International Women’s Month: Anne McClain


“Beauty and brains” seems about the right description for Anne McClain, freckled Ivy League graduate. McClain spent her childhood between her native Rhode Island and her mother’s homeland, Japan. She graduated from Brown University in 2005, and was one of 12 people accepted to the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in 2009. Within a month of graduating, McClain founded MCMC Fragrances, which is now carried by Birchbox and Anthropologie. (MCMC’s best known product is their Dude No. 1 Beard Oil, which fragrances almost every beard in Brooklyn.)

Our last International Women’s Month post was dedicated to Yosh Han, a pioneer of the current generation of independent perfumers. Anne McClain strikes me as a direct spiritual successor. Both women built their perfumery careers without nepotism or insider connections. Both chose to work independently rather than within fragrance firms. And both have achieved a thrilling level of success, as evidenced by the fragrance collections that both have been asked to create for the gigantic Anthropologie. Both inspire me deeply!

5 thoughts on “International Women’s Month: Anne McClain

  1. I’d say that being one of twelve accepted into the Grasse Institute is a remarkable accomplishment in itself, let alone creating her own perfume line.

    I’ve really been enjoying this series. Just went and read the Yosh Han post too.
    An aura with a “light dusting of cat hair” is very funny. Maybe she should read Zelda’s aura — sure she’d find a more than light dusting of Ari – love.

    1. As someone who did NOT make it into GIP, I was particularly impressed by that part! 😉 I would fear for whoever read Zelda’s aura. Who knows what darkness lurks beneath those baby blues…

  2. I almost bought an MCMC bottle off goodwill online the other day, but it ended up going for more than I wanted to spend for a brand I’d never heard of. If only I’d read this article first!

    1. My sorrow that you missed out on the MCMC is matched only by my joy and wonder at discovering Goodwill Online! SO MUCH VINTAGE PERFUME

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