Walking into a room and instantly being enveloped by a certain scent is the most wonderful feeling. Suddenly, we can feel like we’re being transported back in time, back to a childhood memory or to an unforgettable vacation. The power that scents can hold over us is incomparable. Within a heartbeat, the slightest hint of a smell can evoke thoughts and emotions buried deep in the backs of our minds not usually present in our everyday consciousness.
Why is that, you might ask? What many people don’t know is that our sense of smell is actually one of the most powerful and evocative senses we possess. There is a direct link in our brains between smell and memory, and a scent can bring back a feeling or thought much quicker than any of our other senses can.
A scented candle is one of the most amazing accessories to have at home – it works like “a memory in a glass”. Even though it takes a while to settle, once it does, a candle fills the whole room. For those who don’t have the luxury of a beautiful back garden or of living by the side of a forest, candles can be your own inside garden.
The philosophy behind the brand LUMIRA, an Australian luxury niche fragrance house founded in 2013 by Sydney-based designer and entrepreneur Almira Armstrong, is about this special atmosphere that candles can create, and is highly inspired by Armstrong’s own experiences and memories. Over the years, she developed a passion for designing products that tell a story and create a unique ambience. This started very early on: ever since her childhood, Armstrong has loved fragrances more than anything.
“The earliest memories are playing with my mum’s perfume bottles”.
She also remembers making candles for friends during her time at university, with the idea of creating scents for the self and the home taking shape over the years in her mind. This simple idea grew into a real passion and led Armstrong on the path of eventually founding LUMIRA, her high-quality scent brand.
On top of her love of fragrance she is a very well-traveled woman, and this has been part of her journey to becoming an entrepreneur. She is very much inspired by the many places she has visited in the past – in fact, her travel experiences are one of the most essential parts of the creation process of her products, as she has pointed out:
“All the fragrances are inspired by a moment in time that I’ve experienced through travel, so each fragrance has a different story”
The individual stories of the fragrances are described very personally and vividly, showing just how much passion has been put into each and every one of the products.
“Arabian Oud”, for example, captures the “enigmatic charm and opulence of the Middle East”. It is composed, among other notes, of rose, patchouli and sandalwood, but especially the namesake oud leaves a lingering imprint.
Another, somewhat lighter, scent is called “La Primavera”. It is part of the Collezione Bianca, the latest edition of the candles. This scent includes notes of jasmine, rose leaf, lily and patchouli as well as cashmere musk, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of springtime. It is a “romantic tribute to Italy’s ‘City of Flowers’” San Remo.
There is a wide variety of candles to choose from, including scents like “Cuban Tobacco”, “Tunisian Mint Tea”, “Tahitian Coconut” or “Tonic of Gin”. Other scents include more floral notes, such as “Tropical Gardenia”, “Persian Rose” and “Fluorescence”.
As much as the fragrances are based on her own memories and experiences, Armstrong emphasizes that the very special moments are those when someone comes up to her to tell her that a scent reminded them of a personal experience or helped them create their own individual memory. This way, Armstrong knows that she made something meaningful not just for herself but for other people as well.
What makes the candles eye-catching is that they all have a simplistic but luxurious design. They come in decorative, elegant glass containers in both cream or black with shiny, sleek surfaces, adding to the chic presentation of the brand. Additionally, the candles are made of scented soy wax, a natural, raw material, and everything is recyclable or reusable, which shows the sustainability angle that’s put into the production process.
Armstrong is really proud of how much the brand has evolved over the years. LUMIRA soon grew into more than just producer of candles, something she always strived to achieve. Since 2016, you can purchase a range of perfume oils, as well as several accessories like a glass dome or a candle snuffer.
The perfume oils are especially luxurious. They come in the same six fragrances as the candles “Arabian Oud”, “Cuban Tobacco”, “No352 Leather & Cedar”, “Persian Rose”, “The Vow by Nicole Trunfio”, and “Tuscan Fig”.
Just like the candles, the perfume oils all have very special, timeless scents and create a unique ambience that sets the mood for the whole day. They are really handy and travel-friendly, so they can easily be taken anywhere and reapplied throughout the day. What’s more, they can encourage your own creativity since they can be layered, which creates a new, personal fragrance and adds a whole new element to the products.
A subtle inspiring personal scent company that holds memories within its jars.
LUMIRA is exclusive to Selfridges in the UK. Check out their products here: atelierlumira.com