There’s a fascinating energy to this fragrance house, which owes much to its roots in feng shui and the ancient Theory of the Five Elements. Not so much a belief, but a way of life, captured by ELEMENTALS in exquisite fragrances…
When her PR and communications job took her to Hong Kong, little did Deana Wyland-Fries (below) know, it would change the direction of her life forever. There she discovered feng shui – and soon learned that it is not merely a belief or superstition in China, but a science and a way of life. As she explains: ‘For centuries, the Chinese have believed that, everything in our universe can be allocated to one of five elements – water, wood, fire, earth and metal. Not only are these elements found in our environment, but also within ourselves. What’s more, we are born with an element that dominates our lives, dictating character, relationships, career and health. If our element is out of balance, we experience a sense of discomfort within…’
Deana became increasingly fascinated with the theories behind Feng Shui. Fast-forward to almost 10 years later, and Deana, her husband and their three children moved back to London – to ‘a lovely 1920’s house in Walton-on-Thames.’ Life was very different indeed – not only the change of location, but as she puts it, because ‘something about certain areas of the house just didn’t feel right.’
Shortly afterwards, Deana discovered she had skin cancer, and as part of her healing process sought to have a Feng Shui expert assess their house and ‘re-balance’ the energies. After subsequently taking an introductory course in Chue Style Feng Shui she was hooked! She took a leap of faith, resigned from her job and set out on a new journey.
She devoted her time to the study of feng shui, eventually completing her Master’s degree, and now teaching the art herself. During this wellness journey, Deana realised how vital our sense of smell is to our wellbeing, that our olfactory sense is most closely linked to the brain. This led Deana to further her knowledge through the study of aromatherapy, anatomy and physiology.
With a keen sense of smell herself, and an early fragrant encounter – ‘I was 10 years old when I received L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci and I have been passionate about perfume ever since!’ – Deana had travelled the globe with her job, and always noticed how her memories of each location were dominated by the smells she’d encountered there. While living in Dubai in 2008, she fell in love with its sights, its sounds and above all the smells of different oudhs, bakhours, jasmine, frangipani, frankincense, to name a few…
One fateful day in her garden in Dubai, Deana had just eaten a tangerine and absent-mindedly picked a kumquat blossom. She crushed the two together… It was at this moment that she realised that she had just created Wood energy in its most basic olfactory form. It suddenly dawned on her that she could apply the power of the olfactory to balance the elemental constellation that we carry within. At that moment, the very ‘elements’ for the fragrances had been born, or at least laid the seed to blossom fully over a decade later.
The next 10 years were dedicated to research and development. Deana travelled to Grasse where she sought the expertise of Master Perfumers, sharing her knowledge and gaining insight into the world of perfumery. ‘The task of combining the Theory of the Five Elements with aromatherapy and perfumery was a daunting one!’ exclaims Deana.
But ultimately, ELEMENTALS combine the simplicity and harmony of feng shui with the classical beauty of fine French perfumery. The result is a collection of surprising, innovative creations that seek to nurture mind, body and soul – while smelling, of course, utterly divine. Deana explains: ‘Because I am working with energy, I do not apply the classical olfactory pyramid in my creations… there are three main energies in the Universe: Heaven’s Chi, Human Chi and Earth Chi. In Chinese culture, these represent the three energies that, when working in harmony with one another, create perfect balance.’
So, in ELEMENTALS Wood, for instance, we find ‘Heaven notes’ of bergamot, cedar and grapefruit to enhance concentration, with ‘Human notes’ of orris, tagetes and geranium, and a base, or ‘Earth notes’ of patchouli, Palo Santo (a sacred wood often used in meditation) and guaiacum (also known as guaiac wood). Wood represents the rising of energy, and the season of Spring, when blossoms are beginning to bloom again and signs new life are in abundance.
The same pattern appears through all the creations. ‘I wanted to find a way to create scents would resonate with the elemental composition in their lives in order to better support people,’ explains Deana. You can read about all the fragrances below – including Qian, which takes a slightly different approach of representing the ‘I Ching’ – otherwise known as the ‘Book of Change’, which speaks about ‘the quality of time, space and movement,’ and of ‘finding the treasure within through cultivating humility.’
Talking about how vital it is to find that balance and harmony within our own lives, and how powerfully scent can help us on that journey, Deana observes: ‘I not only believe that scent can make you feel better, I know so.’ So how wonderful it is, now, she enthuses, to make fragrances that ‘not only smell luscious, but also resonate [with people] on an energetic level and make them feel special, balanced and more content!’
Simply packaged and sustainably created, all ELEMENTALS fragrances are produced in Grasse and designed to be gender-neutral, cruelty-free, pthalate-free – and, as they put it, both ‘humankind- and bee-friendly.’ What’s more ELEMENTALS contain up to 27% natural essential oils that have been macerated in certified organic alcohol. The result is a collection of innovative creations that seek to nurture mind, body and soul – while smelling, of course, utterly divine.
Designed to help you discover your own personal balance of perfect scent and inner equilibrium…