Inside the House of Kajal

Moe Khalaf is the founder of Kajal, but his passion for fragrance began long ago in childhood – suitably enough, with his first sniff of the Calvin Klein scent of 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. You see, he’d grown up in a household where no fragrance was ever used, as his father had various allergies that were exacerbated by perfume; ‘So, fragrances were not something that we could spray or have readily,’ he recalls, ‘…but I guess this fuelled my passion for scents.’

However, before this secret passion took him to his fragrant fate, Moe began his career in another sensorial direction. ‘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.’

 

 

 

How easily he might have completely abandoned any notions of entering the fragrance world, except we all know how persistent the call of perfume is in our souls… The idea of founding his own house to honour his culture simply wouldn’t disappear, and so, 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.’

Moe knew that he wanted his perfume house to authentically resonate with his culture and traditions, so working with some of the world’s finest noses, he created, ‘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…

Now, we invite you to explore these meaningful creations – you can read the entire history of the house, and read all the perfume’s descriptions, in our page dedicated to Kajal – but for the moment, let’s take a look at some scented highlights from the fragrance collection…

Kajal

“Eyes that seek beauty in all that they behold,
Cast light upon the overlooked splendour surrounding us,
Transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.”

[By Christian Carbonnel.] ‘Veiled in understated allure and seductive whispers, Kajal draws inspiration from ‘Khajal’, an Arabic term signifying modesty and self-awareness, highly esteemed across Arab cultures for its profound respectfulness. By welcoming others with respect, regardless of their journey, we reflect our own integrity and acknowledge the inherent dignity that exists in every soul. The essence of our true spirit is often illuminated by the magnetic allure of our eyes. Captivatingly beautiful, eyes that radiate kindness, sincerity, and compassion highlight the luminous purity of a virtuous heart.

Kajal opens with the refreshing vibrancy of Amalfi lemon, mandarin, and bergamot, renowned for their ability to enhance spiritual awareness. As the heart notes unfurl, Turkish Rose makes a graceful debut, gradually blossoming into a rich, velvety embrace, complemented by the luxurious softness of orris. The base notes settle into an intoxicatingly warm, sensual embrace of musk, amber, Madagascan vanilla, tonka beans, and a hint of Mysore sandalwood, cherished for its ability to promote a sense of serenity.’

£168 for 100ml eau de parfum kajalperfumes.com

 

 

 

 

Warek

“While the darkness may feel eternal,
Only we have the power to grant it permanence,
A tenacious desire for life rewards us sublimely.”

[By Christian Carbonnel.] ‘Warek, an Arabic ode to history, captures the allure of meticulously hammered and flattened silver coins, each a symbol of astonishing fortitude. As Silver endures each relentlessly forceful strike, it is stretched and thinned to the brink of fragility. It may relinquish its former shape, but it emerges more magnificent, shining with unparalleled clarity. This exquisite metamorphosis serves as a poignant metaphor for resilience and rebirth. It reminds us that the trials and hardships we endure do not diminish our essence; rather, they reveal our true strength, purpose, and beauty.

Warek opens with an earthy and ethereal blend of Saffron and Incense. Saffron was chosen for its known properties to increase inner peace and enhance emotional healing. As the heart notes emerge, we discover an enticing fusion of Rose, Patchouli, Amber, and Guaiac Wood, each associated with promoting positive energies. The base notes reveal a captivating unity of sumptuous Vanilla, the timeless elegance of rich Leather, and the mystifying allure of Oud. Warek, ignite your inner resilience, unveil your radiant essence.’

£168 for 100ml eau de parfum kajalperfumes.com

 

Kajal Yasmina

“Yasmina is…power.”

