So many scents claim to encapsulate a story, but few actually manage it; lifestyle brand Lola Harper James, however, is the real deal. Created by Rami Mekdachi, a perfume developer at L’Oréal for many years, with inspiration from family and friends (and the intent of embracing all the creative fields they love), Lola Harper James is all things home.
Just landed at the new fragrance and candle area on the Ground Floor of Selfridges Oxford Street, their collection of 18 scented candles and home fragrances is inspired directly by their favourite places around the world – Paris, LA, London, you name it. In fact, Lola Harper James lead you through an olfactory picture album of their families’ travels.
There’s 14 The Surf Shop of Stephane: a tuberose and monoi blend with waxy tones that is summer captured. 17 The First Morning of Spring: dewy roses in the city. Then there’s 7 The Rainy Days in Lake District: myrrh, ylang ylang and labdanum, conjuring grey skies and open fields; ‘the perfect place to write a song’. Whatever your number, there’s an emotive scent in there for everyone.
Their love of life shines through in everything they create, be it the accompanying music that plays tenderly to the heart (there are CDs to go with the scents), the photos that tell journeys or the scents that set scenes so vividly.
As the Lola Harper James tagline goes: ‘candles, music, coffee, pictures, shirts and smiles’. With fingers in so many pies, you’d think something would slip, but everything is created with thoughtfulness and absolute integrity, especially the smiles part.
Their photo books are truly evocative: you’re placed right there, at that skatepark in Venice Beach, kicking around, pulling tricks, sweat and sea salt from the surf in the air. Or cruising down open highways, your head stuck out the window catching the air like you did so gleefully as a child, the smell of asphalt crowding your senses. Snapshots of their life together around the globe. A window into their family.
Steeped in style, effortlessly cool, and not content with their host of home fragrances, T-shirts, photo books, coffee and candles, they’ve now created a range of eau de toilettes. Instead of capturing places, these embody philosophies. Here’s a taster…
Just say yes: a gentle rose that represents, along with romance and idealism, the fragility of people.
Together is always better: probably the most unisex of the range with roots in green tea, it coins its name from being the family scent they spray around their home, it’s universal, all ages, a scent for anyone and everyone.
Little by little with joy: an orange blossom scent that embodies the simplicity of childhood, embracing lightness and carrying joy with you wherever you go.
The next chapter of this story continues in the third week of June as they launch their collection of six eau de toilettes, we urge you to get in store to try them.
They say: ‘The most important thing to keep in mind is to light your candle in those places you love, play the music you love, during moments you cherish, to add to Lola Harper James fragrances with your own memories’.
So go, now, immerse yourself in the life of Rami’s family and friends, and make some memories of your own to match.
Lola Harper James scented candles £34 for 190g
Written by Carson Parkin-Fairley