LONDON — Having spent a life in fashion working with retailers such as Browns, Barneys and Farfetch, brands including JW Anderson and Christopher Kane, and even designing her own collections, Yasmin Sewell is moving onward — and inward — into the world of wellness.
She’s developed a brand, Vyrao, that’s launching at Selfridges on May 20 with a series of five “high vibration” unisex fragrances that are true multitaskers.
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Not only do they smell good, they’re also meant to supercharge wearers with feelings of self-love, courage and creativity, and bestow illumination, protection and courage.
Sewell asked the British perfumer Lyn Harris to create the fragrances, and has also tapped the Honolulu-based “energist” and healer Louise Mita, founder of The Art of Energy Inc., to add a spiritual, and restorative, dimension to the products.
Sewell herself is a longtime believer in the healing power of the energy, and is also trained in Reiki, and other practices.
Last year, she spearheaded a project at Selfridges where she asked seven fashion students from the University of Westminster to upcycle designer clothing, and “refresh the energy” of the garments with healing techniques including mantras, crystals and moon cycles.
While Sewell may be back at Selfridges, this is most definitely not a fashion project. With the five fragrances in hand and a mission to help balance people’s chakras, Sewell plans to launch candles, incense and other wellness products for the body and home.
“Scent is such a powerful tool for healing and well-being,” said Sewell who was interested in creating a luxury product that could address people’s emotional, and physical, well-being.
The five fragrances, “I Am Verdant,” “Witchy Woo,” “Magnetic 70,” “Free 00” and “Georgette,” carry familiar notes including Italian bergamot, orange flower absolute, juniper wood, frankincense and Turkish rose oil, with each blend meant to impart a different sensation, or power.
Unlike the usual luxury fragrance, each bottle contains a single, naturally sourced and energetically charged Herkimer diamond. The Herkimer is a naturally faceted quartz crystal that’s said to clear the body’s chakras, or energy points, and allow for spiritual energy to flow.
Sewell said the fragrance formulations are 80 percent organic and created with 88 to 89 percent natural ingredients, including organic sugar cane alcohol.
The ingredients have been sourced from Robertet, the fragrance and flavor manufacturer that specializes in natural, sustainable raw materials. The brilliant green packaging has been created from 100 percent recycled and recyclable fibers, while the bottles are refillable.
The 50-ml. fragrances cost 135 pounds each and sell through the new Vyrao website. They will be stocked in the main hall of Selfridges for five weeks.
Sewell said the name Vyrao derives from the Latin verb, vireo, which means “I am verdant,” or “I am vigorous” and said the fragrances have been designed to be “playful mood boosters,” and a way of integrating positive energy into everyday life.
Harris, the founder of Miller Harris who now creates fragrances and colognes at her company Perfumer H, said the project inspired her as a perfumer.
“It feels like the right time to create fragrance that is more than a beautiful smell, one that helps you connect with life and yourself. Honestly, I have never been briefed this way before.”
She said Sewell “came to my laboratory and got totally involved. She told me ‘This is what I feel, Lyn.’ She talked about empowerment, liberation and magnetism, and I’m the lucky one who got to translate her ideas.”
Sewell, who pre-launched the collection in a vast and lush private garden in northwest London, said that wellness, and fragrance in particular, are uncharted waters for her, “but it feels right.”
She said that after two decades in fashion, “this is where I want to be and what I should be doing.”
She’s also brought friends along with her, raising a first round of money and launching with a group of founding partners and collaborators with a wide range of skills. She’s planning a bigger fundraise next year as she brings more products to market including body care and ingestibles.
“I want to build a New Age business with New Age principles, entrusting responsibility and authority across the team,” said Sewell.