How the Kalahari brought me closer to the Earth

Just over three years ago, when I first visited Boscia House, the site where Klein JAN stands today, I didn’t know what to expect. I’d never been to the Kalahari until then. To me, it always seemed like an arid expanse where everything struggled – from the plants and animals to the people – in the harshness of the landscape. But as I took my first steps, kaalvoet on Kalahari sand, I suddenly appreciated everything that this place was and could become. I had grown up on a farm, but here, I became rooted in the earth.

Since then, the Kalahari has become an inseparable part of my story. Whether in France, Cape Town or at Klein JAN, I’ve become intensely aware of how precious every ingredient is – and how it is our responsibility, as chefs and lovers of food, to preserve the earth’s riches – to leave it a better place than how we found it. And never has there been a more important time to do it than the present.

Out here, it’s hard not to be reminded of the fact that without water, there can be no life. In the liquid electricity of the city, we sometimes forget that while we often overlook water, it can be another’s obsession. But the same goes for every other ingredient – wine, wheat, maize, barley, grapes, peaches or dates – everything is rare and deserving of being treasured.

Few aspects of Klein JAN give me greater pleasure than the root cellar that runs from the petrichor staircase to the sop en brood kitchen. Although the concept originated in the 19th century, the idea of storing food underground goes back to ancient times. But what I love most about the concept is that every ingredient we preserve in this temperature-and-humidity controlled space returns to the earth one last time before it is consumed; as we pass through the underground cellar, we emerge on the other side changed, just like the food we preserved.

But no matter how philosophical I get about Klein JAN’s rite of passage, I’ve grown a deeper understanding of our urgent need to look after the earth, to find more sustainable ways of engaging with food, and to live more healthily, with greater kindness to ourselves.


This new fragrance reconnects us with our truest, deepest values, bringing us back to our most authentic selves: the vitality of life, those preservation instincts upon which humanity thrives. As a scent, it harkens back to our origins and encourages us to discover the richness right under our feet.

The Notes
Warm, rich and instinctive, the new fragrance embodies the life-giving power of Earth in a woody vetiver scent shaped in a genuine ritual reminsiscent of cultivated land.

The Essence of the Earth
Bvlgari Man Terrae Essence is an immersion into the magnificence of Earth, captured with candor and authenticity. The fertile Tuscan soil, with its iconic richness that symbolises genuine pleasures, is the inspiration behind the new signature of the Bvlgari Man Collection. Nature’s life force courses through the terrain, expressed in its rolling hills and cypress trees, flowers and land. It is a vitality that is ingrained in the region’s emblematic colours and scents.