Kajal

An ode to timeless beauty, with reverence to ancient cultural traditions, Kajal fragrances entwine aesthetic symbols of allure and enchantment with contemporary, wearable ways of expressing ‘…the gracious act of viewing others with dignity and esteem.’

 

There’s a saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and Moe Khalaf co-founder and Creative Director of Kajal Perfumes – grew up in a household where his father’s allergies didn’t allow for the pleasure of perfumes to be used at home. ‘So, fragrances were not something that we could spray or have readily,’ he recalls, ‘…but I guess this fuelled my passion for scents.’ His first foray into the world of fragrance love, ‘my first fragrance obsession!’ as Moe more correctly phrases it, was suitably enough via Calvin Klein Obsession. ‘I managed to get my hands on a bottle that I kept hidden,’ he smiles, ‘and would spray small spritzes of just to enjoy the scent. I think the love of amber, vanilla and spicy notes in scents was fuelled by this first fragrance – I was quickly frag-addicted.’ As we all know, this first fragrance adoration is a slippery slope for any perfume-lover, but for Moe, that first sniff can truly be said to have changed the course of his life. Though the first steps of his career took another sensorial turn before the allure of the scents took over…

‘The “creator” in me started when I worked in a high-end, fine-foods company and I produced a line of gourmet capers and sun-dried tomatoes,’ Moe explains.  ‘This passion was ignited once again when during my work with Esteé Lauder Companies, and I was asked to create a fragrance brand/line that was relevant to the region that we oversaw as a subsidiary. I felt that this was my calling…but since I had planned to immigrate to Canada, my tenure ended at the very start of this project.’ Life’s twists and turns had dictated that Moe’s olfactory career path wasn’t to be followed at that moment, or in that place, but as the passion for perfumery coursed through him, the idea of founding his very own fragrance house just wouldn’t go away. And so, once settled, he says, ‘That is when I decided to continue this journey that I very much enjoyed, and it set the pillars of creating Kajal Perfumes.’

It was vital for Moe to build the house of Kajal Perfumes not only on his innate passion, but to have at their heart, ‘A brand that truly depicts the essence of East meets West’ because fundamentally, Moe continues, so ‘Kajal is an ode to timeless beauty and cultural reverence. Rooted in the Indian tradition, ‘kajal’ signifies the mystique of kohl-lined eyes, a symbol of allure and enchantment. Yet its core significance delves deeper, mirroring the Arabic term ‘Khajal’, which captures the virtues of humility, modesty, and the gracious act of viewing others with dignity and esteem.’ This ethos of cultural traditions and the worldwide reverence for beauty is a thread that traces through ‘all the inspirations and stories found in all our fragrances,’ he says, which ‘reflect an instance, portray an image of the beauty of the world we live in.’ Wearing fragrance truly is a way to connect outer, physical manifestations of beauty with the inner sense of beauty within our souls – and Kajal Perfumes invite you to waft your innate beauty (inner and outer) with the joy of celebrating beauty in the world around us.

There are three main inspirations for the scented stories Kajal Perfumes invite us to be part of telling, ‘all found in the Middle Eastern, Andalusian and Persian architecture and construction of artistic elements,’ Moe tells us:

‘Calligraphy: the use of script, letters and handwriting to adorn and beautify objects and as a form of decorative expression.

Geometric design: an important aspect and a visual method in which the mind can find order and harmony in objects that follow specific mathematical patterns.

Biomorphs: the third element of design – this involves using flowers, leaves and biological adornments found in nature in the creation of the decoration that is used.’

Working with perfumers to shape these significant cultural and aesthetic symbolisms into the finished scents, Moe felt it was also important he followed his heart and intuition to find the right ‘noses’ for the job, so therefore, ‘We do not follow a particular protocol or work with only “specific” perfumers – rather, we believe that destiny drives our selections.’ Christian Carbonnel and then the late Rosendo Mateu were the first he worked with, and ‘Masterpieces were created with them’, before he also got to work closely ‘with Valerie Garnuch Mentzel and Alix Miral from DROM (Givaudan), Rania Jouaneh, Mark Buxton, Urs Castelletti, David Chieze, Marc Daniel Heimgartner, Kevin Mathys, and our latest fragrance addition was worked by Huseyn Erdogmus, Ozge Erdogmus Altinel and Gokhan Simsek.’

It’s been quite a fragrant journey from that first sniff of Obsession! From starting Kajal Perfumes ‘in the iconic heart of Paris,’ he reflects, ‘today Kajal thrives globally with vibrant hubs in Toronto, Dubai, the UK, Italy and the Philippines,’ Moe says proudly that his overall aim was to create ‘ a realm where artistry, soul, and design converge, kindling the senses and imagination.’ And how we agree, Kajal ‘is an experience, a sensory journey, both alluring and unforgettable.’ We always think it’s important to support independent houses here at The Perfume Society, and Moe has a final message from the heart, as you read the descriptions of each scent and wonder which may draw you to a new ‘obsession’ of your own… So, don’t forget, as you wear them on your own skin and feel the beauty for yourself: ‘As we continue to evolve, our gratitude deepens for having you journey with us, sharing in the moments of magic, the narratives, and the inspirations that form our very identity…’

 

kajalperfumes.com

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