We don’t like making predictions so early in the year (it’s only May, after all). But we’re willing to put our reputations on the line for Kayali Yum Pistachio Gelato 33 EDP Intense as one of the most popular.
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The 2023 release from the United Arab Emirates-based brand is everywhere at the moment. We sniff it out and tell in the Kayali Yum Pistachio Gelato 33 EDP Intense review why it’s thoroughly delicious. And recommend other gourmands while we’ve got your attention.
Scent Notes (According to the Brand)
Italian bergamot, pistachio gelato, hazelnut, sweet rum, cardamom (top); geranium, white peony, muguet, jasmine, raspberry, white peach, pear (middle); whipped cream, marshmallows, cotton candy, Turkish delight accord; cocoa, cedarwood, sandalwood, tonka (base).
Father and son Olivier Cresp and Sébastien Cresp teamed up for this scent.
You don’t get more accomplished than Olivier Cresp, the master perfumer behind the gourmand-pioneering Mugler Angel EDP (1992).
He also created Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue EDT (2001), Versace Man Eau Fraiche EDT (2006), Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling EDT (2011), Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium EDP (2014) and Parfums de Marly Sedley EDP (2019). We can thank him (and colleague Nathalie Lorson) for maintaining the consistent quality of the Gentleman Givenchy range. In 2018, he launched his own niche brand, Akro, with his daughter Anaïs Cresp.
While not as well known as his father, Sébastien Cresp is also making his mark in the world of fragrance. His creations include Bath & Body Works Toasted Praline & Pear Fine Fragrance Mist (2019), Confessions of A Rebel Morning After EDP (2021), and Nissaba Provence EDP (2023).
See our interview with the creators of Kayali Yum Pistachio Gelato 33 EDP Intense at the end of this review.
FYI: the number 33 refers to the number of formula modifications that went into the creation of the perfume.
“I wanted to combine my two favourite indulgences, fragrance & gelato! Ever since I can remember, ice cream has been my favourite food and always my #1 choice when asked what would be my last meal!
“In 2014, I went on a trip to Rome with my sister Alya and discovered pistachio gelato – I have been OBSESSED ever since! Just like the dreamy dessert, I wanted to create something that made me feel yummy, happy, and irresistible!
“Working with Olivier Cresp (a world-renowned perfumer who is often credited as the ‘father’ of gourmand fragrances) and his son, Sébastien, was SO exciting. With every delicious spritz, you’ll feel like YOU ARE the dessert! – brand founder Mona Kattan
Packaging & Presentation
The pastel green and white bottle strikes the right balance between elegance and indulgent enjoyment.
It makes an impression right from the start. Pistachio can be a salty, savoury note but here it’s given the sweet gourmand treatment with an ice cream(y) accord that features the crisp citrus tones of bergamot and the additional woody nuttiness of hazelnut. The combo of cardamom and rum brings an element of spicy booziness to the treat.
There’s some floral fruitiness in the mix too, but we’d be hard-pushed to identify any specific notes. Nevertheless, it enhances the fresh aspect of the scent.
It’s in the drydown that Kayali Yum Pistachio Gelato 33 EDP Intense comes into its own. There’s a whole lot of powderiness via marshmallow, cotton candy (the synthetic ethyl maltol at work here, well known for its use in Mugler Angel EDP and Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540), and a Turkish delight accord. We like how the latter gives a nod to brand founder Mona Kattan’s Middle Eastern heritage and reinforces the pistachio-ness of the composition (the nut is an integral part of the confection).
Most of all, though, it’s the whipped and sandalwood creaminess blended with vanilla-ish tonka beans that leaves a lasting impression.
As with many fragrances from the company – for example, Kayali Vanilla 28 EDP (2018), Kayali Déjà Vu White Flower 57 EDP (2020), and Kayali Invite Only Amber 23 EDP (2021), it’s unashamedly on the sweet spectrum.
Beauty entrepreneur Mona Kattan (Kayali falls under the Huda Beauty umbrella) is very in tune with what consumers want from their fragrances: boldness, distinctiveness, and pleasure. And Kayali Yum Pistachio Gelato 33 EDP Intense delivers in all those ways. Yes, it’s being hyped, but that doesn’t stop it from being a delicious scent.
Who Would Like It
Anyone looking for crowd-pleasing upliftment and escapism with addictive sugariness.
Where to Wear It
Its versatility will see you from the gym and office to dates and other special occasions. If you want to be reminded of summer, it will take you there with flair.
Similar Fragrances to Consider
We’ll keep the best pistachio fragrances for another post. In the meantime, let’s do our picks of the best gourmands.
