3,500 bottles and 20 layers of fragrance: meet Dubai’s ‘perfume princess’

Beauty ‘influencers’ usually get one thing of a foul popularity. Flogging product through social media to Gen Z, proper? Not within the case of the Kattans, who’ve roots in enterprise and have constructed a following of thousands and thousands off the again of their superb make-up merchandise by way of the model Huda Beauty.


Mona (*20*), 35, is the co-founder, alongside her sister Huda. When the model launched within the UK again in 2012, they didn’t simply gently dip a toe on the earth of make-up on social media; no, they utilised the facility of Instagram to blow up onto the scene and, consequently, into our make-up luggage. Sure, the Kardashians have had an enormous affect on the cultural shift of how magnificence merchandise are used (and are singularly chargeable for the revival of contouring) nevertheless the Iraqi-American Kattans, who have been born and raised in America however have lived in Dubai since 2002, are the driving pressure behind getting these developments onto our faces. Aside from the Huda Beauty vary which she runs along with her sister, Huda, Mona launched her personal perfume vary in 2018, known as Kayali (which suggests “my creativeness” in Arabic).  The perfume vary may fairly simply have been a conceit mission for Mona, who has at all times been ‘obsessed’ with perfumes. ‘I’ve been into perfumes since I used to be round 8 or 9, smelling my mum’s assortment, and cherished how they immediately remodeled how I felt,’ she tells me over video name. ‘At 14 I received my first job, and I had cash to purchase perfumes. All my cash from then to now goes on perfumes.’ That’s no exaggeration: Mona has amassed a group of 3,500 perfumes and counting, all neatly saved at her house in Dubai.  ‘I lately renovated my house so my perfumes have an actual place of delight. I in all probability ought to throw some out but when they’re going to finish up in landfill, I’d moderately maintain them,’ she tells me. Gallery: ‘I Swapped My Entire Beauty Routine For Eco-Friendly Alternatives. Here Is What I Learnt’ (Women’s Health UK)

Her obsession led her to collaborate with some of one of the best noses on the earth and pre-lockdown incessantly travelled to the perfume capital of the world, Grasse within the south of France, to develop her juices. As a self-professed ‘emotional and delicate’ particular person, (*20*) creates detailed moodboards of her scents, and even soundtracks to ‘seize the vibe’ and a give attention to the overall feeling of a perfume, moderately than simply the precise notes.  As a social media-savvy millennial launching into the posh world of perfume, I ask her if she encountered any snobbery. ‘Oh, sure of course. But what I needed to do is create prime quality fragrances that have been nonetheless attainable for everybody.’ (*20*) sees fragrance as essential as an influence lipstick or an influence swimsuit.

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She will not be a perfumer, however the Kayali perfumes are lovely. There’s an actual give attention to ‘feeling’, akin to heat and cosiness (which you get in droves along with her bestselling Vanilla scent, and my private favorite, Musk) and her newest creation – Sweet Diamond Pink Pepper 25 (£79 for 50ml edp) – is a joyful burst of pink peppercorn, saffron and vanilla. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea (what’s, actually?) however the high quality of juice is not like some other ‘celeb’ fragrance I’ve smelt.  Were her 2.3 million followers chomping on the bit for a chunk of Kayali in 2018? ‘Well, it’s onerous to promote fragrance by way of social media,’ she admits. ‘You have to elucidate the way it will make you are feeling, you’ll be able to’t present any apparent “earlier than” and “afters” like you’ll be able to with make-up or skincare. It’s a giant studying curve however I need to get to a degree the place we see perfume as half of our every day routine.’  So how does she put on fragrance herself? ‘I’ve a trolley of fragrances subsequent to me, I’m testing continuous,’ she laughs. ‘If I’m simply going out, I layer 15 to 20 fragrances every – I maintain going till my garments get a little bit damp till I feel I must cease.’ As for her prime tip for carrying fragrance, (*20*) says to give attention to the elbow space, as that acts like a diffuser of scent. I’m positive they’ll be legions of followers doing the identical.    Sign as much as the Front Page e-newsletter without spending a dime: Your important information to the day’s agenda from The Telegraph – direct to your inbox seven days per week.

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About the Author: Jessica