Mona Kattan Is the Queen of Fragrances

Get an exclusive tour inside the Kayali brand founder’s massive fragrance collection.

Words by Jenna Rosenstein

Most of us have a few bottles of perfume—enough to fill a vanity. Mona Kattan has a closet-full. Hundreds and hundreds of bottles neatly line shelves of a walk-in fragrance library at her home in Dubai. “I started collecting fragrances at 14 when I got my first job,” she tells “Fragrances make me feel so many emotions and I feel like it’s a magical bottle of moods.” This obsession with scents resulted in Kattan founding the brand Kayali alongside her sister Huda back in 2018. Her massive collection of fragrances not only serves as inspiration for Kayali, but it’s also a place for her to wear, layer, and stash samples of upcoming launches. In short, it’s a perfume paradise.


One such new launch is the Kayali Vanilla Royale Sugared Patchouli 64. “It takes our cult-fave juice, Vanilla | 28 to a whole new level. There are a lot of gourmand lovers out there just like me and I feel like I have poured my heart and passion into this bottle,” Kattan says. “I’ve been calling it Vanilla | 28’s boujee big sister because it’s just as delicious but much more intense and sexier—especially when we’ve added notes like golden rum, crème brûlée, and royal oud.” Consider it your new favorite scent if you’re addicted to all things vanilla.

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For Kattan, her perspective on fragrance shifted dramatically when she moved from America to Dubai as a teenager. Her current collection is the perfect blend of classic fragrances like Chanel No. 5, popular fragrances like Billie Eilish, and scents you can’t find anywhere else in the world. “Kayali itself has been inspired by my Middle Eastern heritage, the rituals of fragrance layering, and the name Kayali translates to ‘my imagination’ in Arabic,” she says. “I want my fragrances to ignite people’s imaginations and transport them to new places every time they spritz.”


With literally hundreds of bottles to sniff, spray, and layer—Kattan says stepping into her fragrance closet allowed for the perfect escape over the last few years. “During the pandemic I really used fragrance to transport me to different places and memories. It was my way of traveling when we were all stuck at home! Now that the world has opened up, I’m having a lot of fun discovering and re-discovering fragrances,” she says. “Vanilla Royale has been a go-to lately for sexy date-nights with my husband or a big event we might be attending. And I love testing out different layering combinations to fit whatever vibe I’m going for that day.”

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Kayali Discovery Layering Sampler Kit

Watch the video above to get a full tour of Kattan’s fragrance library and to learn more about her unique layering philosophy (the more the merrier!). Although it may be tempting to gift the fragrance lover in your life bottle after bottle so they can start their own Kattan-worthy collection—she has a word of advice. “Perfume is subjective and can be hard to gift someone unless you know what they like, so I think our sets are always the best way to go!” she adds. “We just brought back our best-selling Discovery Layering Set which has eight different fragrances to play with and layer—the possibilities are endless and it’s perfect for a stocking stuffer.”

Kayali Vanilla Royale Sugared Patchouli 64 is available now at

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