There are perfume brands, and then there’s Lola James Harper. “Yeah, yeah,” we can hear you thinking, “yet another journalist who’s been gifted some products and then sucked in by the marketing hyperbole”. But you’d be wrong. There’s really not another brand like Lola James Harper. Sure, they make perfume, home fragrance and scented candles – so far, so standard. But they’re also all about live music collaborations. And photography. And movies. And even a hotel at some point. Confused? We don’t blame you.

“We are Lola James Harper, Friends, Artists and Family, we record folk and rock songs, and we take too many pictures…” So WHO exactly is this Lola James Harper? There’s no such person. Little wonder then that Lola James Harper has become a cult beauty brand. Pause. Let’s break things down. On a day to day basis, Paris-based perfumer, musician, photographer and creative wunderkind Rami Mekdachi is the multi-talented individual behind LJH – the founder of a brand that’s all about scent – and so much more. “We always embrace what makes us happy and we really think that together is always better…” That’s the key to the enigmatic Lola – togetherness.

 

So you can expect beautiful, co-created photographs, music, design and scents – inspired by places, and inspired by anything and everything sensory. “This is all about places and people we love, about fragrances and pics we cherish… About what make us feel good…” Of course, the fact that LJH’s scents and candles smell incredible too is no bad thing. But if you like to be guided by traditional ‘Rose & Jasmine’-type scent names (how boring!), you may have to adjust your set a little for Lola James Harper.

The Guitar Shop on Denmark Street, The Red Garden of Tata & Jeddo and The TV Basement of Jonet… Each scent evokes a place, a person, a time, a memory. Jonet’s basement is all sexy patchouli and woody notes with a dusty, summer evening edge, while Tata & Jeddo’s garden conjures up a verdant green space full of exotic plants and flowers just after they’ve been watered – perhaps at dusk. LJH have some pretty cool friends. Other locations include the Tuileries in Paris with the sweet scent of candyfloss, the crisp, damp sharpness of the Lake District on a rainy day, Stephane’s Surf Shop and a New York comic store crowded with musty vintage treasures.

While the brand’s candles are each connected with place, time and memory, each of Lola James Harper’s perfumes is “a personal potion that changes our state of mind, gives us a new energy… a new way of being…” Confused again? Put simply, each is about a simple feeling: love, togetherness or joy, and based on single notes: rose, iris or vetiver, for example. Where to find LJH when she’s not travelling the globe, planning movies, snapping photos and hanging out with friends making music? Only the coolest stores obviously – after a debut at Paris concept store Colette, LJH is pretty choosy. In the UK, the brand has a pop-up at London’s Papier Mache Tiger, where you can hang out and get an ironic flat white and browse the range – as well as an achingly hip selection of fashion. A place to smell scents, listen to music and make friends with Lola – we think you’d like her, she’s pretty fun.

For more information on Lola James Harper and to find stockists, see the brand’s website. You can also follow LJH on Instagram @lolajamesharper.