Smell is the most powerful and evocative of the senses. A slight whiff can conjure long-forgotten memories, create a mood, or transport the senses – which is exactly what happens when you take a whiff of the latest KAYALI perfume: Yum Pistachio Gelato | 33 Eau de Parfum Intense.
A gourmand lover’s dream come true – it is a warm, spicy and ambery fragrance inspired by a girl’s trip to Rome. Housed in its signature multi-faceted jeweled bottle, a spritz delivers a delicious explosion of irresistible and edible notes of creamy pistachio gelato, whipped cream, roasted hazelnut, sweet rum, fluffy marshmallow and fizzy cotton candy. For this, Mona collaborated with the “father of gourmands” and master perfumer Olivier Cresp and his son Sebastien to ensure the fragrance embodied the mouthwatering attributes of her favourite dessert.
Here, Emirates Woman speaks to the KAYALI founder and beauty mogul Mona Kattan to discuss the scents and sensibilities behind this truly unique and indulgent fragrance.
How was the new scent Yum Pistachio Gelato | 33 Eau de Parfum Intense created?
The process to create Yum took a little over two years to go from idea to bottle. As someone who is obsessed with gourmand fragrances, I really wanted to make something that was just as tempting and delicious as my favorite dessert: pistachio gelato! My obsession with the dessert actually goes back almost 10 years – while on a girl’s trip to Rome with my sister, Alya. We stopped at a gelateria and it was the first time I had ever had pistachio gelato. The texture, the creaminess, and just the right amount of sweetness — I was instantly hooked! To help bring this scent memory to life, I approached Firmenich (our fragrance house) about working with the legendary master perfumer, Olivier Cresp and his son, Sebastien. Once they said ‘yes’, the rest is history.
What led you to collaborate with the “father of gourmands”, Olivier, and Sebastien Cresp for this particular scent?
When it comes to gourmand fragrances, Olivier is a legend — he has been referenced as the creator of the fragrance family with the launch of Thierry Mugler’s Angel, 30 years ago! But what really drew me to working with him was how humble and passionate he is. Their scents are so unique and having both father and son working on this has been my sweetest fragrance dream come true.
What did you keep in mind when you were creating this perfume? Tell us about your process.
I really wanted to make this scent smell as close to pistachio gelato as possible. Even when you look at the bottle, you get this frosted effect as if you’ve just scooped it into a bowl. Even with the notes we wanted to create that texture and creaminess — so in addition to the pistachio gelato, we have sweet rum, fluffy marshmallow, fizzy cotton candy, voluptuous whipped cream and toasted hazelnut. But at the same time, there is still something bright and fresh about it.
What were the challenges you encountered in creating this perfume?
I think the biggest challenge was actually after we created this juice. We barely could keep it under wraps before the launch date, people were so excited about a pistachio fragrance.
You’ve started the fragrance layering trend. Out of your other perfumes, which would you layer this with?
I love layering Yum with Vanilla | 28! – the fresh and creamy notes of pistachio gelato pair so well with the vanilla orchid, tonka bean and brown sugar notes to make it mouthwatering and addictive.
What are the most popular notes in the Middle East according to you?
As both a perfume lover who shops for fragrances and a brand founder that creates fragrances, I feel like oud, musk, leather and rose are the ones that stand out the most to me. All are very powerful and long-lasting on their own and they are amazing to layer with.
This fragrance was inspired by a trip to Rome with your sister. In all of your travels, which city is the most ‘fragrant’ of all?
I may be biased because I live here, but for sure Dubai is at the top of that list. I have lived here for 20 years and I feel like my passion for fragrance has grown from love into an obsession. I would say Grasse is a close second. When I was creating the initial KAYALI fragrances, I actually went there to pick Rose de Mai as there is a very specific timing for the harvest. The smell of the fresh rose petals in the morning is an unforgettable experience.
What is your favourite olfactory memory?
It’s really so hard to choose just one — each fragrance holds a very special place in my heart, but I can say my earliest feel-good moment with scent is birthday cake. The comfort of vanilla, the smell of burning wax from the candles — it just brings back beautiful, happy memories of my childhood and being surrounded by friends and family. This is probably why vanilla is such a huge part of the KAYALI DNA – the note itself brings just the right amount of sweetness and decadence to a juice while still being super versatile.
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