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Brand interview: Elementals

There are lots of people creating wonderful scents in the perfume industry. Today’s focus, Deana Wyland-Fries, is among them. To understand the brand she created, first, we need to understand her story. “The seeds were sown very early on.” Deana's mother was a Sinologist and Master of Chinese Calligraphy and taught her all about nature and energy at an early age.

Our story starts with Deana settling into a straight and narrow career in marketing, enjoying her perfume collection as a consumer. Along her journey, she passed through Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East. “At one point, we lived in Hong Kong, and that’s when I discovered Feng Shui.” Later in London, Deana and her husband kept Feng Shui in their lives and decided to balance their first home. “The Feng Shui practitioner came to my house, did the analysis for me and then asked me if I would like to join a course...I figured, why not? I’ll get a weekend off, and go and see what it’s all about. That was the beginning of a whole new journey for me.”

After another turning point in her life with illness, Deana longed to discover something beyond Feng Shui, something that was connected with the human body. “I went to school in London, started meditating... then went back and studied anatomy and physiology...aromatherapy and massage.” This new knowledge further fed her passion for Eastern philosophy and medicine.

“Then we moved to Dubai.” There, Deana would discover the breadcrumbs that lead to Elementals. “I was in my garden one-day doing walking meditation, and I had just eaten a tangerine. I picked a flower and squeezed the two together.” What she had accidentally created was pure wood chi. Wood is one of five natural elements in Taoism, an ancient Chinese philosophy.

After this discovery and some encouragement from those around her, Deana began working on formulas to create bespoke fragrances for her Feng Shui Clients according to their Feng Shui and Chinese horoscopes to balance their energy. Shortly thereafter, Deana moved to Germany; urged by her clients to create a collection of perfumes that would benefit more people.

“That’s when I decided to go back to the drawing board and create ELEMENTALS. Here I would address the emotional aspects of the elements with the help of aromatherapy. But this was no easy task and took five years to perfect before the formulas were ready. “I was opening people's [Chinese] horoscopes at trade shows, checking to see if they picked the right one [perfume].” In Taoism, a person falls under one of five elements, with a few exceptions. In turn, each element has a supporting one, and it’s your supporting element that you are most drawn to… For instance, Deana informed me my self element was Water and that it was very strong. Therefore, Wood would be my preference. Was she right?

These first real-world experiments went better than imagined and provided the first breakthrough moment in 2018, “I think we had something like 99.9% accuracy.” From this launchpad, Deana continued to work on her formulas, swapping perfume houses along the way to realise her vision. Although the founder of an exciting new lifestyle brand, she stops

short of calling herself a perfumer. “I’m not a perfumer, I’m not a chemist either. I guess what I am is an accidental nose, a disruptor.”

As with all the brands we highlight, you can find Elementals in our collection. Which element will you be most drawn to? And if you are wondering whether Deana got my preference right...she did.

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