In conversation with: Sofia Benkirane, Les Aromes Du Maroc

In conversation with: Sofia Benkirane, Les Aromes Du Maroc

  • 07 March, 2020
  • Emily Taylor

Moroccan based Sofia has been instrumental in leading the Beyond Sustainability Project on behalf of Les Aromes Du Maroc - she has been the constant force and has worked tirelessly to develop the project and to oversee it for the last three years. We’re so grateful for her eternal optimism and perseverance. What a delight to be able to ask her a few questions in advance of International Women's Day. 

 

1. Tell us about how you work with Sana Jardin in a couple of sentences?

    I first met the founder of Sana Jardin, Amy Christiansen, in 2016, the year I joined the Les Arômes team. She was visiting Morocco and explained her wish to develop a sustainable fragrance. As a senior world fine fragrance provider for more than 80 years, she has chosen to build this story with IFF as she felt very close to and concerned for the Moroccan women.

    Now, we are partners working hand in hand, helping some of our flower pickers to build their own business, selling up-cycled products and being financially autonomous.

    2. How did you end up in this role – what is your background?

    I have a Master’s degree in International Marketing and another one in Business Intelligence. I studied in France for 7 years, and I met the Human Resources Director in Paris at a career fair, the last year of my degree. He liked my CV and asked me to get in touch with him once back in my hometown. My company was thinking about creating a new position of a “Marketing Manager” in my Business Unit, and it was the year I came back to Morocco, so I think I was “just in time”  ;-)

    3. What do you feel makes Sana Jardin special?

    Sana Jardin is a brand with a Soul, which makes it a very special brand.

    We may think that it is only marketing tricks (and as a marketing manager I know what I am talking about :-) ) but I have the chance to personally know the founder, and I know she believes in making something good for society proving that luxury and social responsibility can coexist!

    4. There’s something special about women empowering women – do you have a life motto that you use time and time again?

    I think that in this life, everybody can create some “Magic” if you give a person a chance and the means to make something. We are all capable of something and something huge!

    One of my life mottos is that we may fall many times, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I love a quote that says “ You are going to be happy, said life, but first, let me make you strong”!

     5. What would you like to tell the world about Annama?

    Hope! Annamaa in arabic means Growth but for me this project means “hope” because it means a lot for these women and it lets us believe in a better future for them, for all the women in the universe and every human being! Nothing is impossible, if we really want something, we do our best to make it happen “No pain, no gain!”

     6. What have been your biggest achievements or most memorable moments since working with Sana Jardin as part of the Beyond Sustainability Movement?

    The women were not confident at the beginning and were doubting on this project, now as we go further in time, we can notice their enthusiasm and happiness when they sell their products. This project is a perfect example of making a dream come true (and this is just the beginning of course!).

     7. What is the best part of your job?

    I really love my job as I do many things in different fields and I am very autonomous, but the social part of it is the best because you feel like you are doing something good for society! I actually don’t feel like I am working, but just doing my duty as a human being.

    Being close to people and helping them achieve something, is an opportunity that helps me feel like I am participating in the fulfilment of women that did not have the chance to make it alone.

     8. Which flower is your favourite? And why?

    I like flowers in general but I have two that I like the most;

    • Red Hibiscus because it reminds me of my childhood and the garden of my grandfather (may his soul rest in peace).
    • And the orange blossom flower because of its smell, that is so special and so specific to Morocco (We actually use the orange blossom water in every kind of ceremony).

     9. Which is your favourite Sana Jardin scent?

    They are all special but my favourite is Berber Blonde, probably because of the orange blossom smell :)

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