You can’t always judge a fragrance’s popularity and quality from Instagram. But in the case of Kajal Lamar, you certainly can. This 2020 release epitomises what the Paris-based niche brand is all about: rich compositions often with an oriental vibe.
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In the two years since its launch, this addition to the company’s Classic Collection has developed a devoted following.
We take a closer look at this cult favourite and what makes it such a worthwhile purchase.
Scent Notes (According to the brand)
Fruity notes, bergamot, coriander, cardamom, orange (top); jasmine, Bulgarian rose oil, Turkish rose, marigold, magnolia, saffron (heart); Ambroxan, cedarwood, vanilla, moss, toffee (base).
Mark Buxton is one of the most creative contemporary perfumers.
The British perfumer made his debut in 1979 with Alain Delon Pour Homme EDT.
He created several classics for Comme des Garçons, including the Japanese brand’s fantastic eponymous debut (1994), Comme des Garçons 2 EDP (1999) and Comme des Garçons 2 Man EDT (2004).
While best known for his work for niche houses (House of Sillage, Le Labo, Linari, Parfums d’Elmar, Folie à Plusieurs, among others), he’s also given his bold touch to designer scents such as Chopard Mira-Bai EDT (1998), Cartier Pasha de Cartier Fraîcheur Menthe EDT (1999), Versace V/S Homme EDT (2000), Paco Rabanne Black XS for Her EDT (2007), Karl Lagerfeld Kapsule Light EDT (2008) and Van Cleef & Arpels Cologne Noire EDP (2009).
He launched his own eponymous perfume company in 2008.
“Lamar… beauty in a name, beauty in a bottle, beauty in a scent. A name with French origins, lumière, meaning light, Lamar is also known to be liquid gold: mesmerizing, fascinating, and enticing.
“A scent created to resemble the beauty of a golden sun setting in the horizon. Distant clouds reflect rich rays of color – hues of red, streaks of yellow, and shimmers of gold. The scent of Lamar evokes fragrant notes of rose and jasmine that float on a Mediterranean breeze.” – the brand website.
“My inspiration was to create a rich, natural, warm, long-lasting fragrance by using high-quality natural products. This gives a feeling of walking through a bed of roses or a jasmine field,” says perfumer Mark Buxton.
Who Would Like It
Anyone looking for a standout fruity fragrance will appreciate this beauty. Even those with an aversion to overly sweet scents could find themselves succumbing to the charms of Kajal Lamar.
Where To Wear It
Special occasions or when you want to feel special come first to mind. If not over-applied, you could wear it to the office.
It performs best in warmer weather but is also surprisingly effective when the cold begins to bite.
Mostly, though, wear it when you want to bask in golden sunshine.
Packaging & Presentation
Kajal Lamar has some of the most striking bottles on the market (the ornate octagram tops have become synonymous with it).
Lamar reflects its light inspiration through the gold hues of the beautifully designed bottle. We wouldn’t blame you for wanting to display this one prominently among your collection.
The patterned gold box completes the sense of luxury.
It makes a statement from the get-go. The brand lists the more generic fruity notes, but we get big and juicy pineapple from the mix. It creates a warm and vibrant tropical tone, with notes of bergamot, orange, coriander, and cardamom adding a fresh and spicy dimension.
The intense fruitiness of the intro continues with the floral notes of jasmine and rose, which also have a honeyed feel. Most intriguingly, Buxton makes the most of the marigold note with its characteristic herbal muskiness that won’t be to everyone’s liking.
The enchantment continues through to the drydown with a good dose of the synthetic Ambroxan taking the lead with its smooth muskiness. The moss note is also worth mentioning, as it brings a hint of bitter earthiness to what is otherwise an uncompromisingly sweet composition.
While undeniably sugary, Kajal Lamar is so well put together and not in the least cloying. No wonder it’s been known to temporarily lure converts, including this reviewer, to the sweet side.
Similar Fragrances To Consider
Ah, the big pineapple question. While there’s more to this fragrance than its fruity tone, it’s the first to make an impact, so we’ll focus on those scents.
Of course, there’s Creed Aventus EDP. Other niche options include Frédéric Malle Music For A While EDP, Nishane Hacivat Extrait de Parfum and Memo Tamarindo EDP.
Less cash to splash? Valentino Uomo Born In Roma Yellow Dream EDT, Dolce & Gabbana Pineapple EDT and Hugo Boss Boss Bottled Unlimited EDT are good designer choices.
Zara Vibrant Leather Bogoss EDP is as budget friendly as you can get.
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Richard Goller is a fragrance and grooming blogger. His blog is called Fragroom. A senior editor with 20 years' experience, his blog allows him to combine two of his passions: engaging content and the always-intriguing world of fragrances. When he isn't blogging, you'll find Richard indulging in his newly found passion for balcony gardening.