Smell is a powerful way we mentally transport back to places and people we’ve visited. Rami Mekdachi is aware of this—thanks to his longtime experience with studying how fragrance can embody not only a brand’s story but also philosophies and lifestyles. Mekdachi started out as a perfume developer at L’Oreal in 1998 before working on candles and fragrances for Colette, Chloé, Lacoste, Roger Vivier and more. His own concept brand Lola James Harper makes far more than just scented candles—among other things furniture made in collaboration with Paris-based Kann Design and Mekdachi’s prints on a tote or tee—but they are most worth noting for their names and descriptions. The latter feels more like quick journal entries than overthought and dramatic, how most luxury candles seem to be described.
Each candle’s name details a place Mekdachi remembers. The TV Basement of Jonet details: “she has a big house with a basement filled with old couch, sofas, old carpets and a BIG TV… We use to go down really late at night to watch action movies… a smell of wood, dust and joy.” The Rainy Days in Lake District goes “The Lake District is north of Lancaster/ UK, an evergreen land, with a permanent grey sky and huge open fields…. The best place to write a novel or words for songs!!!!!” The complex scents are startlingly emotional, and well, human.
This month, Mekdachi launches his first collection of EDT fragrances (his candles are also available as room sprays), becoming even more personal as they rest of the skin. Instead of named after locations visited in the past, their fortune cookie-like titles express a nudge in the right direction towards auspicious futures: “Do what you love with people you love,” “Everything will come together,” “Little by little with joy.” Shop fragrances, candles, photo books, tees, furniture at Lola James Harper’s online mini-mart, as well as stockists like Selfridges.
Images courtesy of Rami Mekdachi