part of their culture. Give them back the aromas of their landscapes and customs, so that, through smell, they can revive the emotion of the common.

Bee Brave

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.

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Mel olfactory disgresion

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.

Our first solid perfume

Testimonials

«This olfactory journey was a reconnection with something instinctive, an opening for all the senses to nature» Bojana (U.S.A.) «One of the most inspiring olfactory experiences I have had in my life” Lourenço Lucena (Portugal) «We started the day as strangers and ended as friends” S.Baber (U.S.A.)

Reserve an Experience

Every year, we create a series of olfactory experiences open to the public to share our personal creative process: the OLFACTORY CAPTURE.

It can be in the form of an Intensive Workshop (more technical) or as a more playful experience of immersion in the landscape through smell, which we call Walks.

In all of them, 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 the environment.

The dates and modalities are published at two times of the year.

In January, the February-March Intensive Workshops and the spring-summer Walks. In September, the October-November Walks. If there is any scheduled activity, you will have the date and modality below.

Tailor-made Perfumes

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.

Case studies:

Perfume SON BRULL. Creation of an exclusive perfume for a Relais & Châteaux in Pollensa (https://www.relaischateaux.com/es/espana/sonbrull-mallorca-pollenca), 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.

Tailor-made Experiences

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 your idea is, and we will make it come true.

Download our PDF for more information.

Intro

BRAVANARIZ creates tailor-made olfactory experiences and bespoke perfumes that capture the essence of a place or a specific experience. From an exclusive perfume for a Relais Chateau to an olfactory walk in a private garden. Each new project, for us, is an exciting creative journey that stimulates us to seek and discover exclusive and original olfactory proposals that capture the aromas of nature and landscapes.

Objectives

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
escort her.

First phase

-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

Second phase

-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

How to collaborate with the project

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
collaboration.

Can Bech, The pilot Project

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.

Boosting biodiversity

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