We review Vanilla | 28, an amber vanilla Eau de Parfum (EDP) for women from Kayali, the perfume line of influencer-led brand Huda Beauty.
Huda Beauty is a modern rags-to-riches story and one of the most interesting influencer-led brands in the beauty and fragrance industry right now.
In an aftershock from the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, Oklahoma City, OK-born Huda Kattan was laid off from her job in finance. She took a leap of faith to follow her passion and she moved to Los Angeles, CA, where she enrolled in the school of famed Hollywood makeup artist Joe Blasco.
Working for some of the most recognizable names in the beauty industry, Kattan developed advanced techniques of the own, which she started to share in an email newsletter at the urging of her sister, Mona.
The newsletter became a blog, and then a YouTube channel. Kattan’s tips and tricks were good, and it wasn’t long before they were trending on social media. So she found herself with millions of followers on her Instagram account, wearing the crown of the social network’s top beauty influencer.
In 2013, Huda partnered up with her sisters Mona and Alya to create the first product under the Huda Beauty name: false eyelashes.
“Working as a makeup artist, I wasn’t satisfied with the style and quality of lashes that were available at the time,” Kattan is quoted as saying on her company’s website, “so I often ended up stacking and customizing the lashes myself to suit the client’s eye shape.”
After several people expressed interest to buy the lashes she had customized, her sister Mona suggested she should start her own line. Her sister Alya, on the other hand, invested $6,500 for the first batch of products. And so, Huda Beauty, a personal brand, became a beauty brand with a cult following.
The lashes saw success. So much so, that they were endorsed by none other than Kim Kardashian West. Numerous product lines followed as Huda Beauty made a name for itself among consumers in the beauty industry. Today, the brand has expanded to almost all categories—with the Kayali line, most recently, perfumes.
While Huda Kattan’s passion is for beauty, that of Huda Beauty co-founder and president Mona Kattan is for fragrance. When the sisters launched the Kayali line—a collection of luxurious fragrances that can be worn alone or layered with others—Mona became its face and voice.
The Kayali line debuted in 2018 with four fragrances, Elixir | 11, Citrus | 08, Musk | 12 and Vanilla | 28, concocted by the perfumers of Geneva-based perfume house Firmenich.
Vanilla | 28
|Fragrance||Vanilla | 28|
|Concentration||Eau de Parfum (EDP)|
|Family||Warm and spicy|
|Description||Captivate the senses with Kayali Vanilla | 28, a masterpiece of refined and cultivated nuance. A time-honored union of creamy Jasmine and rich Madagascan Vanilla Orchid draws out the sweet softness of Brazilian Tonka.|
|Sizes||0.33 fl oz (10 ml), 1.69 fl oz (50 ml), 3.4 fl oz (100 ml)|
Denatured Alcohol, Fragrance, Water, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Alcohol, Tetramethylhydroxypiperidinol Citrate, CI 19140, CI 60730, CI 14700, Citronellol, Coumarin, Limonene, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional
Source: Huda Beauty, last retrieved January 29, 2022
Vanilla | 28 by Kayali is an amber vanilla Eau de Parfum (EDP) for women. There would be a lot for me to say, but the fact that this sweet, boozy, delicious fragrance is almost always out of stock speaks to the hype surrounding it.
The number in the name stands for the amount of times the perfume was reformulated before it was finalized and released. A tribute, in a way, to the art and craft of perfumery, and the sheer alchemy that goes into the creation of every scent.
The top notes are vanilla orchid and brown sugar. The heart notes are jasmine and tonka bean. The base notes are amber, musk, and patchouli.
When I first smelled Vanilla | 28, it blew my mind how quickly I fell for such a simple, but sophisticated, vanilla scent. Was it Leonardo da Vinci who allegedly once said that simplicity was the ultimate sophistication?
Imagine soothing, velvety vanilla milk mixed with sweet and caramelized brown sugar, then served in an intoxicatingly delectable cocktail with rum, and you are not far from the olfactory delights of Vanilla | 28. By all means, the best amber vanilla scent for layering on the shelves of department stores today.
