If the spirit of a room was a scent, what would it be? This is not a rhetorical question to Brooklyn-based perfume brand Joya Studio, which unveiled a fragrance installation in its gallery last night to find out. Created in collaboration with NYCxDesign 2017, the installation and studio are open for the next two days for the public to see how the brand’s bespoke fragrances, candles, and pottery are made. (If rows of candles or the pottery scene in Ghost are aphrodisiacs for you, you’re in luck.)
The Joya Studio gallery in the Navy Yard is both a store and a factory. Between the showroom and a ceramist throwing clay on a wheel in the back of the working factory (lit by a single spotlight to not ruin the mysterious ambiance) is the installation — three tall wooden blocks emit clear, scented steam. One of the building’s architects, Jeffrey Taylor, explained that each podium symbolizes a different textile used in designing the space, which opened last year — wood, steel, and, “spirit.” When asked about the makeup of each fragrance, a Joya rep said only the on-site perfumers knew — it’s a secret. So the Cut investigated: One podium smelled like frankincense, another like the greatest soap ever, and one was warm and woody.
The space is industrial and refined, but not in an overly West Elm way. For instance, when an 18-wheel truck arrives with deliveries, the showroom’s panels containing candles and Irish seaweed masks slide out of the way to make room. Taylor explained that he and B. Alex Miller at Taylor & Miller aimed to make the line between the factory and the perfume showroom “paper thin,” so the space recalls the versatility of a black-box theater. A pouring station for luxury candles and a modern apothecary laboratory are housed in two nearby lofts.
The installation and studio are open to the public for the next two days at 19 Vanderbilt Avenue.