New role with International Perfume Foundation
I am thrilled to announce that I have been named the new Director of Animal Conservation for the International Perfume Foundation (IPF), a non-profit organization based in Brussels. The IPF’s Mission is Education, Protection and Revitalisation of Culture and Perfume Heritage to Reconnect Human Society with the Beauty of Natural Fragrances and the Healing Power of Nature.
As IPF Director of Animal Conservation, my role is to ensure the development of animal cruelty-free and animal testing-free natural perfumes, provide guidance for IPF gorilla and bee research projects, and participate in IPF events.
The civet cat, musk deer and beaver suffer when musks are harvested for use in perfume. This has to stop. We have botanical replacements for musk, and cruelty to animals is unnecessary. My role with IPF is to educate perfumers about how they can use plants, seeds and other botanicals to create musk scents, and spare animals their current anguish. I believe that education is the best way to raise perfumer and consumer awareness.
Three IPF projects I will be involved in are the World Heritage Program, the replanting of flower fields for the bees, and gorilla olfactory research. Bees are disappearing in part because farmers are growing genetically modified flowers for market. These flowers are visually flawless, but they lack scent. This has become a huge problem for bees, an insect with an olfactory system that depends on scent. It has also become a problem for natural perfumers. Gorillas, other primates, and humans share similar olfactory senses. The difference is gorillas use their sense of smell to cure themselves instinctively with plants and flowers. I’m excited about the possibility that IPF research could lead to a better understanding of how plants and flowers could be used in cures for cancer and genetic diseases in humans.
When you’re looking for ways to implement change a world away, you need all the inspiration you can find! In October, I attended the World Conservation Expo and listened to the heroic stories of people who work with governments and communities to keep animals like lions, giraffes, cheetahs and elephants safe from harm. I met my hero, Jane Goodall, who has opened the world’s eyes to conservation and protecting chimpanzees.
In the few moments I had with Jane, I shared my own message of conservation and my new role with the IPF. It was an incredible experience to meet her – I have listened to her and learned from her for as long as I can remember! Her vision and drive give me hope.