California Vibes


Parisian brand Lola James Harper transports the essence of California to Paris

The Lola James Harper x Salt Surf skateboard collaboration.

WHILE VISITING a friend in New Orleans who owns the uber-cool boutique Saint Claude Social Club, I became enthralled with an aroma filling her home. The source: The Music Studio on Trufo Street by Parisian brand Lola James Harper. I never knew my love for a candle could be so vigorous, and I had to know the story behind this tantalizing scent that awakened my senses.

The Maxfield candle created in collaboration with retail institution, Maxfield.

Upon further research, I discovered this was more than just a candle but an entry point to the passionate life led by founder Rami Mekdachi, whose life and company whose mantra is “embrace what makes you happy.” Founded in 2013, Lola James Harper is a platform of imagination where Mekdachi shares his love of not just fragrances but music, food, design, culture and photography.

Each candle’s notes are designed to transport you to one of the many places Mekdachi has fallen in love with along his journeys. “A scent is untouchable and invisible, yet it’s so strong, it’s directly linked to our imagination, to our memories and our soul,” says Mekdachi. “Creating a scent is like composing a song. We play with emotions and notes to open new spaces for dreams.” Impassioned by collaborating with like-minded creatives coupled with his love for sun, skateboarding, basketball and rock and roll, the perfumer’s travels led him to spend time in the Golden State. “California is where my family and I love to play basketball in Venice, skateboard by the sea, meditate during the amazing sunsets in San Diego, road trip through infinite desert roads, walk for hours in foggy San Francisco and record music at 4th Street recording studio,” says Mekdachi.

The Venice candle, inspired by the famous boardwalk.

The essence of California can be detected not just in each fragrance but in a beautiful series of his own photos that capture humble moments that define the local lifestyle. Mekdachi notes, “Scent is the feeling that you can take away from a special place.”

Mekdachi captured moments at the skatepark in Venice.

Whether in Paris or Los Angeles, Lola James Harper demonstrates California’s epic influence. Sometimes it takes the beautiful perspective of an outsider to remind us all how special and important this place is to so many.

Mekdachi captured a beautiful foggy day in San Francisco.

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