Setting about to make colognes from scratch is exciting, though it clearly requires patience and dedication. The first “prototypes” that left my laboratory were formulated with essential oils bought from ecological production, as well as the base alcohol, which came from grapes produced in ecological vineyards. This was as close as I could get to working with a palette of oils from wild gathering, and allowed me to work on variations in a relatively short period of time (keeping in mind that a cologne should mature for at least one month until being able to evaluate it).
As might have been expected, the results were rather poor when it came to the details, but the quality of the base products let us think that better things would come. The first colognes were agreeable, with the rosemary clearly dominating as it was present in all of them, making them seem almost identical in spite of the many differences in composition. I gradually began to learn how to correct this imbalance and better compensate the aromatic variety that went along with rosemary. This is when the first worthwhile prototypes began to appear.
Of all the colognes that made it past the first quality control tests (that is, past my nose), no. 0006 was the first I dared to produce in enough quantity to give as a gift to friends and relatives. It had rosemary, thyme, lavender, cypress, juniper and pine, with sage as the natural botanical fixer. It was the reproduction of one of my habitual walks near our home in Pontós. I had a few labels made (with the prototypes of the logo designed by the amazing Joan Tarragó, but with spelling errors) and I bottled it in 30ml flasks, accompanied by my first business cards. This was an ideal Christmas gift―ideal especially for me, since I did not have to think of anything else to give to anyone.
No. 0006 was the first cologne to leave the laboratory, and it warranted critiques and commentaries. There were a lot of both, even though, as the saying goes, you should not check the teeth of a gifted horse. In general, though, the first reactions were surprisingly positive (apart from a certain confusion for the final “e” in WILDE). On the one hand, people really appreciated the intimate sensation of having come off the hills, which was sensed immediately with the characteristic scents of rosemary and lavender. They also found it highly stimulating, as if the smell had the power to enliven you, (“perfectly”, said the most enthusiastic users), something to put on just before going out at night or first thing in the morning. Others, however, found it too simple, unsophisticated or excessively savage. There were even some who compared it to an analgesic cream, which made me laugh but did not please me at all (this was likely due to the camphor which is found in both lavender and rosemary). It also had a problem with how long it lasted. The scent faded quickly, and while this is perfectly normal for a 100% natural scent, it got into my head as something that had to be overcome in future attempts.
I have continued to research since then, looking for a greater variety of details, more balance and better fixing. I have done tests with essential oil derived from cistus narrow leaf, from the gum rockrose family, a famous fixer in the Middle Ages and very abundant in the zone, and the results are rather exciting. This is especially because they are intensely suggestive of certain areas of the Empordà. I have also tried with oakmoss, which gives scents a strong personality and a rather classic touch. I now have some 13 prototypes that have gotten past my first control filter, though I have done many more attempts than that.
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 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.
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 (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.
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.
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.
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