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Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva is an extraordinary woman.
Finding a niche in the cut-throat world of perfume making is no easy thing. Yet since 2013, Lola Tillyaeva’s maison de parfums, The Harmonist, has won quite a reputation for itself. Born of her love for the exotic scents of her Uzbek homeland – that timeless hub of the Silk Road – she grew immersed in a world of cinnamon, jasmine and cumin. To guide her ambitious project she turned to the venerable tradition of Feng Shui and its teachings of balance and harmony. The result is a subtle, yet complex range of fragrances which speak to the unique life forces of the individual customer.
As Lola Tillyaeva explains, “Creating a scent is very much like creating a piece of music – notes blend into chords, and the chords harmonize into a full-blown melody. Just like a good piece of music, a good fragrance encompasses a wide range of tonalities, the notes of different scents, if you will.”
Being a parent, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva has a good understanding of what children require to thrive. In her native land of Uzbekistan many kids forego the chance to pursue their own ambitions. Recognising this tragic reality, she and her husband decided to act. In 2002 they launched the You Are Not Alone foundation. Rather than merely alleviate the immediate needs of these kids, they took a longer-term view. On a case-by-case basis You Are Not Alone either refurbishes existing care homes or if necessary, designs and constructs purpose-built centres. Lola and Timur Tillyaev aim to improve both the health and educational outcomes for underprivileged Uzbek youngsters. In this way they seek to, “help unlock the children’s potential by providing them with an all-round education, and to prepare children for independent life, encouraging them to become self-reliant, confident and emotionally stable you adults.”
Lola Tillyaeva is also very proud of the work done by the National Centre for the Social Adaption of Children (NCSAC). Created in 2004 and working in partnership with You Are Not Alone, it “provides medical and financial support for children with disabilities and their families” The scope of its programs are comprehensive and wide ranging. They include, “diagnosis, orthopaedic and neurological treatment, speech therapy and education.” One particularly well-regarded program helps mothers who’ve been marginalized by their husbands or families because of their child’s condition – elsewhere, services like this are few and far between. All of these programs are offered without charge. For both the child concerned and their entire family this kind of assistance can be life-changing in every sense of the word,
Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva´s commitment to enhancing the life chances of Uzbek´s most vulnerable kids was recognised when she was awarded the coveted Fashion 4 Development award at the 9th Annual First Ladies luncheon in New York. In presenting the prize the organizers pointed to how, “Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva and You Are Not Alone were working to support the UN Millennium Development Goals and ‘Every woman, Every child.”
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