Bulgari’s new initiative to work with Indian farmers for sourcing the jasmine used in its perfumes
Homegrown flowers for international fragrances
Little do we know of the Indian connect of perfumes that carry the hallmark of some of the biggest names in the global luxury industry. But it’s gradually coming to the fore. Roman jewellery brand Bulgari just announced its Flower Gems of India initiative in collaboration with French perfume brand Firmenich and its partner Jasmine Concrete, the largest floral extract exporter of India. The project has its base in two regions of Tamil Nadu wherein a new jasmine-farming floriculture models will be created with 100 family-owned farms. Flower Gems of India will span over a period of three years from 2019 to 2021.
The Roman jewellery brand launched its first scent. Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert, in the year 1992. Ever since, each of its fragrances has carried jasmine in it, be it in the overtones or the undertones of the scent. The Flower Gems of India initiative seems like a natural progression for the brand which has been pushing the envelope of sustainability to include more well-rounded efforts and practices. The project will also stress on a holistic farming approach wherein methods to improve the soil quality, manage water supply and for a sustained harvest along with the livelihood of the farming families play key roles. These go on to hint at the brand’s long-term, multi-faceted approach to ethical sourcing and sustainable practices.
Bulgari isn’t the only luxury brand that has turned to India’s flowerbed for sourcing the finest quality extracts from fresh blooms. From Dior’s jasmine sambac and tuberose sourced from Madurai for its bestselling fragrance J’adore by its perfumer Francois Demachy to, more recently, Hugo Boss’s Alive Eau de Parfum that has jasmine sambac as its central tone, India’s floriculture has long drawn international brands. Other than the demand for jasmine extract, sandalwood oil has also been used in some of the most iconic fragrances which has now led to a near-extinction of sandalwood tress. It is for this reason that Chanel has dipped its feet out of the country’s sandalwood plantations, now exploring the region of New Caledonia in the South Pacific where it breeds new sandalwood tress and works for the preservation of the old ones. “Although India has been our source of this ingredient for many decades, its overexploitation in the country, due to its excessive use outside the perfume industry, had led to severe deforestation,” states Chanel’s Report to Society.