Let’s start with the one that started it all, Mugler Angel EDP. A gazillion flankers and limited editions later, this 1992 release remains the genre reference.
Want more Kayali? Then Kayali Utopia Vanilla Coco 21 EDP (2021) and Kayali Vanilla Royale Sugared Patchouli 64 EDP Intense (2022) should do it for you.
Unsurprisingly, the celeb genre presents a variety of choices such as Britney Spears Fantasy EDP (2005) and Ariana Grande Cloud EDP (2018).
From designer-land, there’s Prada Candy EDP (2011), Zadig & Voltaire This Is Her! EDP (2016) and Burberry Her EDP (2018).
If you’re on good terms with your bank manager, niche splash-outs include Kilian Love EDP (2007), Initio Side Effect EDP (2016), Ex Nihilo Honoré Delights EDP (2020) and Fragrance du Bois Minuit et Demi EDP (2020).
Where to Buy It
Interview With Olivier Cresp and Sébastien Cresp, the Creators of Kayali Yum Pistachio Gelato 33 Edp Intense
We go behind the scent scenes to find out more about the creation of the hit.
Is this the first time you’ve worked together on a fragrance?
Sébastien Cresp (SC): No, my father is my mentor and [role] model since my childhood, so I obviously always discussed his trials [perfume tests] a lot with him. Naturally, when I became a perfumer, we started to share ideas, giving input to each other.
I love working with my father because when we share our ideas, we directly confront our points of view, and above all, we understand each other immediately. This creative dialogue between us is an extremely enriching experience for me.
Olivier Cresp (OC): We are collaborating more and more together; we have already signed several fragrances together [for example Aerin Lauder Rose de Grasse Pour Filles EDT (2021), Victoria’s Secret VS Him Deepwater EDP (2021) and O.U.i Original Unique Individuel Jardin de Grasse EDP (2021)].
It is a pleasure to exchange and discuss our ideas. Sébastienis very creative, and I enjoy working with my son. I am increasingly focused on passing on my legacy.
How would you describe the Kayali Yum Pistachio Gelato 33 EDP Intense creation experience?
OC: Sébastienalways leads me to explore new olfactive fields of possibilities, and Mona was also really challenging in her desire to create an ultimate gourmand fragrance.
She was involved in all stages of creation and challenged us on the pleasure that her fragrance should give. Mona wanted a perfume that pushed more and more gourmand as the different modifications went on. We shaped the notes together to achieve the result she wanted, an ultra-gourmand creation that makes your mouth water.
Did you have different ideas on how to execute this scent?
OC: The initial idea I submitted was to create what I called “a gourmand explosion”, a fragrance inspired by a dessert, built like a pastry with layers of different sweet and tasty notes, such as cacao, rum, cotton candy, and vanilla.
SC: Then Mona talked about her love for pistachio gelato and I had this idea to turn my father’s initial formula into a sweet pistachio ice cream by adding, of course, a pistachio accord but also more milky notes. Our internal code name for this project was “Yum” and when Mona read it on our laboratory sample, she felt like it was the perfect name to describe this fragrance.
How did you get this fragrance to be so creamy? Any particular ingredients?
SC: We started with an aroma formula to translate the pistachio as close as possible to the edible version with its mouthwatering dimension. We combined the STT (Smell the Taste) pistachio with milky notes to reinforce the creaminess, and the lightness and obtain the “pistachio gelato” effect.
There is indeed a feeling of fluffy creaminess, very enveloping, which is the result of the association of the main three unique ingredients: a cotton candy accord, a Marshmallow STT, and a Chantilly STT.
STT means “Smell the Taste”, a technique drawn by the expertise of Firmenich flavorists for perfumers and their creations to express tastes into fragrances.
The Marshmallow STT is a gourmand, creamy, and slightly powdery note, while the Chantilly STT offers a light and fresh note of fluffy whipped cream, very cloudy and enveloping. To boost its daring and liquorous effect, we blended it with rum for its fruity, oak woods undertones and Bourbon vanilla accents. This charismatic addiction is an original creation with a strong gourmand and sensual signature.
With your pioneering gourmand background, I must ask if you enjoy eating gourmand treats as much as you enjoy smelling and creating them.
OC: Of course! I’m lucky to live in Paris where I can enjoy the finest pastry. To be entirely honest, part of this fragrance was fed by the magnificent pastry “trompe l’oeil” of the chef Cédric Grolet, which created a pistachio cake, very sophisticated and texturized, that Sébastien and I discovered during afternoon tea-time at Le Meurice [Grolet is the executive pastry chef at Cédric Grolet].
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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.