INSERT DRUMROLL HERE: Today is the first day of the Black Bridal Bliss 2016 Holiday Gift Guide! This year, we’ve gone out of our way to carefully select items and/or services that are Black-owned, Black-run and/or have a strong connection to Black folks in some capacity. And to make things extra-fun, the team selected items we personally would want to receive or give…And we’re doing this for the next 12 (business) days. It’s our nod to The 12 Days of Christmas. Know we respectfully acknowledge some of you may not celebrate Christmas so all of these gifts will make you or your loved ones swoon any time of year.

We’re kicking this Gift Guide off with the Harlem Candle Co. Sugar Hill Candle, $42; harlemcandlecompany.com.

High quality scented candles are part of my affordable luxury arsenal. I light one–two if I’m feeling fancy–turn off the lights in my bathroom, play some Earth, Wind & Fire and take a long, relaxing shower. It feels like I converted my humble bathroom into a luxe spa. If I learned nothing else in 2016 it is that self care is not only important but non-negotiable. Candles help me keep my sanity.

Bonus, Harlem Candle Co. was founded by travel blogger Teri Johnson who actually resides in Harlem and unlike many transplants to the area cares about preserving the neighborhood’s rich history and not just gentrifying it. I chose Sugar Hill because the citrus top notes combined with lavendar and vanilla bottom notes are exactly what this busy city dweller wants to smell while chillaxin’ at home.

Are you a candle lover too? What scents are your faves and why?