Atelier Lumira has the international fashion and interiors world taking note. Collaborations with Monster Children and The National Gallery of Victoria, a growing Instagram fan base and international boutiques placing orders is just the beginning for this chic Australian luxury fragrance and candle house.  

Atelier Lumira founder Almira Armstrong
Credit: Gritty Pretty Magazine

GRAZIA spoke to the brand’s Australian founder Almira Armstrong about giving up a career in marketing to follow her passion for creating home and beauty treasures. 

When did the idea for a bespoke home collection come to life? I’ve had a love affair with candles and fragrance for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is playing with my mum’s bottles of perfume. As a teen I taught myself how to make candles in the kitchen, which I’d gift to my friends and family. After university, a career in marketing kept me in creative circles and when I became a mum I finally pursued my dream of creating products that let me indulge my love of scent, design and travel, which led me to creating Lumira in 2013.

What inspires the collections? For me, fragrances can be very transportive and trigger memories with a power that none of the other senses have. Creating a fragrance begins with a series of inspirations – art, design, travel, poetry. 

Credit: Instagram @atelierlumira

Who is your customer? Candles tend to have a universal appeal but our range is popular with a discerning consumer who is well travelled and appreciates quality design and craftsmanship. Candles have an immediate calming effect, which is popular with those who are time-poor and need to decompress quickly after a busy day at work or play. 

How do you decide on the scents and the names? Each fragrance I create is a tribute to the adventures I’ve had around the world. I’ve really tried to distill into fragrance 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 they are meant to evoke sensory escapism.  

Credit: Instagram @atelierlumira

How much time goes into designing a collection? Creating a new candle always begins with the inspiration. It might be an image, a memory or even just a notion. I take this inspiration and develop and refine it until it manifests into a physical product, which echoes that original influence. The time from concept to finished product can take anywhere from six to twelve months, depending on the scarcity of the ingredients required for the perfume.

How do you manage to stay so stylish with two kids and a business to run? It’s not easy, that’s for sure. But I’ve realised that, for me, it’s as easy to put on a dress and leather jacket as it to pop on a pair of running leggings. I also take inspiration from other mums like Mira Duma, Anine Bing and Taylor Tomasi Hill. There are so many gorgeous mums on Instagram and in the blogosphere who are leading by example when it comes to balancing style with motherhood. It turns out, those things aren’t mutually exclusive.

Credit: Instagram @atelierlumira

What are some of your favourite labels to wear? I love so many Australian brands, particularly Maticevski and Tome. They really capture classic luxury. I also love Celine and J Brand denim as a staple.

When you travel for work, what are the five things you can’t travel without? I can’t live without my iPhone – it’s insane how much work you can do on a mobile now and has enabled me to keep working and be in touch with my family with more ease when I’m travelling. My Rationale skin regime, the Immunologist Serum keeps my skin hydrated inflight. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette to refresh and brighten my skin post flight. Last, my notebook from An Organised Life. I need to be able to jot down ideas and travel inspiration notes for future fragrances.

Credit: Instagram @atelierlumira

What are the top selling candles? Cuban Tobacco from our Destinations collection seems to be a favourite as it’s the perfect scent for both men and women. It smells very luxurious and really lends an air of sophistication to a room. A close second is the Balinese Ylang Ylang. I think it must remind people of their holidays – it does for me! It smells so good, just like the night breeze in Bali. La Primavera from the Collezione Bianca is incredibly popular too. The floral yet lightly musky fragrance really does smell amazing in the morning, when it’s meant to be lit. And the white glass lends a clean, minimal touch to the décor.