There’s an Art to growing Money, money, money on trees, really, so I did – this article will prove it, or at least sow the proverbial seed….
What started out as a money, I mean morbid curiosity for our often overlooked sense of smell…..
….evolved into a flourishing partnership with Fragrance du Bois, the niche luxury perfume house born from the richest essences of nature, sponsoring the 2014, 2015 & 2016 Dubai $ Projects…
Entry forms from the 2014 Dubai $ Project : VIP Fragrance experiences were up for grabs……
Media One hotel Fragrance experience at The Intergalactic$ exhibition (2014)
This refreshing partnership added a luxurious olfactory dimension to the Dollarsandart exhibitions…
Back in the U$$R exhibition with Fragrance Du Bois in full effect
So if visitors weren’t inspired by the Art, free canapes and glasses of bubbles at the exhibitions…..
2015 Dubai $ Project in DIFC sponsored by Fragrance du bois
…they’d at least leave smelling better thanks to the finest of bespoke fragrances…
On the money : Fragrance Du Bois Singapore
We’ve been building on this strong Dubai foundation, triggered by the Dubai CEO, Dean Henry, being an early adopter and totally ‘getting’ the Art……
…which led to me not only to exploring the brave new world of fragrance, but taking the plunge and investing in trees – but not just any trees……
…these are nurtured with nature over in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand and are of the Aquilaria variety, the workhorse of some of the finest fragrance known to mankind!
In 2016, six months into the investment and delivering the 4th Dubai $ Project, I was fortunate enough to be hosted by Group CEO Barry Rawlinson in Thailand on a tour of the plantations, production facilities and the Bangkok boutique. During the trip, I realised what a positive impact the plantations have, not only with attractive returns over a 5-7 year period, but also the job creation aspect throughout the communities that earn a living from this evolving industry.
Their continued support has now blossomed into a healthy relationship with both Asia Plantation Capital and Fragrance Du Bois and a real passion for combining the compelling story behind these businesses into my Art.
It was on 14th Feb this year, in the boardroom of Asia Plantation Capital (APC) in Kuala Lumpur, thanks to the open-minded CEO Steve Watts, I just had to paint a dollarsandart honouring these inspiring brands….
Great to meet Steve Watts and dig deeper with the team from APC Malaysia in Feb 2017
As Art told a story, this 3 panel acrylic on canvas and local currency artwork not only celebrates the clever Soil to Oil journey that investors go on, leading me to put my money where my mouth is as part of a sustainable investment but marks an important step in my artistic career, overcoming the arm folding cynics who actually add fuel to the fire of desire!
The arm-folding negativity of people telling me I’d be better off investing in Carbon Credits / throwing it down the drain drove me to dig deeper into their offering – it would be ‘oud’ not to….
I’m really glad I did – the negative pushed me on not only to invest but also to paint this artwork right in the boardroom!
The Elements – Art that tells a story!
It’s on display now in the APC boardroom as part of a creative joint venture, together with these leaflets explaining the story behind each of the 3 elements…..
So, I’ve enjoyed learning more about this process (below if interested) and with a dollarsandart taking pride of place in the APC boardroom helping explain the process whilst being for sale to any art -collecting investors of this fantastic initiative.
Plant it, believe in it, watch it grow and don’t cut too much off!
From soil to oil to you
The end product of Fragrance Du Bois (FDB), literally stemmed from the sustainable forestation process from Asia Plantation Capital (APC) in the South East Asia. As my Art is all about the story one I’d seen it all first hand and followed the story of Oud, plantations and sustainable investments so it felt just right to put the $ where the mouth is…..
Invest carefully and the money grows on trees!
Like alot of us, it all started at the nursery….
Snapshot of the Aquilaria saplings at the Malaysian Batu Pahat nursery.
As time moves on the saplings thrive, pictured above in clusters of 100 before being promoted into fully fledged trees, some 5-7 years down the line….
Mature trees at the Paloh Plantation
Then the oud magic starts! The healthy wood of Aquilaria trees is white, soft and without scented resins. In the wild, agarwood forms only when affected by certain external factors, such as animal grazing, insect attack or microbial invasion, typically around wounded or rotting parts of the trunk…..
….This defensive reaction causes a moist fragrant discolouration within the heart of the tree often called Heartwood. Applying inoculation methods APC have been able to successfully infect an entire Aquilaria tree with agar wood resin and bingo – the oud oil.
It doesn’t stop there, together with their impressive distillery plants and technology…..
….and to see first hand their purpose-built agarwood (gaharu) distillation and research centre, located in the Masai Industrial Park, Johor, Malaysia. This Oud oil distillery, wood chip processing centre, fragrance stick factory and research centre is at the heart of the state of the art 44,000 ft2 facility in the Masai Industrial Park.
Also situated within the complex is a visitor centre, along with a wholesale factory shop stocked with the ever-growing range of agarwood products that APC produces…..
…with the picture now complete, it was too good to resist I opted for my favourite and highly commended Sahraa Oud…..
…which made waves in the olfactory scene, from the Privé collection, Sahraa Oud, a real masterpiece, shortlisted as a finalist in the Independent Category of the Arts and Olfaction Awards in 2014. Also hard to resist was investing in one of these designer beaded bracelets that are said to improve circulation and concentration…..
This precious, highly valued, fragrant agarwood has a history dating back thousands of years and is used in cancer research, in traditional Chinese medicine, in the treatment of respiratory disorders, and given as gifts and used in ceremonial practices all over the world. It is also carved into sculptures, beads and boxes and further research is currently going into more medical benefits to help mankind.
So aside from it being a ‘decent return on investment’ there’s a much bigger picture with the APC / FDB operation….
“It’s been a year since our agarwood processing factory has been fully operational,” said Steve Watts, APC’s Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific, “and we have already welcomed a significant number of visitors and/or clients to the facility — some of whom are among the most influential investment and fund managers in the world.”
To cap the Malaysian trip off we were hosted at the flagship boutique, at The Fullerton hotel, Singapore….
…which rounded of the trip perfectly, completing the motto of ‘From Soil to Oil to you’ leaving us with that reassuring feeling that luxury can sometimes but rarely deliver…..
From a raw business perspective, the Asia Plantation Capital Group’s business model is based on creating a vertically integrated business from the management of plantations to the inoculation, harvesting, distilling and processing of agarwood inputs into a multitude of agarwood end products, including the highly prized oud oil.
It’s so much more than this and who’d have thought growing year on year with the fragrance gifted to those who attended the Dollarsandart exhibitons and behind it is the opportunity to invest……
As dollarsandart is all about Art that tells a story this one certainly is unique; producing fragrances from the mystical oud oil produced literally from soil, to oil, to you!
My next article will go into each element of the Art in detail, the story that inspired the soil to oil original artwork painted in the boardroom of Asian Plantation Capital, Kuala Lumpur entitled ‘The Element$’ featuring acrylic and local banknotes on canvas.
‘We only left him in there for 5 minutes!’
Meantime if you’d like to get amongst it with a creative and change workshops don’t hesitate to drop me a line email@example.com, by pigeon carrier, telegraph, fax, phone, postcard, linked in message, billboard, loudspeaker or through channelling intentions of the highest order on your rich journey of self-actualisation.
Follow the daily goings on of dollarsandart, Art that tells a story, on instagram, twittersville and the book of faces.
Tour Credit : Rachel Thomas of Room to Think, Dean Henry, Steve Watts, Nisa Sumali & Adeline Tan of Asia Plantation Capital with inspiration from Rachel Thomas of Room to Think.