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While many people are familiar with Lola Tillyaeva´s philanthropic work and her maison de parfums, The Harmonist, it may come as a surprise that she is also a committed environmental activist. Together with her husband, businessman Timur Tillyaev, Lola Tillyaeva launched The Droplet in 2017. The genesis of The Droplet was the couple´s determination to raise public awareness regarding the growing problem of water scarcity. They had no illusions about how challenging the task would be. The first question they asked themselves was to reach an audience – how to cut through the relentless 24-hour media cycle. The solution would prove to be art. As Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva explains:
“I believe that art has an incredible capacity to inspire, encourage and unite people around a cause, due to its ability to touch the human soul. That is why we harness the power of art as a means to raise public awareness of issues relating to global warming and climate change.”
The installation was first unveiled at a glamorous event at the Ad Interieurs exhibition in Paris. As Lola Tillyaeva foresaw the installation turns heads at every stop, stimulating debate and inspiring action. This is hardly surprising. The Droplet is 12 meters of gleaming polished aluminium tubing that bulges to 6 meters at the base. It forms a stylized water droplet and is designed to shroud itself in a fine water mist. The result is a “unique multisensory art installation.” The work of artist Marcos Lutyens and fabricator, Scott Froschauer from the Institute for Art and Olfaction, it´s a guaranteed showstopper. As Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva explains, “by engaging the participants through sound, smell and touch as well as visually, The Droplet naturally opens the way for discussions on water conservation and management.”
There is no doubt that The Droplet is timely. According to the UN, water scarcity is impacting every continent on Earth and, “some regions are even reaching the limit at which water services can be sustainably delivered.” This growing problem also brings the risk of ´water conflicts´ where water scarcity can lead to armed conflict.
Lola Tillyaeva´s affinity with water is also reflected in her work with The Harmonist. Lola Tillyaeva´s perfume house is inspired by the Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui and its search for balance between our planet´s 5 elements and the opposing forces of ying and yang. She also insists on limiting her business´s ecological footprint by using, “recyclable materials at every possible touchpoint, from perfume bottles and deluxe packaging to the vegetal wax candles.” Making refills available for her product line also reduce energy consumption, packaging and waste. Her approach is clearly working. At the recent Fragrance Foundation Awards, The Harmonist was a finalist in both Fragrance of the Year – Women’s Luxury and Fragrance of the Year – Men´s Luxury.
Both The Droplet and The Harmonist go to show how Lola and Timur, “respect the environment with every nuance of their activity.”
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