PRESS RELEASE: The Harlem Candle Co. x Great Jones Collaboration


Chantel Ropp 
Harlem Candle Company


The Harlem Candle Company Creates the Official Signature Scent for the First and Only Whiskey Distillery in NYC Since Prohibition


New York, NY:  August 21st, 2021 marks Manhattan’s official grand opening of the Great Jones Distilling Company, the first whiskey distillery to appear in New York City since Prohibition in the 1920s. Housed in a 28,000-square-foot, four-story space in the NoHo neighborhood, the Great Jones Distilling Company encompasses a swanky cocktail bar, restaurant featuring the work of renowned chef Adam Raksin, tasting room reminiscent of a speakeasy, and gift shop stocked with Great Jones whiskeys, and other noteworthy collaborations including Harlem Candle Co’s x Great Jones “Speakeasy” candle adorned with the Great Jones Distilling Co. facade in 22k gold. 

Great Jones Distillery Co., taken by Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Great Jones Distillery Co., taken by Karsten Moran for The New York Times


This massive project has been six years in the making under the direction of Proximo Spirits founder Juan Domingo Beckham. Noticing that Manhattan was one of the few American cities lacking a major whiskey distillery, the fine spirits executive set out to change that. “I wanted to create a whiskey that celebrates the best of New York state agriculture,” Beckham explained in an interview with the New York Times. 

With the culmination of the past six years’ work ​​— from finding a building that would support the complex distilling process to dealing with COVID-19 delays — finally coming to fruition this week, the Great Jones Distilling Company wanted to ensure that every detail of its launch, including its ambient scenting, was perfectly executed.

Rendering of the Great Jones Distilling Co. Facade, Speakeasy Tasting Room, as seen on the Great Jones Distilling Co. website

Rendering of the Great Jones Distilling Co. Facade,

Speakeasy Tasting Room, as seen on the Great Jones Distilling Co. website 


The distillery appointed the luxury fragrance brand, Harlem Candle Co., to develop the Great Jones Distillery’s signature scent to fully encapsulate its ambiance and to create a unique sensorial experience for its patrons. “The signature scent is truly part of the Great Jones Distilling Co. experience,” says Harlem Candle Co. founder Teri Johnson. “We installed special automated scenting devices to diffuse the fragrance in the air, which you will notice when you take the distilling tour. In addition to the beautiful 22k gold Harlem Candle Co X Great Jones candle in the retail area, the signature scent can be found in the hand soap throughout Great Jones Distilling Co.”

Johnson conceptualized the signature scent for Great Jones Distillery in collaboration with perfumer Catherine Selig and fragrance agent Bart Schmidt. Playing on notes used in the distilling process, which include hay, ice, and bourbon among others, the “Speakeasy” scent reimagines the smoky shadows of the forbidden, after-dark world of New York's vibrant speakeasy culture. 

“When I first approached Catherine and Bart about creating a scent inspired by bourbon and the speakeasy culture of the 1920s and 30s, I knew we would come up with a truly evocative fragrance unlike anything on the market… and I was right. I really wanted this fragrance to transport people to a modern day speakeasy that was mysterious, seductive, rich, and elegant. Knowing that this scent would go beyond a candle sold in their gift store and become the ambient scent, including all of the hand soap, is such an honor. I’ve wanted to expand into ambient scents for a very long time. This project gave me the opportunity to do that.”

According to the scent’s description, “As you venture into the clandestine nightclubs and secret lounges, you are immediately seduced by the intoxicating smells of bourbon and the glamour and bustle of New York City. Our Speakeasy candle transports you to these hidden salons, evoking the irresistible excitement of the night with an opening of cardamom, smoked incense, bourbon and spicy pimento Berry.”   

A dramatic heart of golden saffron, licorice, plum blossom and tobacco leaves evolves beautifully to a warm, sensual base of aromatic Palo Santo and patchouli.  Creamy vanilla and dark chocolate add a gourmand nuance to this highly addictive blend.

          The official “Harlem Candle Company “Speakeasy” Cocktail Glass Candle created for Great Jones Distilling Co.

The official “Harlem Candle Company “Speakeasy” Cocktail Glass Candle created for Great Jones Distilling Co.

Download high res images here: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Download pdf of press release here.


About the Great Jones Distilling Company: Located at 686 Broadway in New York City, the Great Jones Distilling Company is the first legal whiskey distillery in Manhattan since Prohibition.  The 28,000-square-foot, four-story space located in the NoHo neighborhood features a cocktail bar, tasting room, shop, event area, and chef Adam Raksin’s restaurant.

About Harlem Candle Company: The Harlem Candle Co. is a luxury home fragrance brand specializing in scented candles inspired by the richness of Harlem.  Founded in 2014 by travel and lifestyle expert Teri Johnson, the Harlem Candle Company is the manifestation of her love affair with fragrance, jazz, and Harlem.  Each candle is specially handcrafted using top grade soy blend wax and infused with one of a kind fragrance oils designed by a team of globally recognized expert perfumers.

Like music, the top, middle, and base notes of each Harlem candle tell a story while taking you on an olfactory journey through time and place.  Drawing on inspiration from legends like Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday, the subtle scents and soft glows from Harlem candles instantly enhance your space while creating a sense of comfort and luxury.   


Harlem Candle Company