Harriet Allure’s luxury candles write an olfactory love letter to ‘home’

Harriet Allure makes luxury candles that evoke familiarity and comfort via scent

Luxury candle brand Harriet Allure Faiyaz and Ama candles
Harriet Allure Faiyaz and Ama candles
(Image credit: Harriet Allure)

Harriet Allure is a new luxury candle brand created by childhood friends, Freddy Mackensy and Alex Adu, as a way to stay connected when the demands of adulthood drew them apart. The brand’s current collection of four candles come in amorphous ceramic containers with scents inspired by memories or feelings that the two have shared over the years. The packaging is edgy and the home fragrances are sophisticated.

But ultimately, the candles have a sentimental message behind them. Harriet Allure began as a pandemic-born passion project inspired by the love shared between two friends and their families. The goal was to use the power of scent to conjure the feeling of ‘home’ from anywhere one might be in the world.

Harriet Allure is writing an olfactory love letter to ‘home’

Harriet Allure black and white candles in Minute and Ama

The Minuet and Ama candles 

(Image credit: Harriet Allure)

Mackensy and Adu were both born in Düsseldorf to Ghanaian immigrant parents, who were friends long before the boys were born and, consequently, raised their children side by side ‘in brotherhood,’ as the pair like to say. That childhood bond is what kept Freddy and Alex close, even when they left Düsseldorf to pursue their respective careers. (Mackensy went to work in Berlin and Adu studied history in Stockholm).

When Covid hit, and their lives, like most people’s, became upended, the pair leant on each other for support. After they had worked hard to make new lives for themselves in their respective cities, the global pandemic suddenly made the friends feel displaced and isolated. Home, instead of being a place of refuge, became a place of isolation and confinement.

Harriet Alliure

(Image credit: Courtesy of Harriet Allure)

‘Feeling at home in a new environment is not always immediate,’ says Mackensy. ‘Scented candles play a crucial role in making each new place feel comforting. Especially during the dark winters in Sweden and the heightened indoor hours due to the pandemic, the comforting aroma of a candle became an essential part of our routine. The ritual of settling into a new, possibly empty apartment with a scented candle became a source of comfort and familiarity. This experience taught us that “home” is not confined to a single place; it can be embraced in different locations and among different people.’ 

Harriet Allure candle range

Harriet Allure in Minuet, Faiyaz, Tartu and Ama

(Image credit: Harriet Allure)

The pair acknowledge that they learned this lesson from their parents, whose own immigrant experience taught their children that home is something you create and it is not simply the place you are born. ‘Our parents taught us about adaptability, cultural pride, perseverance, and the importance of community support,’ says Mackensy. ‘Those lessons benefitted us at home but they also taught us how to feel a sense of belonging in a new and unfamiliar environment. We are as much Germans as we are Ghanaian. Despite the challenges they faced as immigrants, our parents emphasised the importance of embracing cultural roots and being proud of our identity. Despite being far from their homeland, they forged connections with other immigrants and people of the Ghanaian diaspora, creating a sense of belonging.’ 

Harriet Alliure

(Image credit: Courtesy of Harriet Allure)

That sense of belonging and comfort is exactly what Mackensy and Adu want to generate with Harriet Allure. That might seem like a big ask for an inanimate object, but the candles’ warm, elegant scents do evoke just that. Of the four fragrances on offer, there’s ‘Ama’, powdery with floral notes, and named after Freddy’s mom as an homage to the warmth of home, motherhood and childhood. ‘Tartu’, named after the Estonian city that Freddy and Alex visited together, is the earthiest of the brand’s scents, with notes of rosemary, basil and fig.

‘Minuit’ is a dark, slightly smoky fragrance that blends amber, rose and patchouli. And ‘Faiyaz’ is perhaps the most enigmatic of the brand’s scents. Inspired by the pair’s parents and the trepidation they felt leaving home, ‘Faiyaz’ aims to conjure the feeling of stepping out of your comfort zone, with an ambiguous blend of tobacco with violet, saffron and pine cedar. 

Harriet Allure candles

(Image credit: Courtesy of Harriet Allure)

The candles’ containers are handcrafted in Portugal using recycled clay and are meant to be kept and reused as containers or cups once the wax is finished. Eventually, the pair hope to expand the brand beyond candles and into more lifestyle goods. ‘Harriet Allure has much more to give,’ say the founders. ‘We are trying to touch as many people in their lives as we can through our unique scents, shapes, and stories.’ 

Candles, £53 each, from harrietallure.com

Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.