[By Valérie Garnuch-Mentzel.] ‘A jasmine flower, when held in the hand, can be perceived as delicate, soft, and fragile. But the inner hidden secret of this flower is its scent, which is symbolic of strength, projection, and power. “My childhood memories of jasmine are strongly linked to my grandmother – calling out to me to run into the gardens at the break of dawn to pick figs from the tree in our farmhouse. I remember running to the tree through weeds of chamomile, thistles, and dandelions. I would climb the first branches to get to the softer, juicier figs at the top, and I would take care not to get some of the white sap on the stem of the fruit onto my skin. But the most important part came next –after filling the bowl with enough fruit, it was imperative that I run to the jasmine tree and carefully pick the delicate flowers. I’d fill the bowl with jasmine so that the figs barely showed. The scent would fill my nose, and I remember even sucking on the base of the cut flowers to get a very mild sweetness from the nectar.” – Moe Khalaf (Founder & Kajal Creative Officer)

This memory has been captured by perfumer Valérie Garnuch-Mentzel from Drom. Yasmina… delicate yet powerful, bold and strong. On the first whiff of this majestic scent, you discover the strength of Yasmina: confident and animalistic, demanding attention and position. The fragrance notes of Yasmina are surprising, revealing rough cardamom, saffron and rose. The animalistic properties of jasmine and orris give this scent a captivating power. In the middle, you get a rugged leather aroma mixed with a unique whiskey scent. Some tameness is felt at the base with vanilla and tonka beans combined with patchouli – an overall powerful scent.’

£184 for 100ml eau de parfum kajalperfumes.com

 

 

 

 

Kajal IV

“The warm embrace of an exotic breeze,
The intoxicating allure of adventure.”

[By Kevin Mathys.] ‘Infinite grains of sand form an undulating golden panorama, vast and untamed, blending harmoniously into spectacular glowing skies. Sun kissed skin shimmers, evocative of the celestial stars soon to emerge. The gentle caress of a sultry, aromatic breeze encapsulates the elation of adventure. Our footprints may be a momentary reminder of our presence, but the memories we make last forever.

Spiritually, four represents calmness and balance, the stability of feeling connected to the present moment. It also symbolizes the wholeness of the universe, four elements, four seasons, four cardinal points, connecting us all. Kajal IV is a celebration of nomadic exoticism, echoing the wilderness of the African Savannah. An inviting opening reveals the mysterious warmth of Davana Gaze, infused with a vivacious blend of Cassis, Rum, and cardamom. At the heart, the exotic sweetness of Jasmine and Palm flowers merge deliciously with a tranquil Leather richness. The base notes lead to a wild, natural paradise where lush palm trees bear delectable Kholas Dates, adding a fruity freshness to a seductively charismatic combination of Musk, Woods, and Vanilla.’

£184 for 100ml eau de parfum kajalperfumes.com

Masa

“Patience and hope, never fade with time,
Despite the darkness and pressure, we must endure.”

“We emerge in a light, so precious, sublime,
Shining with beauty, exquisitely pure.”
– Jo Khalaf

[By Marc Daniel Heimgartner.] ‘Masa, the Arabic name for a singular diamond. If we had an eternity to sift through a sea of diamonds, we would never find two the same, they are renowned for their uniqueness as much as they are for their astonishing beauty. Diamonds represent resilience, eternal love, purity, and new beginnings. These enchanting attributes highlight the ambiguous elements of this gem’s invincibility and the inherent delicacy of the one who wears it.The Moon is a symbol of illumination, each Lunar phase is represented in the design of Masa in Silver, which is associated with strength, abundance, and enlightenment.

Masa embodies the precious luminosity of the diamond through a perfect balance of herbal freshness and ambered wood notes. Masa opens with a delicious combination of bergamot, Mirabelle and grapefruit highlighted by the warm spice of Ginger root. The heart notes consist of a fresh blend of Patchouli, Aquatic accord, Petitgrain and Cardamom. In the base, we find a wrapping mixture of Amber, Vanilla, Atlas Cedarwood, Vetiver, Guaiac Wood, and Violet which enhance the vivid radiance of the diamond within each bottle of Masa.’

£184 for 100ml eau de parfum kajalperfumes.com

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale