Scentbird’s Exclusive Interview with Lola Tillyaeva, Founder of The Harmonist
Founded in 2013 by Lola Tillyaeva, The Harmonist is a maison de parfums driven by the principles of balance and self-discovery. The brand offers a collection of thirteen signature scents that have been developed in collaboration with perfumer Guillaume Flavigny using the finest ingredients from around the globe. Drawing upon universal truths from both East and West, these scents bring the wearer’s attention inward, enlightening the journey called life, so that they can better perceive themselves, as well as the world around them.
Many people aren’t aware of the story behind your company? When was it launched, and what is the idea behind it?
Lola Tillyaeva: The concept for The Harmonist brand came to me in 2013. Three years later, in 2016, we launched our first perfume line of ten exquisite scents that are based on Feng Shui, the ancient philosophy of harmony and equilibrium. The Harmonist is an American brand, but all our scents are produced exclusively in France so that is why our main flagship store is in Paris and it offers visitors the chance to delve deeper into the philosophy behind the brand, too.
Why did you choose the perfume industry? What attracted you to this sector? How was the idea to create The Harmonist brand born, and how did it come to fruition?
Lola Tillyaeva: We experience and understand the world around us through our five fundamental senses and in my case, my sense of smell was always the keenest. Perfume fragrances have fascinated me since I was a little girl and I remember I would try to concoct my own scent by mixing different perfumes.
Years later, while living in France, I had the chance to come into direct contact with this magical world of haute parfumerie, and could see for myself how important it is for French women to choose their own scent that is uniquely suited to their own temperament and skin.
I spent a long time exploring the fragrances on the market, trying to find one that suited me perfectly, but I didn’t manage to, so I decided to create one for myself. It was a really fascinating process and the result turned out to be very successful – most people around me liked my new fragrance. So as a trial step, I created a fragrance for my friends. It was released as a limited edition and went down very well, too, so that inspired me to create the first collection for The Harmonist.
I decided to launch a perfume collection unlike any other and to create something that could help others find their own special scent. Just coming up with some fragrance and calling it something like ‘Lola’ seemed rather dull and boring. For me, it was important to create perfumes that would chime with the wearer’s temperament and hopes and would help them find their own harmony. And so The Harmonist was born.
Can you tell us a bit about the creation process of a fragrance?
Lola Tillyaeva: I like to compare the process of creating a scent with the process of creating a piece of music. Like music, scents are composed of carefully balanced notes and harmonies that form chords, and the chords combine, chiming together.
The quality of our products is of paramount importance to The Harmonist so when we create a perfume, we really dedicate a lot of time to that. That’s one way our perfumes differ from many other products currently on the market. Guillaume, our perfumer, and I carry out a lot of tests, discuss the results at length, carry out more tests, discuss which chords work best etc. And I think that because we spend so much time on our fragrances, we can create truly unique, quality perfumes.
Creating a fragrance is a very complex process, it takes time, and the individual notes must be carefully harmonised. And of course, the scent shifts as it reacts with the wearer’s skin, warms up and dissipates. Quality is important to us, and we care about how the scent will evolve on your skin, what the fragrance will smell like after three minutes, after five minutes, one hour or at the end of your working day.
We use the best natural ingredients from all over the world and strive to create fragrances with a contemporary twist because we live in a fast-paced world in dynamic times. Like fashion, music and art, perfumery should reflect today’s reality.
Can you tell us a bit about how you gain harmony and balance on a daily basis?
Lola Tillyaeva: I truly believe that harmony is a goal toward which we should all strive. We live in a world full of duality – joy can swiftly turn to sorrow, sad moments are followed by happy ones – and it’s important to keep your balance on this rollercoaster, to maintain inner harmony. And we have to work to achieve that.
For me, there are several factors here because as humans we function on several levels: physical, mental and emotional and it’s important to balance these three aspects together as well as harmonise each one individually.
The key to harmonising your body is correct nutrition. I am a vegan and I actively encourage all my friends and acquaintances to go vegan, too, so I’m very happy when I see people including less meat in their diet because I believe that helps people feel better. I campaign for food filled with nature’s energy, with the sun’s health-giving power, for a balanced plant-based diet with cereals and vegetable proteins. I also do fitness training regularly, usually yoga and tai chi, or sometimes I simply go to the gym.
I believe that our emotional and mental health directly depend on how often we can spend time alone and experience our consciousness away from our everyday troubles and concerns. We need to train our mind and thought processes to glide over negative thoughts and not let bad moods drag us down.
I think we can achieve this through meditation, by doing exercises that focus our attention or through breathing exercises. In fact, I often do these. Another thing that helps me a lot is being outside in the fresh air, spending time in nature, hiking for example. Nothing reinvigorates and renews me like nature.
What can we look forward to seeing from the company in the future?
Lola Tillyaeva: Our brand is in a new phase now, we are rebranding, and that includes the visual side of the brand, too, and our packaging. The process is going really well and we hope our clients will see the benefits soon, too.
We are also doubling our efforts to become even more eco-friendly in how we manufacture our products – that’s also part of our rebranding. Right now, we have launched the second scent in our new Prequel Collection, Sun Force. Next year we hope to delight our clients with a whole line of exquisite fragrances.
To read more on Lola Tillyaeva latest launches and explore the fragrances from The Harmonist that are currently in our portfolio, click here: https://www.scentbird.com/brand/the-harmonist
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