Smell is one of our most evocative senses, being the most closely linked to our capacity for memory and emotions that all reside within the same part of our brains. It stands to reason, therefore, that the creative process for founder of Los Angeles-based incense brand MAAPS, Johan Lam, always begins with conjuring up his memories of a particular location he travelled to, or an ephemeral feeling.
Since it began in December 2015, MAAPS has served up a range of handmade incense collections that encapsulate the olfactory notes that define far-flung locations, as well as encapsulating Johan and his wife’s love for all things related to travel, design and home goods. To date, the label’s ten scents form a geographic survey and love letter to the length and breadth of California, from its coastal Peninsula and Delta concoctions, to the toasted Canyon and Mesa incense sticks, which combine notes such as vetiver, pink peppercorn, and leather.
The sticks themselves utilise a blend of organic essential oils and natural resins and are best accompanied with MAAPS’ three three incense holder designs that are deserving of the spotlight themselves: The Boulder, a metal weight designed to hold the stick at a 45 degree angle; the Pyramid; or the Monolith, which is hand-thrown and carved by LA-based PKK Ceramics. Perfect for transporting yourself far from the confines of Hong Kong’s concrete jungle, MAAPS is now available in-store at WOAW.