Joya Collabs With Grateful Dead On Candle Line Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Classic Album 'Europe 72'
by Bill McCool on 06/13/2022 | 3 Minute Read
This past April, the John Mayer-less version of the Grateful Dead celebrated the 50th anniversary of kicking off their beloved Europe 72’ tour, the result of which was a significant and excellent triple live album bearing the same name. And, for your author’s money, it features the 100% essential recording of “Morning Dew,” and I don’t care what any of you bootleg freaks have to say about that (no disrespect to Cornell 77 and Winterland 74, obviously).
We'll forgive you if you forgot to put it on your calendar or celebrate accordingly, but if you want to light a candle in honor of the Dead milestone, Joya Studio is there to support you, as the Brooklyn-based fragrance brand and design studio celebrated the legacy and iconography of the Grateful Dead with a new line of art candles. Available in three colors and fragrances—Sour Strawberry, Lemon Drop, and Cotton Candy—the scented wax sculpture of the dancing bear is perfect for setting the mood and ripping into the first Dead recording that features then-newly added members Donna Jean and Keith Godchaux.
The outer packaging comes courtesy of artist Ruben Perez drawing off a concept of Joya’s Martin Sombathy. The idea centers around a group of art school kids—in this case, the dancing bears— that are trying to sculpt Bertha, the infamous skull and roses image by Alton Kelly and Stanley Mouse that became synonymous with the band’s visual aesthetic (and named “Bertha” as it was the first song from the “untitled” live album the band released in 1971 because the record company rejected “Skull Fuck”).
Of course, the art school kids “see everything through bear-colored lenses,” and they instead sculpt themselves wearing the band of roses. That end product is also the candle you’ll find inside the delightful packaging.
Not too shabby for the studio’s first time working with the Dead on a (though they note it won’t be the last time).
“Pre-Covid, we discussed a multi-sensory collaboration with Warner Music Group, which manages these kinds of projects,” said Frederick Bouchardy, Joya founder. “I am into the Dead's music and mesmerized by their iconography and the passion they inspire in their community. In a sense, this is the kind of connection we strive to create with our own. From a design perspective, we set the bar higher every time. So, this took a long time to develop and produce, especially considering all the complications brought on by the pandemic: lack of consistency, turnover, and supply chain. You know the rest.”
Aside from the beautifully illustrated outer box, the inside keeps it eco-friendly, utilizing Green Cell Foam to cushion the raw wax candle. The foam packaging not only dissolves in water but is backyard compostable and biodegradable. And, fun fact—you can even burn it, and it makes for a great BBQ starter (and that’s where you’ll need Cornell 77).
“We didn't set out to make it so, but Joya has become a significant manufacturer of scented products,” admits Frederick. “Demand has only increased these past few strange years, for which we are grateful. So, as we produce more, it's only natural we pay more and more attention to our impact. We examine the implications of each of our decisions and purchases and improve as we evolve.”
While the raw wax sculptures certainly make for an ideal gift or collectible for any Dead fan, they truly are intended to be burned, adding an immersive, sensory element to a re-up of the classic album.