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A new alliance to protect the Magnolia Mashpi

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A new alliance to protect the Magnolia Mashpi

We are pleased to share some exciting news from Mashpi!

We have formalized a partnership with the renowned fragrance company MANE and The Red List Project (TRLP), an organization dedicated to rescuing globally endangered botanical species.

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The story began when TRLP Conservation Director Vanessa Handley visited Mashpi as a guest in February 2022. She came away fascinated by the riches of its biodiverse forest — part of the Andean Chocó region — and by the lodge’s immense work in conservation and scientific research that the lodge has been doing its inception.

During her stay at Mashpi, Vanessa got to know (and smell!) the Magnolia mashpi and instantly knew the flower was the ideal candidate for the ongoing project she had with MANE to protect endangered botanical species and inspire perfumes and fragrances along the way.

Mateo Roldan Vanessa Magnolia
Mateo And Vanessa With The Magnolia Mashpi Ph: Diana Troya

Magnolia mashpi was first described to science in 2016 and its tree plays a crucial role for the ecosystem. In places like Mashpi, the presence of adult Magnolias is an indicator that the forest is healthy and has not been destroyed.

“In addition, it is an example of a ‘primitive flower’ as it has the characteristics of the first flowers that appeared on Earth (large, solitary, spiral petals, hermaphrodite, pollinated by insects),” says Mateo Roldán, Mashpi Lodge’s research coordinator.

Mateo had already proposed a fundraising project to preserve the Magnolia in 2018. Therefore, he saw that this partnership with MANE and TRLP had huge potential.

After several months of conversations, two MANE representatives and perfumers arrived at Mashpi Lodge in November 2022 to see the Magnolia, smell it and get inspiration from the place to recreate a fragrance true to the magical surroundings of the Andean Chocó.

Research Biology Team
Vanessa Handley, Mateo Roldán And Chiara Correa In Mashpi Lodge’S Laboratory. Ph: Diana Troya

MANE has an innovative and sustainable extraction methodology. They perform unique extractions of the essence of endangered fragrant botanical species. This ensures minimal collection (you only need to extract once) and allows the plant to remain in its habitat without generating impacts. This extraction is then used to recreate the scent in their laboratories using 100% biodegradable materials.

In the case of the Magnolia mashpi, just a few fragrant flowers of the tree were harvested using the lodge’s Dragonfly cable car, which glides across 1.2 miles of the reserve and allows guests a bird’s-eye view of the stunning forest.

“Many fragrance companies have zero corporate responsibility, they extract the scents, but almost none contribute to conservation or scientific research and they don’t give something back,” says Mateo.

The alliance with MANE and TRLP is different. Part of the income derived from this agreement comes back to the forests of Mashpi directly for more conservation action. The first phase of the agreement involves TRLP funding a project, to be executed by Mashpi’s Research & Biology team, in which Magnolia populations will be identified outside the reserve boundaries, in order to strengthen in situ conservation of this species. Not only that, but ex situ conservation will also be enhanced by creating community nurseries, which will help to educate and create awareness of this species’ importance and fragility among local communities of the region.

In the long-term we want our guests to have a unique sense of place at our Lodge. In addition to being immersed in the Andean Chocó, they will also find this fragrance as part of our Lodge amenities.

This achievement fills us with pride as we place ourselves at the forefront of conservation and sustainable tourism. To date, a total of 18 new species have been discovered, including animals and plants endemic to our Mashpi-Tayra reserve.

These types of alliances contribute to scientific knowledge and research, strengthen our efforts to conserve the Andean Chocó and ensure the care of our natural environment.

Mosaico Magnolia

Javier Garcia

Javier Garcia

Eduardo Silva

Carolina Escobar

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Javier Garcia

Javier Garcia

Eduardo Silva

Carolina Escobar

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Updated:November 21, 2023

Published:November 7, 2023

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