New Incubation Ventures, part of the Estée Lauder Companies, has taken a minority stake in Vyrao, a young British brand of unisex fragrances designed to heal, inspire and energize the body and home.
A well-established emerging beauty brand
Estée Lauder Group’s strategic early-stage investment and incubation arm, New Incubation Ventures (NIV), is taking a minority stake in niche fragrance brand Vyrao. This is the third investment since 2021 for New Incubation Ventures, which has a history of investing in brands shaping the beauty industry’s future. New Incubation Ventures has invested in Haeckels, a British brand of sustainable skin, home, hair and body care products, as well as in Faculty, a Canadian brand fighting gender bias in men’s beauty care.
Although recently founded (in May 2021), Vyrao benefits from a significant asset: an early internationalization favored by its founder’s experience in a satellite and complementary universe: fashion.
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Its CEO, and founder Yasmin Sewell is thus a reference on the London fashion and luxury scene. She worked for retailers like Browns New York and Liberty in the 2000s before joining the luxury e-commerce platform Farfetch in 2017. Two years ago, she founded Vyrao to merge energy healing with master perfumer expertise. After partnering with department store Selfridges, she has since managed to distribute her brand to retailers around the world, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Liberty, END, Browns, and Claridges Spa, including several Mecca stores in Australia, where she is originally from.
In addition to its international distribution network, which extends from the UK to Australia and Japan, the brand is also known in China.
In the meantime, the company has also expanded its initial offering of fragrance products to include candles and incense.
This investment will allow Vyrao to innovate with products based on natural ingredients, develop new wellness formulas beyond fragrances, intensify creative campaigns, and continue its geographic expansion.
Resonating with the expectations of the younger generation
The younger generation, particularly Gen Z (under 25), has developed a singular approach to perfume, which contrasts with their older brothers from the Millennials generation. A perfume where personalization contributes to self-assertion. Gone are the days of wearing an emblematic fragrance, replaced by fragrances that reflect the mood of the moment as well as the mood of the customer.
With this in mind, the founder wanted to develop fragrances designed as gateways to emotion, feelings and well-being, using fragrant ingredients known for their mood-enhancing effects. Indeed, scents do not only influence mood, concentration or memory but also emotions. In fact, researchers have proven that up to 75% of all emotions generated each day are due to our sense of smell.
Thus, each 50 ml bottle contains a Herkimer diamond crystal – a kind of quartz from ethical sources – which is supposed to purify as well as increase the energy of the wearer.
The brand has understood this by developing perfumes scientifically based on tangible benefits, which it calls “Neuroscents” or “functional perfumes”. In other words, fragrances developed with science and supported by data.
The latest, The Sixth, was developed in collaboration with the Science of Wellness program of the International Flavours and Fragrances (IFF), which studies brain activity corresponding to the emotions attributed to fragrances. It is a unisex fragrance containing 15 natural ingredients that are scientifically proven to promote mindfulness.
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The naturalness dear to Generation Z is not forgotten, as the products are formulated from plants and flowers, which are themselves associated with positive emotions.
Strengthening the American group in the perfume segment
Estée Lauder’s acquisition of a stake in the niche perfumery business via NIV complements its purchase of Tom Ford Beauty. This last acquisition is also intended to strengthen Estée Lauder’s offer in terms of licenses.
Featured photo: © Vyrao