We meet Yasmin Sewell, founder of Vyrao, a fragrance or wellness company that sells energising scents, candles and incense based on energy healing, at the newly opened ASAYA Spa at the Rosewood Munich for lunch and a meditation session by the pool.
IRMA: You are a master at reinventing yourself in both your personal and professional life. A little bit about that.
Yasmin Sewell: Well, I guess I never want to stay the same or in the same place, especially when I feel ready to move or change. I’m actually a very grounded person in my personal life and I’m quite a homebody, but in my professional life I’m always looking forward. My career in fashion has been about predicting new trends and discovering the next generation of designers. I stayed in fashion for so long because it was always moving and looking forward. That satisfied me. I’ve always used my intuition in everything I do, and it’s served me well in my fashion career. When you tune in and listen to your gut, as I do pretty much all the time, you can’t really ignore the messages telling you to do something, to change something, to try something new. It is our minds and our fears that stop us from changing.
IRMA: How did you come up with the concept of Vyrao?
Yasmin Sewell: I left my last big job in fashion and took some time out to really think about what I wanted to do with my life. I had a strong feeling that it was time to really create something that was my own, that really came from what I love and believe in, and also from what I’ve learnt so far. Over the last 25 years, while working as a fashion and creative director, I’ve studied and practised many forms of holistic wellbeing. I’m trained in Reiki, Integrative Quantum Medicine, Flower Remedies and Ayurveda. I’ve always been an outspoken advocate of mindfulness practices and the benefits of feeling conscious and connected. So Vyrao is really the combination of everything I know about wellness and what I know about creativity, beauty and fashion. With Vyrao we look at wellness in a slightly different way, what we do is we look at the connection between our emotions and our physical body, we look at how our thoughts and feelings affect us on a daily basis and ultimately we look at strengthening the body’s energetic field.
IRMA: You see yourself as a spa and wellness brand rather than a perfume brand. Can you explain why?
Yasmin Sewell: We are a little bit different from traditional fragrances, the intention of all of them is to enhance your mood and good feelings. We create fragrances that are neuroscientifically based to enhance those feelings. Yes, they are extraordinary perfumes, made at the highest level with precious natural oils by master perfumers, but I have created them to be worn by you first and foremost. Beautiful reminders to feel better every day, we have scents that evoke courage, protection, self-love, sensuality, liberation, mindfulness and joy. Many of our customers see us as a beautiful daily reminder and self-care ritual, not just a luxury fragrance.
IRMA: How important is scent in our lives and how can it affect your wellbeing?
Yasmin Sewell: Oh it is huge and the science is there. The olfactory gland and the amygdala gland are connected in the brain and are responsible for smell and memory/emotions. So we can underestimate what scent does to our mood. We work with scientific wellness programmes developed by one of the most prestigious perfume houses in Grasse. I always say that if you were super stressed and you walked out into a field of green flowers with a fragrant garden, you would immediately feel different and a lot of that stress would shift, and I always say…if there wasn’t any scent in that field, it just wouldn’t be the same.
IRMA: You said today that usually perfume is made to attract someone else, but you create a scent to stimulate yourself, can you explain that further?
Yasmin Sewell: Perfume is often marketed as something that makes you sexy for others. Our intention is for you to spray the scent and feel what you need to tap into… for yourself.
IRMA: The colour of your brand and packaging is a lush green, the same colour as your living room. How does this colour relate to you?
Yasmin Sewell: Just before I created Vyrao, I painted my house this Vyrao green, a vibrant wild green. I had had a rough couple of years and I think I needed that colour to heal me and my home. Then, freshly painted, I sat in my green house and the vision for the brand came to me. Vyrao comes from the Latin verb vireo, which means “I am verdant, I am vigorous, I sprout green growth”.
IRMA: Vyrao is all about energy and you add an energetically charged quartz crystal to each bottle, why is that?
Yasmin Sewell: Energy is the source of everything, working with it, channeling it and amplifying it is the basis of what we do. Every plant, flower and remedy we use holds energy and the crystal we put in every bottle is an extraordinary conduit for energy. We work with an incredible energy healer in Hawaii to charge each crystal before it goes into each bottle. Some people really don’t care about the crystal or believe in the power of energy and that’s fine. You can bring us an energetic source or simply an object of desire. The choice is yours.
IRMA: Do you have any idea what the next product in your healing family will be?
Yasmin Sewell: Oh yes, we’re launching a whole other category next year that doesn’t involve your sense of smell but your sense of taste and your physical body. And of course super healing. Coming soon.
IRMA: I can hardly wait.