Founder: Anne McClain
Location: Brooklyn, New York
“Fragrances carefully crafted in small batches and bottled by hand.”
How did you get started in this field/industry?
I started by studying and learning on my own, mostly from books and short classes in related topics like aromatherapy. The big step I took was attending the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in Southern France. I knew I wanted my own brand, so after the training program I started MCMC Fragrances.
Where do you find the inspiration for your work?
From travel and friends. There is something about putting yourself in a new environment that is really stimulating and romantic and those memories lay the groundwork for a lot of the inspiration behind my scents. Of course, nature is a huge inspiration too!
Tell us about your ‘making’ process.
I usually start by concepting the ‘backbone’ of a fragrance – or the 3-5 ingredients that will provide the structure. I make about 40 – 100 drafts of a fragrance before I settle, always adding, decreasing and increasing accessory notes until the final fragrance feels agreeable.
How has your process changed since your started?
After completing an intensive year training program in Grasse, I’ve actually memorized a lot of ingredients and can recall many scents and their intensity in my mind. That makes my process much faster!
What is your favorite material/scent to work with?
I love jasmine sambac absolute. It’s a variety of jasmine that’s very clear and bright. I also like Haitian vetiver which comes from the roots of a shrub. The smell is smoky and comforting like an evening walk.
How does your personal style influence your brand/ company/ products, etc?
There’s a balance between a certain tomboyish-ness and femininity that I think comes from my personal style. A lot of the fragrances I make are unisex and contain wood and herb notes, but there’s still a softness in the feel and packaging of MCMC Fragrances.
What colors/ patterns/scents/shapes are you drawn to right now?
I’m coming around to lavender lately. As a flower the scent hasn’t appealed to me too much in the past but it’s sweet herbal smell has felt clean recently.
What’s one tip you would give to people getting into this business?
If you’re passionate about perfume, go for it! As a culture we are really into visual arts but smells are so mysterious and wonderful.
Who do you see as an innovator or do you look up to in this field/ industry?
I really enjoy the work of Jean-Claude Ellena (the in-house perfumer at Hermes). He’s been a proponent of minimal fragrance formulas and I find his scents to be clear and fresh.
Where do you imagine you’ll take the company next?
I’d love to eventually have a flagship retail and studio space. Right now the company’s very small, with my family helping out a lot. It’d be great to have a big space in Brooklyn with a great team!