Scents are ever-present and play a major role in the rituals of certain communities. For today’s conversation, we are diving into the world of incense-making with multidisciplinary creatives and founders of Tripie Suply: Ones and Michael. Originally in emerging arts management and now in charge of incense-making and blend concoction, Ones makes one half of Tripie Suply, whereas Fine Arts major turn tattoo artist Michael makes the other. After extensive exploration, the pair continuous development of Tripie Suply brought them to create their own incense sticks and cones.
Let us unearth the inspiration, production process and memories behind the creation of scents, and most of all – how Balinese culture influenced the meaning and direction of this creative bedroom.
1. What is the unifying theme behind the names of your incense sticks and cones?
For the second incense series, we were inspired by song titles and films we’ve watched. We imagined the aroma of the atmosphere while listening to a song or watching films then we implement the smell into incense sticks. So that the flavour of the scent lingers when we do certain activities. For the third series, which are the incense cones, we were inspired by the fragrance of natural elements that we blend and adjust it according to our personal memories.
2. How has Bali inspired you to create the scents? From your point of view, what is the role of incense and scents in Balinese culture?
This question is related closely to our first series: ‘Sanity & Happier’ that we produced in 2016 when we first decided to move and stay for good in Bali. At that time, we lived in a village located in Penestanan, Ubud for a couple of months and observe the villagers’ lifestyle closely. The area that we lived in has a distinctive strong aroma which inspired us to create an incense stick with similar flavour. But of course, creating the same exact flavour is not easy, so we decided to extract the memory of remembrance to pay homage to the essence of a place that gave us serenity and happiness in a simple way.
In Bali, incense is the most fundamental instrument for the community’s way of living. For example, when you arrived in Bali and as soon as you set your foot in the airport you will smell a distinctive aroma that you cannot find anywhere else. A rich fragrance of frangipani incense! Any visitor can discern a sacred and mystical feeling because incense itself functions as an instrument of worship for the local community. On the other hand, incense is also part of the identity for the island that exudes a feeling of yearning that entice you to come back to Bali.
3. Let’s talk about aromatherapy. How have scents benefit your day to day?
Imagine we are living in a world where there are no smells - everything will be tasteless. It’s like living without music or only being able to consume one type of dish for the rest of your life. Scent is like a part of life itself, because every element exists on this earth have their own distinctive aroma. From trees, the smell of rain, sun, rocks, sands, even human body have their own unique smells.
4. What would you like people to experience when burning your incense?
Aroma is an identity for some people, for others smells hold memories of a person, an experience, location or even provide them with a sense of comfort and tranquillity. If any of those things can be mixed and put together into a dish in a form of incense then why not? :)
5. What is a memory you treasure that is strongly tied to scents?
The scent of home! Because every household have their own unique smells that holds so many process and memories behind it. It is something that we are very attached to, especially when we visit relatives and friends from our childhood, or even when we come home, it feels very comforting.
6. What are the challenges that come with concocting the perfect blend?
Until now we are still learning to create a perfect blend, since the aroma that we created often comes and inspired from our personal experience. For us, creating an aroma is akin to recalling a memory and how it can be best realized. Given that scent is an air element that cannot be seen visually, therefore difficult to imitate. The challenge is how to manage these memories properly and thoroughly so that they can produce an honest flavour, so that it can be enjoyed by all groups by giving a comfortable feeling.
1. Describe Tripie Suply in 5 words. Mind Process, Work in Progress!
2. Favourite scent? All of them! ;)
3. Your ideal method of meditation? Mindfulness meditation which creates a sense of calm wherever and whenever the condition is.