An interview with Frederick Bouchardy of Joya

An interview with Frederick Bouchardy of Joya

Joya is all about fragranced artifacts. To find out what we mean, read on for our interview with founder Frederick Bouchardy.

Joya is a small fragrance company in Brooklyn, New York. But it doesn’t just sell perfume. Frederick Bouchardy, who founded the company over a decade ago, has created something much bigger than a perfume destination. The company can and will work with individuals to create custom and bespoke perfume, and it also sells scented candles, perfumes, diffusers and soaps, but excels when working with companies to distill and interpret its brand identity into a scented object.

The latest project that caught our eye (nose?) was that Joya worked with a couple of fashion designers to create a signature scent for their runway shows. We needed to know more about this new combo of style and scent, so we asked Bouchardy a few questions.

What is your starting point for scenting a fashion show?

“We always start with the overarching story that we and the client are collectively trying to tell, which usually involves a brief for the fragrance; however, we don’t often work with traditional briefs—more likely to dive into feelings and passions and sort out a way to articulate our intentions for the project in words and images than ingredients. We’ll work with moodboards, fabric swatches, all kinds of inspiration. One time we received various samples of dirt and soil for reference.”

What are some things you need to keep in mind for this sort of job?

“First, we always have to keep in mind the target audience, the guest that is going to take it all in. Next, practically speaking, we consider whether this is a traditional show or more of a presentation—where the models and guests enter and exit, which affects the airflow and diffusion. Even more practically speaking, how high the ceilings are, what the ventilation system is like.”

Why do you think designers are turning to fragrance as an added element to a show?

“Through their shows, designers are usually inspired by a locale or moment in time, so it makes sense to add additional sensory elements to create that world. I have found that designers are, more often than not, really into scent. Whether they want to communicate their company’s values or ethos or just tap into specific memories (a grandparent cutting fruit, mother holding a hand, father tending to the garden), fragrance is often an avenue they want to explore to show their high-level vision.”

How do you create that sensorial experience so that it makes an impact, but doesn’t steal the show?

“We have to work in collaboration with the artist or designer to make sure the experience is seamless and that the fragrance complements the show’s theme. By diffusing the scent in the space prior to the event, it creates a moment of recognition when the guest enters. Once the show is underway, the scent itself is embedded in the space, and the guests may be used to it, in a sense, until the right current of air hits them; therefore, it works harmoniously to create a multi-sensory experience.”

Can you talk a bit about each show specifically? How you chose certain scents and why?

“I worked with Dana El Masri to create the signature scents for Maria Cornejo and Creatures of Comfort.

Maria’s is evocative of the outdoors—a kind of Brooklyn meets Chile. It has the distinct character of a forest floor: balsam, wild grass, cedar, thyme…with smoky elements of guaiac wood, incense, rose-tanned leather and burning embers.

Creatures of Comfort’s fragrance is a sweet, smoky, spicy take on glamping: sandalwood, bright green stems and shrubs, thorns and rain water. We incorporated the designer’s choices of materials and fabrics to produce something sophisticated yet playful.”

What’s up next?

Look for more experiential scent projects from Joya very soon, including this week’s “The Architecture of Fragrance” installation at our studio in partnership with Taylor & Miller and NYCxDesign: NYCxDesign: Joya & Taylor and Miller “The Architecture of Fragrance”

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Alexandra Donaldson is the editorial assistant at The Whale & The Rose and a freelance writer and content creator. Although she recently took up yoga in an effort to be a healthy adult, she still binge-watches cartoons on a regular basis and dreams of running away to a cottage in the woods. She has yet to nail down her favourite perfume, but knows that it smells green, earthy and maybe a little bit spicy, but definitely not sweet.