Sean Damian Tucker is a Creative Brand Strategist who has worked for numerous global, leading brands, creating strategic concepts that add new dimension and deeper engagement to the consumer experience.
Currently residing in Jersey City, NJ, Sean has spent almost two decades living and working in markets throughout the Asia Pacific, Europe, and the US. Throughout his journeys, Sean developed a love for the olfactory, digging to uncover new candles and scents wherever his travels took him. At any given point, there is always at least one bougie on burn in his "Dojo."
You are a bit of a candle aficionado. You even had a club devoted to candles in Asia! Tell me about that.
I moved from Japan to Hong Kong in 2004. Once you are done shopping, there is not much else to do in Hong Kong. So I spent time browsing the department store, Lane Crawford, and I ventured into the Agent Provocateur section and bought a candle called “Tease.” It’s actually to-date one of my favorite candles, but is extremely difficult to find as they discontinued it years ago. It was one of a series of six candles in a set that you could light together to create a master-scent. That totally inspired my curiosity. I am really fascinated with how candles transform the mood and space. Friends would come over and they were like “Oh, this smells so good. What is this?” And they would want to learn about my candles. We all started to buy candles, hang out, and drink beer with the candles burning in the background.
What other brands were you encountering in Asia?
There were other other brands that I really liked, like Visvim. They were making great candles with considered ingredients. The scents were very sophisticated. They weren't overpowering. The candles that they were selling were made for the Japanese sensibility, with signature scents like hinoki. Hinoki is one of my favorite smells.
You are also someone who travels a lot. Did you take that obsession with you as you visited other countries?
Absolutely. I remember going to Paris. Whether in a small apothecary or even Galeries Lafayette, there were all these brands that I'd never heard of. La Note Parisienne built a fragrance story around the arrondissements. Each one of them had a very distinct smell built
around the location. One of my favorites was Bougie Parfumée - 9éme Arrondissement because of it’s warm musky scent which painted an olfactive portrait of Pigalle. I really like the idea that you can convey experience through scent, in a way that feels very rich and genuine. Another one of my favorites is Cire Trudon Madeleine. It is a combination of leather and florals. Combine that with the natural smokiness of the burning candle and it is really complex. The
scent of the SNY candle has a similar approach in combining unexpected elements that I really like.
"I really value materials that use recycled content and are recyclable. I really appreciate that the SNY candle has both recycled content and is fully recyclable."
The candle is of course more than the scent. It is about the fire too. Also the ritual aspect of lighting them
Speaking of ritual, I think my obsession with candles also connects back to my experience at Catholic school. It was that ritual in the Catholic Church that was intriguing to me. The symbolisms behind it, the presence of the visual and also the scent element of the frankincense. And it creates an experience that is reflective and meditative.
Interestingly, you use the word meditative. One thing that Jrue was focused on in the development of the candle was relaxation. For him, the candle is a short-cut to relax after a game. Other than scent, what else draws you to a candle?
Aesthetics are always a pull for me. I like packaging as a creative person. Now it's moved beyond just the aesthetic of it. I really value materials that use recycled content and are recyclable. I really appreciate that the SNY candle has both recycled content and is fully recyclable. Even the fact that no ink was used on the carton is excellent.
Follow Sean via @nowaybodhi