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The Harlem Candle Co.

About Us

The Harlem Candle Company is a luxury home fragrance brand specializing in scented candles inspired by the richness of Harlem. Renowned for our exquisite luxury candles and captivating fragrances, our journey began in 2014 when travel and lifestyle expert Teri Johnson founded the company as a manifestation of her deep love for fragrance, jazz, and the vibrant spirit of Harlem.

Our mission is to continually capture the beauty and essence of Harlem of yesterday and today as we illuminate spaces around the world with our soft glows and exquisite scents. Explore our range of luxury candles and captivating fragrances, all meticulously designed to transport you to the heart of this iconic neighborhood.

Founder & CEO

Teri Johnson

Teri has been in enamored with fragrance for as long as she can remember.

As a child growing up in Texas, she has vivid memories of exploring her favorite aunt’s collection of exotic perfumes and feeling as if an entire universe had opened up for her. She knew early on, as she happily spritzed and inhaled the intoxicating aromas, that she processed everything through her senses and scent was a language for her to express herself.

Those mystical, invisible mists that could magically elevate your mood, contained in beautiful, glamorous vessels, would become Teri’s creative influence and the catalyst for her future.

The Travelista

Teri’s love of history and her enthusiastic curiosity about other cultures took her all over the world through her work as a travel and lifestyle expert for outlets including the Travel Channel, Huffington Post and her self-produced travel show, Travelista Teri.

She has travelled to nearly 70 countries, and these became multi-sensory journeys for her as she reveled in the smells, tastes, sights and sounds of each new landscape. It was through these experiences that she began to truly understand the dynamic power of scent, and importantly, sensory memory, and its ability to miraculously transport you through time and place.

Drawn to Harlem

Settling in New York City, Teri was magnetically drawn to the neighborhood of Harlem, which has such a rich and vibrant past. Inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and the figures in music and the arts who helped to shape it (like Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday, pictured here) she knew that she wanted to celebrate them and tell their stories through scent with her brand.

The Company

With a burst of creativity, combined with her love of fragrance and jazz, Teri started making candles in her kitchen in 2014. From those humble beginnings, the Harlem Candle Co. has blossomed into a creative endeavor that collaborates with award-winning perfumers to design exquisitely scented candles and home fragrance products.

Telling Stories Through Scent

Like music, the top, middle, and base notes in each candle tell a story while taking you on an olfactory journey through time and place. Drawing on inspiration from Harlem Renaissance legends (like Josephine Baker and Langston Hughes, pictured here), the candles instantly enhance your space while creating a sense of comfort and luxury.

Introducing The Harlem Perfume Co.

After several years of creating award-winning luxury candles, we received overwhelming demand from Harlem Candle Co. customers to make a personal perfume that they could wear. Having spent many hours working alongside some of the most renowned perfumers in the industry developing fragrances for our candles, Teri had gotten quite an education and a solid foundation in the fine fragrance category. As a life-long lover of perfume, she joyfully decided it was time for her to expand into this space and she launched the Harlem Perfume Co. in October of 2022.

Eau de Parfum

The Harlem Perfume Co. is a luxurious, fine fragrance brand inspired by the heart of Harlem and the soul of jazz. Much like its sister brand, the Harlem Candle Co., the aromas are rich in opulence and nostalgia, allowing one to embrace their most sincere self while exploring the romance of the past. 

Special Collaborations

The Harlem Candle Co. has collaborated with a variety of different partners — from large legacy brands like Kodak to Manhattan's first and only whiskey distillery, Great Jones Distilling Co., the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and even the White House — in sharing the magic of the Harlem Renaissance with candle lovers everywhere.

HCC x The White House (2021)

"Jacqueline" & "White House Gingerbread" Luxury Candles

Two stunning candles made in partnership for the White House History Shop:

"Jacqueline" is a rose and sandalwood candle inspired by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s favorite scent.

"White House Gingerbread" features a warm, comforting scent for the holiday season.

HCC x The MET (2021)

"Seneca" & "Medieval Garden" Luxury Candles

A special collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

"Seneca" celebrates Afrofuturism and the history of Seneca Village, a vibrant community founded by free black tenants that flourished from the 1820’s to the 1850’s until the City of New York seized the land to construct Central Park. 

"Medieval Garden" celebrates the museum’s Middle Ages-inspired gardens at The Met Cloisters, located on a hilltop in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan.

HCC x Great Jones Distilling Co. (2021)

The "Speakeasy" Luxury Candle

The Harlem Candle Co. developed the Great Jones Distillery’s signature scent to fully encapsulate its ambiance and to create a unique sensorial experience for its patrons. “Speakeasy” reimagines the smoky shadows of the forbidden, after-dark world of New York's vibrant speakeasy culture.

HCC x "If Beale Street Could Talk" (2018)

The 22k Gold James Baldwin "Love" Luxury Candle

Boldly emotional and clairvoyantly perceptive, James Baldwin traversed the globe from Harlem to Provence in search of the idea and feeling of love and he challenged the characters in his stories to embark on their own personal quest.

This limited-edition candle features the quote "Love Brought You Here" by James Baldwin from the novel and film If Beale Street Could Talk.


HCC x Kodak (2018)

The "Snapshot" Luxury Candle

Inspired by the invention of the Kodak Brownie camera in 1900 and the magical process of capturing and developing vital moments on film, "Snapshot" evokes the hazy shadows and subtle, sweet smell of the darkroom, days after.

In the Press

The Harlem Candle Co. has received tremendous love from our friends in the press. Our candles and perfumes have received glowing reviews from local papers and independent blogs to national magazines and television programs.