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A protocol of sustainable gathering

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I am aware that gathering wild plants for the production of colognes, even when not done on an industrial scale, could give rise to certain qualms. In any case, we had our doubts as well, as soon as we began to think of this project. Can it be done without damaging the ecosystem’s balance? Could it affect the development of the plants themselves? To what degree could it end up altering the landscape? For us it was very important to have the answers to these questions before we began.

 

 

Through Salvem l’Empordà / IAEDEN (Institució Altempordanesa per a l’Estudi i Defensa de la Natura) [Save Empordà / IAEDEN (Alt Emporda Institute for the Study and Defence of Nature)] we came into contact with Sandra Saura, an environmental biologist with close ties to the region through her collaborations with the natural parks Parc Natural de l’Albera, Parc Natural del Cap de Creus, and Parc Natural del Montgrí. She is also a medicinal herbalist and is highly respected in local circuits; she knows many remedies and applications first hand. In spite of this (or perhaps because of it), Sandra is young and very pleasant, passionate and intrepid. The perfect collaborator for BRAVANARIZ.
 

 

Together we have worked on designing a protocol for sustainable gathering that might respond to the needs of each species. Because not everything is applicable to everything in the same way. In some cases, it is better to select individual plants and take them whole. In other cases, it is recommendable to prune the flowering tops. Some plants need to stay with a few flowers to ensure their preproduction and the survival of pollinating insects. The same system cannot be applied to a thicket on the plains and a holm-oak grove in the mountains.

 

 

Last spring (2016) we did a series of samplings in a set of zones that had previously been chosen for plant gathering. We spent hours under the sun, surrounded by intense, intoxicating aromas, with the soundtrack of an army of insects as we worked gathering. More than once we had to apologize to a bee for competing so unfairly with it. The truth is, however, they could have cared less about us.

The samples supplied us with a lot of information, on the density, quality and general state of the main species that BRAVANARIZ wants to use in its formulas: rosemary, thyme, rockrose and cistus, Spanish lavender, white pine, fennel, juniper and cypress.

Now we are not only convinced of the project’s viability, fully respecting environmental balance. We also know that it is possible, in some cases, to favour it, assisting certain species to develop better and blocking the invasive effects of others.

 

 

As Sandra will say, plants do not need us, and they never have. They are still there, and will be there long after our extinction. Imagining anything else is just another one of our blowhard ideas. But if we are going to benefit from the infinite properties and qualities of plants, we might as well do so with respect, and in a way that is the least bothersome possible.

For BRAVANARIZ this is a fundamental priority that we are not going to lose sight of. Quite beyond sampling and studying, we will continue to do controlled monitoring of the areas where we habitually gather, which will assist us in evaluating the effect of our actions and thus be able to react in consequence. In effect, the question is to preserve the landscape. Our landscape.

Related links:
Sandra Saura’s company, www.cebcat-labalca.cat

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.

Our first solid perfume

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.

Testimonials

«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)

 

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.

October, 23 (Sunday)- Capture the essence of Molí Roquer

November, 12 (Saturday) – Capture the essence of Molí Roquer

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.

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