Donna Karan’s latest fragrance is helping Ngo Care to help women to Togo.

When queen of New York Donna Karan gave us her Pure DKNY fragrance in 2010, it was something of a personal manifesto: ‘PureDKNY speaks to the core essence of who I am and what I want to touch – the people and children I love, and being at one with nature. It’s about those little moments that bring you joy, pure and simple.’ It was to be ‘more than a fragrance – it’s a state of mind, away of being and living responsibly’. Everything about the PureDKNY strategy has been carefully thought out, starting with the selection of supermodel/ actress Angela Lindvall as their spokesperson. She just happens to be a dedicated eco-champion, vegetarian and founder of Collage Foundation, which educates young people about sustainability and environmentally conscious choices, as well as an active fundraiser for Green Cross International.

Description: Pure heart

PureDKNY also chose to partner with leading humanitarian Ngo Care in their campaign to defend dignity and fight poverty in the world’s poorest nations, so that they could make a real difference to the lives of their raw-material suppliers.

Investing in women

The first partnership with Care’s Access Africa programme has allowed PureDKNY to empower the Ugandan women farmers who produce the vanilla beans used in their ‘drop of vanilla in water’ signature note, as well as securing long-term vanilla production in Uganda.

Now they are doing the same in Togo, which produces the verbena basil that is the signature ingredient in PureDKNY A Drop of Verbena.

One of the poorest, most isolated countries in the world, Togo has an average income per person of less than US $1.25 (about R10) a day. In sourcing their verbena basil from Tofolese farmers, most of whom are women, PureDKNY is helping to support Care’s work. Rather than entering into a cash partnership, they’ve chosen a far more sustainable model that includes training, teaching the farmers about fair pricing and safe employment. As Veronique Gabai-Pinsky, President of Aramis and Designer Fragrances, explains, ‘PureDKY is creating a movement, not just a donation.’

So, let’s talk about the fragrance…

Description: pureDKNY A Drop of Verbena

pureDKNY A Drop of Verbena features many of the favourite notes (bergamot, mandarin leaves, cucumber, sea moss and vetiver) found in the original, but while the first focused in a drop of vanilla in water, the newest addition replaces the sweet warmth of vanilla with the green tartness of verbena basil.

This delicate hybrid herb gives the fragrance its deliciously crisp, lemony spirit, becoming more green and herby as it dries down, balanced by a light, sophisticated floral undertone.

This sparkling, bright fragrance leaves you with the feeling of the clean, dewy freshness in the air after a summer rain shower. It’s perfect for anytime, anywhere, and it’s an absolute must for hot weather.

Of course, the philosophy of making a difference pure and simple, would not be complete without environmental consideration, so A Drop of Verbena, like its sister, is housed in a simply beautiful ‘crystal raindrop’ bottle. The glass and cap are 100% recyclable, the carton is printed with low-VOC inks on certified forest paper and it’s wrapped in biodegradable film.

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