Sustainability, Brexit, Shop Local… Blame what you will, but our discovery of AHLT — the home fragrance and accessories brand based in our neighbourhood of South East London — meant that we could add yet another fabulously local brand to our roster and evidently lower our carbon footprint at the same time. #WINNING. Regardless of their close proximity to our Crystal Palace flagship, founders James Burrow and Ky Ismet, offer an array of mindfully scented products that add a gorgeous aroma to any space [don’t just take our word for it, come and have a smell].
The duo, who have always been a creative pair with backgrounds in both music and fashion, purchased their first property in South London and the process “awakened our love for renovating and interior design, but it also opened up a whole world of problems,” explained James and Ky. “Learning how to create a mindful, consciously thought-through home from how we've renovated to the items sourced showcased that it's hard to do a renovation eco-consciously.”
Intrigued? We were. And that’s why we had a virtual chat with the lovely couple to find out more…
Tell us a little about how A House Like This came about — what was the inspiration behind the brand?
We started the @ahouselikethis home renovation Instagram and having limited funds to buy our loved ones Christmas presents after purchasing the property, we started making candles for their Christmas gifts. Candle making taught us that a lot of the brands we'd previously loved didn't use ingredients that were good for you so we made it our mission to create products that were mindful, making the home not only look good but feel fabulous too with beautiful fragrances.
Flash forward a year later and it became a full-on passion. We perfected our candle-making craft and still to this day make all our 100% natural scent soy candles, melts, and fragrance solutions from our home studio.
Where did the name AHLT come from?
The house-renovation account was where it [all] started, and because we took its name from us trawling property websites saying to each other, "I want a house like this", we created a brand around the abbreviation. We use both AHLT and A House Like This interchangeably, and see both social media accounts as part of our overall brand and business.
You state that you both have a passion for mindful living — can you delve a little deeper into this?
Choosing the right products for your home isn't easy, stores like DECORUM that have a focus on sustainability and quality product ingredients and manufacture are so important to us. We aim to mix our interior design with both old and new, and support small independent and local businesses where possible to create a home that is a good environment to live in. Even your paint choices need to be carefully considered, we wanted to have a clean living home with no toxicity. We carry that mission through to our business too.
Why create a fragrance brand?
[From] a young age, Ky experimented with essential oil blending and always had a passion for both personal and home fragrances. Scent is the most powerful sense for memory recall and can fully transform your mood no matter the space you inhabit. And fragrance is often overlooked when styling a room, so for us, interiors should be fully immersive because a home isn't just a space, it's how you feel. Choosing the right mindful mix of products to inhabit your space is what really awakens your senses — the scents you choose to finesse your interior design is a huge part of that process that people often forget.
How do you design/create your scents? What inspires the process?
Scents articulate the story of a room and help define the mood of a certain design. Each of our scents draw on inspiration from mythology, memories, and the seasons themselves. For example FYGGE, the first in our range, was inspired by Ky's family's Cypriot roots, and his Father's love for the scent of fig trees, whereas PERSEPHONE, a dark pomegranate scent, was inspired by the mythological character who ate the forbidden fruit. Our Signature Scent library fragrances are paraben-free perfumer grade and blended with high quality, sustainably sourced soy wax that offers a clean burn and tremendous scent throw.
Over the years we've tested so many different variations before settling on our core Scent Library because we also encourage our customers to layer scents so we've designed them to be enjoyed together. For example scents like TONIC pair well with PARADISIA or CITRON whereas FYGGE or WYNTER work wonderfully when paired with a darker scent such as FYRE.
Your creations are made from 100% soy wax and housed in glass vessels — is sustainability a key focus for your brand?
Absolutely, we wouldn't ever create something we wouldn't use in our own home that doesn't fit our focus on sustainability. We carefully choose all of our ingredients and make them in small batches from our home studio to keep in control of our production and to ensure it truly is a sustainable art form. Our glassware is fully recyclable and designed to protect the scents inside from harmful UV rays.
What other areas of design are you intrigued by?
James's graphic design background is the creative force behind all of our branding and product creation whereas Ky focuses on the scents we use and the marketing aspects of our business. The fusion of graphic design, scent, and more recently music production have helped us create products that engage all of the senses which is key for living more mindfully.
What’s next for AHLT?
Coming up in November we're launching a brand new range which we've been working on for the past year. Our Scent Library is growing and we'll be introducing a range of Essential Oil Blends and Aroma Diffusers that are unlike any other with multi-sensory stimulation at the core of the Aromatherapy Collections design.
Shop our AHLT edit here.