An interview with the beauty behind the beautiful Atelier Lumira Candle & Home Fragrance collections.
Warm, calming flickers. Radiant glows. Nostril Heaven. In essence, that’s what candles are about, but when it comes to Almira Armstrong, candles are about much more than that. Almire, who founded Atelier Lumira in 2013, combines her love of scent, travel and design when creating her signature collections of home fragrances. Handcrafted using the purest, all-natural soy wax available and cotton wicks, Lumira encompasses only the finest essential oils and aromas composed by a team of exquisite perfumers. With a mission that aims to provide means of enhancing our day-to-day lives with a sense of comfort, luxury and olfactory escapism, Lumira does just that as it pulls at our nostalgic heartstrings and adventurous ambitions.
DT HOME: TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND HOW THE CONCEPT FOR ATELIER LUMIRA MATERIALIZED.
ALMIRA ARMSTRONG: I’ve had a love affair with candles and scent for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories as a little girl was playing with mum’s bottles of perfume at any opportunity, and during my teens I taught myself how to make candles in the kitchen at home, which I would give to friends and family for special occasions. After university, a career in marketing kept me in creative circles and offered the valuable opportunity to live and work overseas, but becoming a mum prompted me to rethink the path ahead and I decided to pursue my dream of creating products that allow me to indulge my love of scent, design and travel; and so in September 2013 Atelier Lumira was born.
WHEN YOU’RE WORKING ON A NEW SCENT OR PRODUCT, WHAT IS THIS PROCESS LIKE? DO YOU COME ACROSS A SCENT THAT INSPIRES YOU AND BUILD FROM THERE? OR DO YOU BASE A SCENT OFF A CONCEPT OR IDEA AND THEN DISCOVER THE NOTES THAT MATCH?
For me, fragrances trigger a sense of creativity and use of imaginativeness that transport us to another time or place. Creating a new candle always begins with an inspiration; it might be an image, a memory or even just a notion. This inspiration is developed and refined until we have a physical product, which echoes that original influence. The time from concept to finished product can take anywhere from three to six months, depending on the scarcity of the ingredients required for the perfume.
IF YOU MADE A FRAGRANCE THAT REPRESENTS YOURSELF, ALMIRA, WHAT ARE TWO NOTES YOU WOULD REFERENCE AND WHY?
Floral and woody, particularly Rose for its purity and Oud for its distinctiveness.
YOUR WORK IS HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY TRAVEL AND CULTURE, BOTH RECIPROCAL OF ADVENTURE AND EXPLORATION. DO YOU HAVE YOUR SIGHTS SET ON ANY UPCOMING LOCATIONS? TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS AND INSPIRATIONS BEHIND THE TRAVEL CANDLES SERIES?
I wanted to share fragrances with our customers that were reminiscent of particular cherished moments in my life. Each scent in the Destinations Collection was inspired by my travels in Europe, Asia, North Africa and have captured vivid personal moments, evoking a moment back in time.
IF SOMEONE WAS INTERESTED IN PURSUING THE SENSORY BUSINESS OF CANDLES, WHAT IS ONE BIT OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE THEM?
Don’t underestimate scalability of the business.
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE MOTTO?
Trust your instinct.