We took some time out recently to chat with Almira Armstrong of Lumira, the designer and perfumer behind our iconic No.352 candle to talk to her about the inspiration behind her brand.
Seizing any available chance as a young girl to play with her mother's perfume, it's no surprise that she eventually arrived upon a career that allowed her to use this love affair to her advantage. Each Lumira candle captures the idyllic fragrances of her childhood and her life long affair with beautiful objects.
Choosing to collaborate with only those that share a common appreciation of exceptional quality and an attention to fine details, the Lumira No.352, Leather and Cedar candle was created for The Stables. The candle combines elegance and edginess in its fragrance alongside undeniable luxury. Defined not only by the quality of their ingredients and a meticulous attention to detailing but also by being aware of the subtle differences small details make to our lives.
Nostalgic fragrances have the power to stir our sensory memory and evoke memories of warmth, familiarity and home. Is there a fragrance in your collection that you personally connect with in particular?
Each fragrance is a tribute to my early travels, capturing vivid personal moments and inspiring a sort of sensory escapism. At the moment, I am really quite taken with our Tuscan Fig - it reminds of those warm summer days in one of my favourite Italian cities. I have it burning consistently, both at home and in the office. Perhaps, it’s a longing for the return of warmer days and nights?
A minimal and sleek aesthetic forms a large part of your product design. From where did this focus on design stem?
Yes – you’re absolutely right. Our focus, primarily, is about creating a unique sensorial experience. First and foremost, this is through scent – our carefully handcrafted fragrances are what make LUMIRA so distinct. However, it is equally important to translate this into our design elements as well. The design of our packaging must speak to that same level of care and thought. We want people burning a LUMIRA candle in their home, or in their office, or wherever it may be, to feel really proud to have our product on display.
You have collaborated with The Stables on the No. 352 Candle. What prompted you to choose the scents of cedar and leather when designing the candle?
No.352 pinpoints the location of The Stables headquarters in Sydney’s Surry Hills - a vibrant inner-city neighbourhood, known for its colourful history and creative flair. I drew inspiration from the brands ethos and surroundings. I grew up in Sydney, so feel very connected to this city. Developing a fragrance, of course, took time, but wasn’t difficult. No. 352 is an elegant fragrance, which combines soft warm notes of leather, with the familiar woody spice of cedar.
What inspires you when you create your range of fragrances?
For me, fragrances can be very transportive and can have such a significant impact on triggering a memory of a certain time, or certain place. I truly believe that ones sense of smell has that power above all other sense. Creating a fragrance begins with a series of inspirations – whether that be art, design, travel, poetry – but also specific times and places in my life. No fragrance in the LUMIRA collection takes just one particular scent, but rather combines a series of smells that compliment, yet may surprise. I suppose that’s the result when one takes inspiration from cities and places that are such a melting pot of scents and smells.
You have said that your fragrances capture the spirit of travel. Is there a particular scent from your travels which has eluded you or that you hope to capture one day in the future?
Each fragrance I create is a tribute to the adventures I've had around the world. I’ve really tried to distill these moments in time into each fragrance. They have become the essence of some of the exotic places that have left a lasting impression on me. These inspirational locales are also the namesakes of the candles because these candles are meant to evoke a sense of that specific place. They capture vivid personal moments and are meant to inspire sensory escapism. That said, there are certainly moments in my travels where I have been so captured by a scent, and yet have found it difficult to pinpoint. These fragrances remain a work in progress until I can really extract what those smaller notes are. I suppose you could say, watch this space.