In Harlem, Evoking an Opulent Era with Heady Scents.
One of Teri Johnson’s early childhood memories was traveling to St. Louis to see her glamorous aunt, who had once lived in Saudi Arabia.
“Whenever I would visit her, I would run into her boudoir and smell her perfumes from around the world,” Johnson says. Her aunt, who traveled throughout the Middle East and Europe, had amassed “a collection of hundreds of the most amazing fragrances.”
Johnson, who would later go on to visit 66 countries as a travel and lifestyle presenter, began to collect her own perfumes.
“Scent is our strongest sense and the one most tied to memory,” Johnson says. “It can enhance a beautiful moment and remind us of our travels, a person, or a moment.”
Those memories stuck with Johnson, who eventually fell in love with, and settled in, Harlem. One day, while listening to jazz and making homemade candles in her kitchen, she got the idea to create the Harlem Candle Company—inspired by the neighborhood’s rich cultural history. Her goal was to capture the essence of the Harlem Renaissance in the scent of a candle.
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