Introducing Joya: Inside the fragrance designers’ new Brooklyn flagship, where visitors can enjoy a unique shopping experience directly from the workshop
Joya is a flourishing New York fragrance house: it recently unveiled a new flagship location in Brooklyn’s historic Wallabout neighborhood, featuring a showroom designed by architects Taylor and Miller that blends retail with the industrial side of production.
It’s the first retail location for this beloved brand that started out in 2006, and there couldn’t be a more fitting home for Joya’s own candles and fragrances, alongside collaborations with the likes of Snarkitecture and Calico.
It’s also a full production facility, and visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the process by watching staff develop fragrances and candles. The store–workshop sits only steps away from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, home to a new generation of makers including Mast Brothers chocolate and Parlor Coffee.
One of the many remarkable things about Joya is that they create everything in-house, down to the ceramic vessels that hold their candles. Their collaborative projects are equally impressive: Joya invites artists and designers to experiment with unique vessel concepts that move beyond utility and into the realm of art.
Since Joya is now available to Scent members, we caught up with founder Frederick Bouchardy to find out about the origins of the brand.
What inspired you to launch Joya?
What began as an exploration of ingredients and design became a passion for fragrance. We began with a capsule collection of scented candles using a natural, tropical palm-oil wax base. The company has since grown into a modern fragrance-design studio with a global reach.
In essence, Joya stands for memorable fragrance and integrity of design. It feeds off the energy and history of New York.
What’s your background in fragrance?
I entered this industry as an outsider. I could be considered an autodidact, but I have learned from experts and masters along the way.
The Wallabout neighborhood is a historic part of Brooklyn. Why was this the natural place for Joya to set up its flagship?
Wallabout is one of Brooklyn’s oldest neighborhoods, and it used to be affiliated with the military. It’s the perfect venue for us, as Joya is inspired by the history and energy of New York.
All of New York is our home and muse, but Brooklyn is where we have always manufactured all of our pieces, and we express our mission and visual language to the fullest with this new flagship. The space we occupy is a rare find these days in New York: industrial, beautiful, and expansive all at the same time.
Are all your fragrances inspired by New York, or will we find other locations in your candles, too?
I pull inspiration from everywhere, as do my collaborators: travel, books, music, film, and daydreaming. It really is everywhere. My favorite quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The near explains the far. The drop is a small ocean. A man is related to all nature.”
Does your French heritage influence your vision? A recent article pointed out that your ceramic perfume bottles are an homage to Lanvin’s original Arpège flacon…
I think so. My lady and my parents are French so it’s all around me! The women in my life have such great taste, and that famous, truly effortless style, which I see especially in their understanding of color and texture.
How did the ‘Secret Souvenir’ collaboration with art and architecture studio Snarkitecture come about? We love the way a New York landmark is revealed as the candle burns down.
We were connected to do a project for Alchemist, a stunning lifestyle shop in Miami that holds events during Art Basel.
Secret Souvenir is all about the new topography that’s created when the secret within the burning candle is revealed. The collection is clever and beautiful, and it received a strong editorial and customer response, so we have kept it moving, and even added a special edition for the New Museum.
We love your Calico L’Absinthe candle. What kind of person is this particular scent suited to?
L’Absinthe is understated and full of natural star anise. This scent is inspired by [Hemingway’s] Death in the Afternoon. I think both the scent and the candle’s design are suited to somebody understated who believes in the power of small details.