12/10/2014 12:47 EST | Updated 02/09/2015 05:59 EST

Buy This Ethical AND Gorgeous Gift For The Holidays


Afghanistan Orange Blossom Eau de Parfum

If you have been following my blog, you know that I love all things pretty. It is even better when the pretty item is sustainable.

There is an evolution happening in scents. More and more customers are preferring ethical luxury and wanting to purchase sustainable beauty products.

The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc. is a Canadian company based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Their belief is to flex their buying power to empower families in countries that are rebuilding. Their fragrances are made in Canada and are created with essential oils from nations that are rebuilding including Haiti, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

They source essential oils for their fragrances from their supplier in Afghanistan who provides seasonal employment for his tribe and community. Every time they purchase legal essential oils from Afghanistan, they are playing a role to provide alternatives to the illegal poppy crop.

Barb Stegemann, founder of The 7 Virtues fragrance collection recently shared with me the top tips on how to find the perfect scent for the holiday season.

How can a person choose a scent that suits your personality and lifestyle?

We have to remember that although 40 per cent of workplaces in Canada have no scent policies, there remains 60 per cent that do not ban fragrance and merely expect a respectful scent that does not "Walk in the room ahead of you."

So scent is more than possible and let's not forget, we don't spend our entire lives at work. Whether you are selecting a scent for work or a night clubbing with the girls, there is a vast selection of incredible fragrances for you to choose from.

Be mindful of workplace sensitivities for the 60 per cent of workplaces that do embrace fragrance. Select a fragrance that does not contain parabens or phthalates. These are the additives that make a fragrance stick to the walls and your skin. You want to ensure your fragrance does not contain these.

We all love our pets, you want to ensure your fragrance is vegan. That means no animal testing and that your fragrance does not contain animal products.

Try and find a fragrance that contains natural essential oils as they have soothing properties and can provide calm in your busy day.

Where should the scent should be applied to your body?

Scent is so unique. The best way for the scent to blend with your natural chemistry is to ensure it has natural essential oils and is not heavy in chemicals. This ensures the fragrance blends with your natural scent. This way you really own the fragrance as the scent will be yours, unique to you unlike heavy fragrances that simply smell the same on everyone masking a person's natural scent.

Wear fragrance on your pulse points, wrists, neck, ankles, or behind the knees. This way the fragrance can naturally be experienced by the force of your pulse, rather than the force of phthalates or added chemicals.

When you spray on your wrists, there is the temptation to rub your wrists together. Try and refrain so as not to bruise the fragrance.

Blend your fragrances -- always.

It's so much fun to create a fragrance that is unique to you. My husband wears three sprays of our Vetiver of Haiti with one spray of our Noble Rose of Afghanistan and it makes a masculine rose. I like that he experiments with fragrance. It's so important to play.

We used to play with fragrance when we were young and then workplace fragrance restrictions seemed to put a damper on that. I remind you that I certainly hope you don't spend all of your time in the workplace and venture out to places where respectful fragrance is to be embraced.

That's why we created our fragrances without added parabens and phthalates so that you can wear fragrance that does not intrude on others. Fragrance is such a personal experience and it is for the wearer and those they are intimate with. Balance in life is key. We can wear fragrance and enjoy feeling unique with our signature scent that is subtle, respectful yet unique and fun.

Please share your comments below. Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to enjoy life to the fullest.

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