Seriously, this perfume is made to be layered. It has just enough character to stand out when worn on its own, but it also provides room for it to meld with the ingredients of other fragrances, resulting in a unique scent you can call your own.
It’s young, and yet alluring. Playful, and yet grown-up. Strong, and yet not overpowering. It’s one of the most addictive scents I’ve gotten a whiff of. It will captivate you at first sniff and make it impossible to ever get enough.
Vanilla | 28 by Kayali can be worn at any time, and for any occasion. It’s effortless, addictive, and oh-so-charming. Wear it alone when you want to smell like the lush dessert that you undoubtedly are. Or layer it with another perfume to add a touch of boozy vanilla to its formulation.
It’s also catnip for men. My husband loves this perfume on me and finds random reasons to be around me whenever I wear it! So if you’re feeling warm and approachable, Vanilla | 28 is the fragrance for you.
While I don’t usually recommend blind-buying a perfume—it’s this editorial team’s stance that it takes a good few days of wear to deem whether a perfume is full-bottle-worth or not—I think Vanilla | 28 is a pretty safe bet if you’re into boozy gourmands. Even if it’s not a groundbreaking one, you will most likely love it.
Vanilla | 28 by Kayali is a very long lasting perfume. Especially when you spritz it on your pulse points, hair, and garments, it stays on you for 10 to 12 hours.
You asked, we answered: Why some perfumes last longer than others
Vanilla | 28 by Kayali has excellent sillage in the first 1-2 hours. Then it sits closer to the skin, prompting others to come closer and ask: “Excuse me, what are you wearing?”
Now, when it comes to layering, this scent is MAGIC! It can impart even the most boring of fragrances with delectably gourmand, amber vanilla notes. To layer two or more perfumes, apply them by order of intensity. The most intense one goes first, and the lightest last.
Obviously, it’s perfect for layering with the rest of Kayali’s scents, whether Elixir | 11, Citrus | 08, Musk | 12. Depending on what scents and combinations you adore, more recent Kayali fragrances, such as Eden Juicy Apple | 01, Invite Only Amber | 23, Utopia Vanilla Coco | 21, Sweet Diamond Pink Pepper | 25, and Déjà Vu White Flower | 57, can also be good pairings.
Layer Vanilla | 28 by Kayali with Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford for a boozy tobacco vanilla scent like no other; with Un Bois Vanille by Serge Luton for a darker, woodier boozy vanilla; with Alien by Thierry Mugler for an almost identical feel to the discontinued gem of a scent Alien Essence Absolue; with Layton by Parfum de Marly for a luxuriant apple-vanilla fragrance with a musky base.
Vanilla | 28 by Kayali can be purchased as a 0.33 fl oz (10 ml) travel spray, as well as in 1.69 fl oz (50 ml) and 3.4 fl oz (100 ml) standard-size bottles.
The bottles are made of transparent glass and feature a light, diamond-shaped cap. Always hold the perfume by the bottle when picking it up; the cap slips off easily, particularly when you don’t expect it to.
Read our guide: Which size perfume to buy?
For the quality of scent that you get, Vanilla | 28 by Kayali is remarkably affordable. Trust me what I say that this perfume does not smell like its price tag.
On the day this review was published, the 0.33 fl oz (10 ml) travel spray sold for $25 on Huda Beauty’s direct-to-consumer store. The 1.69 fl oz (50 ml) size sold for $85, and the 3.4 fl oz (100 ml) for $118.
Consider Spiritueuse Double Vanille, an Eau de Parfum (EDP) for women by Guerlain; Eau des Missions, a cologne splash by L’Occitane; Midnight Shimmer, an Eau de Parfum (EDP) by Michael Kors; Bare Vanilla, a body mist by Victoria Secret; Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 40, hair and body fragrance mist by Sol de Janeiro.
In conclusion, Vanilla | 28 is the perfect vanilla scent that every gourmand lover should have in their collection. So what is the final verdict? In my extensive fragrance collection, I still find myself drawn to this scent every week. It’s THAT good.