Meabh (Mave) Mc Curtin, who created The Sixth by Vyrao, is known as a “white witch” in fragrance circles. She completed a Ph.D in molecular biology before finding her calling in perfumery. “I love understanding the science, but I think the aspect that drew me to perfume most was more poetic,” says Mc Curtin. “I can live in a space in my mind that is less about facts and more about exploring scent through feelings, the whole synaesthesia of smells.” Here, Meabh shares with Vyrao how she created The Sixth, scientifically proven to enhance mindfulness.
Meabh Mc Curtin, in Grasse
Where are you today Meabh?
I’m in my happy place, sitting at my desk surrounded by hundreds of tiny vials of perfume and working on my formulas.
Tell us a little bit about where you are from and how you grew up?
I grew up on the west coast of Ireland in a small town called Ennis. I’m the middle child of three girls and have always been the daydreamer of the family. My mother gave us a love of reading and poetry, which continues to be a source of inspiration for me when creating perfumes. I had a lot of freedom to roam as a child; the landscape on the west coast has a particular beauty, it’s sparse and elemental.
Meabh Mc Curtin, the perfumer behind The Sixth by Vyrao
Why did you become a perfumer?
I studied science but ultimately, moved towards something that would allow me to express my creativity. As a perfumer I can live in a space in my mind that is less about facts and more about intuition.
How would you describe The Sixth?
The Sixth is a herbal elixir that helps you tune into your intuition and to the present moment.
What did you think when the brief for The Sixth came in and some of the ingredients were channelled by a psychic?
This is honestly the brief I’ve been waiting for. I was delighted to work with Katt Nicholson (Yasmin Sewell’s go to psychic for 12 years), she helped us visualise the fragrance in terms of energies – heightening, cleansing, grounding. Her input was crucial to getting the tone of the fragrance just right.
What was The starting point for the Sixth for you and what was the process?
We wanted to create an aroma that transcends its decorative value to become an active part of connecting with your intuition and wellbeing. It became a process of integrating different types of knowledge – psychic expertise from Katt, scientific expertise from IFF’s Science of Wellness and Yasmin’s vision.
How did you build it from there with the Meabh magic?
A story surfaced in my mind about when I had the good fortune to meet a Benedictine monk in Ireland. He showed me around his herb garden and spoke to me about plants and their medicinal uses. Several of the herbs he had shown me were ingredients that we were talking about for The Sixth. He spoke about the importance of bitter herbs like wormwood and gentian root in health and the knowledge that monks have developed about herbs over centuries of using them. This brought together the final elements to create The Sixth.
How do you feel wearing The Sixth?
I’m drawn to The Sixth in the morning because the herbal notes are so uplifting. It makes me feel present and attuned to the power of now
Are you a bit Witchy Woo?
I’m very guided by my intuition and part of what drew me to perfumery was the witchy element where I’m working as an alchemist – striving to make something that takes on a power of its own. As a child I believed that I had a calling to be a witch and regularly mixed up potions, so it’s not surprising I have become a perfumer!
Thank you Meabh Mc Curtin
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