The philosophy behind Lola Tillyaeva's perfume house The Harmonist

27 Dec 2021

When Lola Tillyaeva founded her perfume house, she knew she wanted The Harmonist to forge its own path. Most other perfume makers in the industry follow the standard business model of mass production and saturated marketing but Lola Tillyaeva chose a different approach.

The philosophy behind The Harmonist

The Harmonist’s fragrances are created in small batches, focus on high-end, unique ingredients and the brand prioritises sustainability. For instance, Moon Glory from The Harmonist’s Prequel Collection requires Hawaiian jasmine and Ylang Ylang blossoms from the Comoros Islands. Part of the reason Lola goes to such lengths to source ingredients is to ensure they are ethically cultivated. She also rejects a completely profit-driven business model. Lola says:

“For years, the beauty industry has capitalised on feelings of low self-esteem. But as today we find ourselves in the midst of a global mental health crisis, it has never been more important that the beauty industry becomes more inclusive, promotes self-love and takes a holistic approach to body and mind.”

To blend the fine ingredients for her perfumes, Lola Tillyaeva turned to one of Europe’s finest ‘noses’, and Prix International du Jeune Parfumeur Créateur winner, Guillaume Flavigny. She has described Flavigny as having “an incredible professional acumen and an intuitive understanding of the style and vision of our brand – he masterfully brought the idea of the Harmonist to life.”

The result is a range of complex, yet subtle fragrances. Lola is driven by the desire to create perfumes which seamlessly complement the unique energies of the wearer. According to Lola:

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.”

Lola’s passion for perfumes is a product of her upbringing in Uzbekistan. She grew up immersed in the exotic smells of cinnamon, cumin and jasmine, and even today they hold the power to trigger her earliest memories. She says smells act like time capsules and our childhood memories have a lasting impression staying with us throughout our life, affecting our perfume preferences”, and she seeks to express this with every scent she creates. Lola Tillyaeva believes a perfume should harmonize with the ‘invisible force’ of the individual.

“One of the main missions of our brand is to encourage and motivate our clients to take an enlightening and rewarding journey into their inner self     through exploring the world of scents. There is no such thing as a perfume that is ideal for everyone. Like clothes, it depends on the occasion and character of the person. I’d say that perfume can certainly be perfect for a particular moment, occasion or for a particular mood.”            

Lola also finds inspiration for The Harmonist in the ancient Eastern philosophy of feng shui, a worldview which seeks to balance the opposing forces of yin and yang. This ancient philosophy and Lola’s commitment to sustainability are the driving force behind her perfume house — and the reason for its success.