We’ve heard of fragrances that boost your mood, encourage deep sleep, or even help your sweat smell sweeter – but scents that balance your energy levels? Yes, they’re a thing – all thanks to cool, niche perfume brand The Harmonist.
The vision of Lola Tillyaeva, a passionate philanthropist who served as Uzbekistan’s ambassador for UNESCO, creating The Harmonist was her way to help others find their inner harmony. “Harmonious people possess the ability to create a harmonious space around them and to make their loved ones and themselves happy,” she explains.
Inspired by Feng Shui and energies, the collection’s 10 scents are based on the two energies, yin and yang, of the five Feng Shui elements – earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. Each ingredient is harvested by hand and carefully selected from the rarest and most precious natural ingredients all from over the world, and they come housed in beautiful black and white (fully recyclable) bottles. It’s no wonder the likes of Kate Hudson, Camila Coelho, Heidi Klum, and Orlando Bloom are fans.
You can find your dominant elemental energy through The Harmonist’s website, where a ‘Destiny Management Tool’ takes you through a series of questions, including your place, time, and date of birth, or you can visit the stunning new counter in Harvey Nichols where a fragrance consultant will guide you through the scents to help you discover which is best for your mind, body, and soul. So very omm.
In celebration of the brand’s launch in the UAE, Savoir Flair sat down with Karimova-Tillyaeva to find out all about her fragrance creations and to discover her top scent tips and inspirations. Read on to find out more.
What’s your earliest fragrance memory?
We are subtle organisms, using finely-tuned sensors to perceive and appreciate the world around us. Our first experience of smell begins as soon as we are born, so where we are born and what surrounds us during those first weeks and moments makes a lasting impression on each of us. I was born in a land at the crossroads of the Great Silk Road that has been a meeting point since time immortal. The caravans traveling this highway linking Asia and Europe brought a ceaseless flow of merchants bearing spices and silks from China and India to Europe, and they all passed through our ancient cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. So, naturally, my earliest memories of smell are linked with spices. I still love the smell of spices today – they wrap me in a sense of warmth, a cosy feeling of safety and peace associated with the scent of home baking.
What inspired you to create your own fragrance brand?
I always dreamed of creating perfumes that would be special, unlike anything else on the market. I could never find a scent I liked or that suited me. I always felt something should be added, or taken away, changed in some way, and so a few years ago I created my own perfume, for myself. My friends were very taken by it, too. Encouraged by this positive feedback, I decided to create a brand with a line of perfumes that would shine a new light into the world of perfume. I wanted it to be something completely modern, with a palpable blend of culture and tradition. As I mentioned, I myself originate from a place which has been a melting pot of cultures, so I wanted my brand to be a meeting of East and West, too.
Where do you seek inspiration from when it comes to creating a scent?
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.
To someone totally new to Feng Shui and energies, what is your advice when trying The Harmonist scents?
Feng Shui is a science, a philosophy that helps us better understand our inner world and find harmony with the world around us. It’s a very ancient art but can easily be applied today, too, even if you’re new to the idea of energies.
I would say that an important starting point is simply to listen to yourself, to become aware of your own inner energies, and to think about what makes you tick. All too often we find ourselves so caught up in our own mental world, forever on the go, rushing from one plan to the next, that we are completely oblivious to things that might impact negatively on us. We may have a vague feeling something is not right, but we usually ignore it.
To start putting that right, it is important we start listening to ourselves, listening to the messages our bodies are sending us, so that we can tune into what we really need, what will really be good for us.
In Feng Shui, the solutions can be very simple. If we feel dull or uncomfortable at our desk, for instance, a simple vase of flowers or a plant can change the energy there and brighten the place up. The same applies to our bodies, too. If we take a moment to listen to our inner selves, I am sure most of us will realize we are not getting enough quality sleep. We tend to pore over our mobile phones before we go to bed, and the energy they emit can affect our sleep patterns and make us irritable.
So, if you are new to Feng Shui and want to be more in harmony with the world around you, the first step is finding harmony within yourself. Before you try one of the Harmonist scents, take a moment to listen to your inner self, to tune in to where you are and how you’d like to feel. Maybe you’d like to be calmer, or more confident, or more exuberant. Then see – or listen – to which particular fragrance helps you feel that way. If it does, then you have listened well and are beginning to harmonize your inner energies with the world around you. It is important we attune ourselves to where we are and develop an awareness of what is good for us, and what can help us grow as human beings.
What can people expect from The Harmonist fragrances?
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.
Wearing a fragrance is like donning a piece of clothing: when we use scent, we are entering the realm of the element it represents.
The Harmonist perfumes embody the five elements regarded as building blocks of all-natural phenomena — metal, fire, earth, water, and wood.
Wearing a fragrance is like 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.
What is your favorite smell in the whole world?
It is very hard to pinpoint my all-time favorite smell. My motto is: Look for the pleasant and beautiful in any situation. I’m fond of aromas that are warm and comforting, that give me a sense of well-being and take me back to a moment of harmony or trigger a happy memory.
As the French say, a fragrance on the wrist is for acquaintances, but a fragrance on the neck is for those close to us!
For me, of course, the nicest smells, the ones I treasure most, are the scents that greet me when I come home and hug my children. The smells of our loved ones are usually the ones we hold most dear.
What’s the best way to apply a fragrance?
Where you apply your fragrance is just as important as how you apply it. You should target your pulse points, perhaps on your inner wrists, or behind your ears, and that helps the fragrance diffuse. As the blood flows through the veins, it warms the fragrance and so the scent gently evaporates into the air around us. Fragrances linger in our hair, too, and it’s lovely when a scent stays with us all day and we smell it as we move. As the French say, a fragrance on the wrist is for acquaintances, but a fragrance on the neck is for those close to us!
What mistake do people make when it comes to scent?
When you use a perfume, it is important to remember those around you. Sometimes people forget that by speaking too loudly in public they may annoy and disturb people around them, and the same applies to perfume; we perceive the world around us through our sense of smell, not just our eyes and ears. Therefore, when we use a perfume, we shouldn’t forget we are in the company of others, and the fragrance wafting from us shouldn’t disturb anyone’s personal space or shout about the fact that we have just entered the room.