Terra Flora Parfum By Wild Olive African Artisans

Wild Olive
Artist Penelope Cooras created the artwork used on the packaging and bottle design of Terra Flora Parfum

Correction: We spotted an error in the caption of the Wild Olive article on page 240 of VISI 100. It should have read: Artist Penelope Cooras created the artwork used on the packaging and bottle design of Terra Flora Parfum. OPPOSITE Muse Kelly Ghali and perfumer Marioara de la Tara.  

WORDS Kelly Ghali IMAGES Hazel Mathias and courtesy of Wild Olive Artisans

Wild Olive African Artisans Apothecary and Artistic Perfumery House in Cape Town is a destination for shopping natural perfumery, bath, body and homeware products.

For the past two decades this local manufacturer has forged its own style of cosmetic, fragrance and product design. The products are made to order or as limited editions in collaboration with artists, and are ever-evolving lines of body washes, lotions, butters, candles, perfumes and many more.

Wild Olive African Artisan Apothecary is located at 29 Pepper Street, Cape Town.

Wild Olive Artisans’ philosophy is to offer you cosmetic products that would assist in preserving your health and beauty for as long as possible. Everything is formulated and made under one roof by skilful artisans, with a second generation already joining the business.

Wild Olive Artisans owns its R&D, manufacturing and retail platforms, and has made it its mission to put Africa on the map of natural beauty and perfumery, seeking to represent the cultural values of the continent in an authentic way.

“We spent the past decade learning how we could make a difference in our local market, but also internationally,” says business manager Monica Onigas. “We scrutinise our methodology, formulating style and business processes continuously. We pay close attention to the feedback we receive from our customers. While keeping an eye on issues of environmental and social responsibility, we try to juggle market trends, seeking to be as relevant and as efficient as we can be and in line with global demands.”


Kelly Ghali, the muse who inspired perfumer Marioara de la Tara, shares with us her experience of making this perfume.

Muse Kelly Ghali and perfumer Marioara de la Tara.

“Stop the car!” I said to my husband. We had taken a short-cut across Bree Street and found ourselves outside Wild Olive Apothecary and Artistic Perfumery House on Pepper Street in Cape Town.

Stepping inside the converted 19th-century building that houses the shop and the cosmetic and perfume laboratory, I was instantly enchanted by the space and its scent. The chance encounter with Marioara sparked the beginning of a friendship, which, a year later, resulted in me inspiring the creation of a new perfume, Terra Flora, which was launched in October 2018.

Terra Flora Parfum has a dominant base note of sandalwood, enhanced by oakmoss and softened by orange flower and iris root absolutes. The mid notes are neroli and jasmine. In the top notes, mandarin dominates, with accents of petitgrain, bergamot, lime and rosewood. R95 (3 ml); R2 200 (30 ml)

The idea for Terra Flora came from my frustration at not being able to find a perfume that was unusual, easy to wear and synthetics-free. I had become accustomed to using aromatherapy oils, and found mainstream perfumes overwhelming, often leaving me with a headache and sour-smelling skin.

Being offered the opportunity to create my own perfume was a dream come true. Marioara worked on my brief, using oils renowned for their grounding and calming qualities. Our goal was to create a sophisticated, elegant yet modern unisex perfume suitable for any occasion or season using only the highest-quality natural materials.

We commissioned artist Penelope Cooras to create artwork inspired by my life story and used elements of it for the packaging and bottle design. Terra Flora really is unlike any other perfume you will have experienced.

For more information, visit wildolive.eu.