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Fragrance talk

Fragrance Faceoff: Kilian Angel’s Share and Lattafa Khamrah

It’s no secret that people like to save money. We all would rather save a few bucks to get something else than to spend it on an item we can get for a better price. So, when Lataffa dropped Khamrah, people took notice. The bottle has an uncanny resemblance to Kilian Angels’ Share, albeit in a more squared fashion. If there is anything that I can give the more affordable Arabian houses credit for, it’s their bottles. Some of them are simply outstanding.

Lattafa Khamrah
Lattafa Khamrah

The fragrance community quickly to the comparisons, with fans and influencers alike claiming this was the perfect clone of the Kilian and should be purchased for those who have a lighter wallet. However, if we stop assuming this is a clone of Angels’ Share and go on smell alone, are they very similar? That is what I intend to find out.

I have a decant of the real Angels’ Share and Khamrah which were provided to me by a friend because he wanted my opinion on the similarities as well. This friend has no affiliation with this site, for the record. I have worn both for the last 5 hours and notated the smells at different points. This is not my first time wearing both, but it is my second time comparing them side by side.

First, I will note how each one smells individually and then move on to the comparison.

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Lataffa Khamrah starts out with a heavily sweetened Ambroxan feel with a distinct candied fruitiness to it. It has an almost shower gel vibe in the opening and reminds me of something Axe might produce. A gentle cinnamon does warm up the composition tames some of the sweetness, but it still dominates the scent.

The candied smell does permeate through the life of the perfume, and a rich and admittedly well-done vanilla peeks out with a bolstering from roasted tonka bean. Dates are listed in the note breakdown, but I don’t detect them. What I do detect is a crispy apple aroma that starts when the heart comes out and stays for almost the entire life of the fragrance. A lot of people have commented on “cinnamon apple pie” and I’d have to agree with that. When paired with the candied sweetness I am speaking about, it does certainly give off that idea.

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Kilian Angels’ Share starts with a luxurious cognac note that smells like it might have been constructed with plum, which adds to the realism of this note, along with some sweet ambery accords thrown in there.

The heart of the perfume isn’t as sweet as the opening, as oak settles in to make it a drier and more woody composition, with some slightly cherried goodness from tonka bean. The cinnamon is smooth and slightly sweet and doesn’t dominate the scent. You know it’s there, but as with most Kilians, this is velvety smooth, and the blending is top-notch. There is a bit of dreamy vanilla in the base, but it melds in perfectly with the smoothness that I just mentioned.

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So, how are they different?

If you had me blind-test Khamrah, I would have never guessed that is was supposed to be a copy of Angels’ Share. They are in the same category of sweetly spiced ambery scents, but there is little to compare in regard to similarity.

The Kilian boasts a fine cognac accord that Khamrah lacks. It has a dark and fruity plum-laden depth and the Lataffa has crispier apple accord. The Kilian also doesn’t have that sweet Ambroxan that makes it feel like a shower gel and instead derives those accords from the cognac and vanilla. The cinnamon note in the Lataffa is more abrasive and potent, whereas Angels’ Share has it seamlessly blend into the composition.

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This isn’t to say Khamrah is a bad fragrance at all. It is decent for its price. However, if you are looking for a direct copy of Angels’ Share, look elsewhere. Keep in mind that Kilian is famous for his cognac, so I don’t think any brand will be able to imitate this perfectly. Angel’s Share is the better fragrance overall and its depth and attention to detail is vastly superior to the somewhat muddled tones in Khamrah.

As far as the performance goes, I do think the Lataffa is stronger. The boosters that were used allow it to push out further and last longer, but the Kilian isn’t exactly weak. Khamrah clocks in at around 11 hours for me and the Kilian has around 9. One thing to keep in mind in this regard is that Kilian wants to portray class, so the fragrance isn’t made to reach the heavens, but to become part of you. That fits some people’s style more.