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The Harmonist’s Lola Tillyaeva on how her perfumes can recharge your energy

That's so Zen
In the world of The Harmonist, creating a perfume can be as goosebump-inducing as listening to a stirring piece of a music. Founder, Lola Tillyaeva weighs in on the brand's other-worldly inspirations, its conscious responsibility for the environment and how the maison harmonises with every aspect of life...

The Harmonist is one of the most emotive perfume brands around. Its founder, Lola Tillyaeva, infuses philosophical Zen into every perfume she delivers. She expertly aligns wearing a fragrance with “donning a piece of clothing: when we use scent, we are entering the realm of the element it represents. By choosing the right fragrance, you add an ingredient to your aura: the energy of the missing element you need for personal harmony.” 

The brand has been around since 2016, but has recently tapped into the Middle Eastern market. Here, for Buro. Middle East she talks about the brand’s holistic and harmonious approach to perfumery and the inner peace each fragrance brings. 

Can you tell us about how The Harmonist began?

Several years ago, I created a perfume for myself as I wanted to find a scent I felt comfortable with. It was based on notes of white flowers and vanilla musk with ylang ylang at the heart and it was so popular with my friends that I decided to create my own perfume brand which reflects my philosophy of life. My idea was to translate the five basic elements of nature to our sense of smell.

What makes The Harmonist unique compared to other niche fragrance brands? 

The Harmonist is the first maison de parfum which offers a fragrance attuned to your personal energy. Calling upon French savoir-faire, The Harmonist offers 11 delicate and exquisite fragrances which were created using the finest natural ingredients from around the world. These sophisticated signature scents reflect the concept of Yin and Yang, the philosophy of balance where two opposing yet complementary and interdependent forces coexist harmoniously.

What are the inspirations behind your collection?

Nature and the world around us are a great source of inspiration for me. Nature replenishes us, we can draw strength and courage from Mother Nature, and, most importantly, we can reconnect to our roots. Nowadays most people spend their lives closed off in cities or concrete jungles and we are losing touch with this vital connection to nature, to our roots. I try to spend as much time as I can outdoors, in the mountains or by the sea, and I like to walk barefoot whenever I can, too, as I find it really helps recharge my energy.

Can you tell us more about the creation process of the fragrances?

We’ve partnered with the world-renowned perfumer, Guillaume Flavigny. Guillaume worked meticulously and tirelessly on the project. I shared with him my belief and vision for the brand. Creating a scent is like creating a piece of art or music. We even use the same terminology in the perfume industry – notes, octaves, chords. So, the individual scents – the ‘notes’ – are combined to create a full-bodied, well-rounded fragrance. Maybe you’ve been to a concert and heard some music which touched you so deeply it gave you goosebumps. Well, a good perfume can do the same. 

What’s the most niche element of the brand?

The Harmonist is the first maison de parfum which offers a fragrance attuned to your personal energy. Our main goal is to help our clients choose a perfume that matches their personality traits. By using the application available at our website, you can discover your personal element, the qualities associated with it and also the scent that best harmonises your personality type and what you need at this particular point of your life journey.

Where does The Harmonist sit on the spectrum of eco-responsibility?

The importance that The Harmonist places on balance and harmony extends to the company’s concern for environmental sustainability, which it incorporates into many aspects of fragrance production. The botanic oils and natural ingredients used to compose the scents are sourced sustainably from around the world, while recyclable materials are used wherever possible, including for eco-friendly packaging. The Harmonist’s bottles are refillable: to replenish a favourite scent, clients can simply buy refill tubes that help keep packaging to a minimum.

What is your biggest achievement with the brand to date?

Last year, The Harmonist launched an art project that will focus on each of the five elements of nature, exploring them through the prism of art. We started with the element of water, and in September 2017 we opened our installation, The Droplet, as part of the AD INTERIEURS exhibition held at the historic centre of Paris, Musée de la Monnaie de Paris. Built out of aluminium tubing, 12m high and 6m wide, The Droplet is an art installation designed in the shape of a falling water drop. Through this installation, we hope to raise public awareness of the catastrophic state of the world’s natural water resources. The Droplet exhibition will tour several cities providing an innovative platform where ecology experts can meet, discuss and engage the public.

Who is the ultimate The Harmonist woman/man?

So, I would say that The Harmonist man or woman is an individual who is actively seeking harmony, someone keen to explore their inner world and bring it into balance with the world around them. Someone who believes that they can change the world around them for the better by changing their inner self. It’s a kind of ripple effect, if you like – the inner peace ripples out in ever-expanding circles, like the fragrance itself.

The Harmonist fragrances start from Dhs940 and are available in Harvey Nichols – Dubai

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