If you aren’t familiar with Brooklyn-based candle and fragrance company JOYA Studio, then you should be. Having worked with the team on our custom-scented ROOT candle, we are only one of many, many collaborative projects they’ve produced over the years. Blurring the lines between production and finished product, their newly opened flagship store embraces the emerging idea of transparency in retail. We visited the new retail space in the industrial Wallabout neighborhood of Brooklyn (right by the Navy Yard) and caught up with JOYA founder, Frederick Bouchardy, on his passion for storytelling through fragrance and design.

Where does your passion for candles come from?

It’s more a passion for storytelling, design, and fragrance. Maybe putting all of the pieces together. Candles are an ancient art form–initially, obviously, a necessity. The ones we make involve simple components, but many of them. This sort of product design is a mode of expression that inspires relaxation. So… maybe I’m looking for peace?

What is the first scent you fell in love with?

French toast.

How do you develop a custom scent for a brand?

We get a feel for the story that the brand wants to communicate and their target audience. We request a specific, but not necessarily, literal brief. Then we start smelling things together to develop a common language. And then we make!

What inspired your first flagship store?

Our collection is eclectic and the work we do with other companies is diverse–like a creative agency. The flagship illustrates a cohesive visual identity and gives people a chance to see our work (both the work in progress and finished product) in one space. Part industrial and part refined and all transparent, this environment echoes what we do and are about. It was meant to be a destination, but the neighborhood is emerging quickly.

Besides candles, what other items create comfort in your home?

Music, memories, books, art, plants, order, and family.