We met creator Mona Kattan to sample her 5th Huda Beauty scent, the brand's 'sexiest, most feminine fragrance yet'
When someone has a personal collection of fragrances reaching into the thousands, you just know any scent they launch is going to be impressive and Mona Kattan certainly doesn't disappoint with the release of her fifth Huda Beauty Kayali fragrance , Deja Vu White Flower : 57, (£67 for 50ml).
Deja Vu White Flower: 57 has top notes of green pear, white nectarine and gardenia, middle notes of Indian jasmine absolute, orange flower and tuberose infusion and bottom notes of crystallized patchouli, cashmere woods, Sri Lankan sandalwood and Tahitian vanilla. Mona's sister Huda took to her blog to hail it as the brand's "sexiest, most feminine scent ever".
I met Mona to try out the scent in December. I'd seen from her Instagram just what a perfume junkie she is - she has a fragrance room filled with every conceivable scent - 1500 of them - and recently posted a picture of herself in a bath filled hundreds of bottles.
Can you ever have too many? Apparently not - for Mona, fragrance acts as a kind of olfactory journal: "A new fragrance is a bookmark to your life right now," she says."Smell is the sense that has the strongest connection to memory and this is why perfume works like a time machine. It has such connections to memories that it can shift moods and change states of mind."
This is what inspired the name Deja Vu. It came about after she began wearing the scent during a period of change in her life. "The scent is steeped in nostalgia and love while also laying the foundations for new exciting memories to come; memories that you can revisit with every spritz," she says.
It's a scent which floral fans will gravitate towards.
"I wanted to create a fragrance using all my favourite white flowers, especially tuberose and jasmine. It was important to get it right, as I wanted a floral fragrance that was juicy and more refreshing, one anyone could wear. This was my favourite and it had to be perfect, that is why it took over two years. It really was made with love."
The number 57 denotes how many times the formula was edited during the creation, so it's no surprise to learn that Mona and the Kayali team spent two years working on Deja Vu White Flower . “We wanted to make sure it was just right so we constantly wanted to improve it and tweak it until it really was a masterpiece,” says Mona.
It all started at age 14 when, armed with her first paycheque, Mona bought two bottles of scent. In the small town in which she grew up (she was born one of four siblings to Iraqi parents in the US and now lives in the UAE from where the family runs the Huda Beauty line ) there wasn't a wide variety but she picked Liz Claiborne's Curve and Lancome Oui . From that moment Mona was hooked and as she grew so did her collection. 'I'm not a mad cat lady, I'm a mad perfume lady," she proudly states.
Ingredients are sustainably sourced from across the globe, she adds. "India for the rose and jasmine, Tahiti for the vanilla, Sri Lanka for the sandalwood, I could go on. We work with one of the best perfumeries, a family-owned company Firmenich, who share our values and, like us, they are passionate about sustainability whilst finding the very best ingredients. The Indian jasmine is sourced from local farmers in Tamil Nadu and we ensure that they live and work in the best conditions available."
The Kayali collection is all about layering to create your own signature scent, which might be different depending on the day. No idea how to layer? Mona advises:
"When working with perfume you should always experiment and play around. Similar to cooking, you are creating something and always tweaking your ingredients. One day you would like it sweeter and another day muskier, you have to find what works for you. This can only be achieved with layering one scent on top of another.
"Try layering Kayali Vanilla 28 underneath Déjà Vu White Flower 57 for a sweet, opulent and sophisticated scent that leaves a lasting allure. Or why not layer Kayali Déjà Vu White Flower 57 underneath Musk 12? The result is a sweet, juicy uplifting scent that will elevate your mood in the morning. This blend is perfect for daily wearing."
As well as on pulse points, Mona sprays her hair towel with perfume before drying her hair. The result is a subtle hint of the fragrance that will follow you around all day.