An Interview with Rami Mekdachi, the Creator Behind the OTH Candle
If you could give a scent to history, how would you describe it? That’s the challenge Lola James Harper elegantly rose to when we asked them to create a candle inspired by our roots—our Sainte-Catherine store. To add further depth to the collaboration between both names, we have asked a few questions à la Proust to LJH’s creator, Rami Mekdachi, regarding his creative process and how the OTH candle came to be.
The following are questions that have been asked to Rami Mekdachi. Some of the answers have been edited for clarity.
- What is your biggest source of inspiration?
Life, friends, family, road trips, being away from any routine, listening to strangers, watching my surroundings, trying to be present within it and letting my kids give me life lessons and good ideas.
- What is Lola James Harper?
Lola James Harper is an Art project that consists of composing and playing with scents, songs and photography and sharing the amazing power of slow life. Trying to share how being able to see, hear and smell the world and all its magic can be fulfilling... Art is a way to make us feel alive and better humans by introducing some poetry and a higher understanding of our everyday flow.
- What is a smell that takes you back to your childhood?
To be honest, anything brings me back to something, and my childhood between Beyrouth and Paris is filled with scents, but Orange blossom is maybe the strongest. My grandma used to offer me some hot water with orange blossoms.
- What is your most treasured possession?
My 25 years of photos and song archives that I have gathered while touring the world and meeting friends of friends of friends…
- What advice would you give to young creatives?
That time is an ally if we let things happen if we give any idea the time to mature if we let go long term strategy to give creation the chance to blossom. Time is what transforms a good idea into Art or greatness. While Focus, too much focus, is the enemy. A creative will always find the answer to any question somewhere else, being too focused brakes the energy and the flow of creation. Creatives need to breathe and play in different fields not to burnout their creative energy, that’s why adding those two elements took me 20 years doing thousands of things trusting that everything will come together someday cause time is an ally.
- What is the quality you like most in a person?
Joy and generosity.
- How did the idea for the OTH candle come to life?
We met with Harry in Paris a few years ago, and we shared coffee and a great talk about our projects and our inspirations. OTH was already at that time one of our major partners and a vitrine for Lola James Harper. Creating a collaborative scent then became evident.
- What is your process when it's time to create a scent?
A home fragrance is just a booster of what meets the eyes. If you enter a place your eyes catch colours, objects and materials. The home fragrance is there to enhance and reveal what those colours and materials could naturally smell. If I see lots of flowers or green plants in a place I will compose a smell in that sense. If a room has an amazing wood floor I will go for that.
- What inspired you to use incense, maté and vetiver for this candle?
Vetiver for the wood, maté for the green plants and incense for the black and dark textile and wall colours.
- If you could describe the scent in a few words what would they be?
Exactly the OTH materials and colours: wood, textile and few green plants :-)
- If you could give an image to the scent what would it be?
A dark rosewood skateboard with green coloured wheels.
- What was the hardest part of creating this smell knowing that you hadn’t visited the space?
You know, the day we met in Paris Harry facetimed one of his teammates at OTH and I had a private and complete tour of the place and that was really perfect to give me the feeling and the colours of the OTH interior.
The candle is available at all OTH stores and online.