Making scents: Pilot creates own perfume
Geraldine Gitau, a professional pilot, had always wanted to create a unique high quality perfume for women that would be readily available in the local market.
A jet-setter, literally, she had been exposed to many top designer brands in the market, but it was not until she returned home to Kenya and was shopping for a quality fragrance that it struck her that she could make her own unique blend.
“Before I started making my own perfume I only shopped for fragrances abroad, but one time when I was looking for something to buy here in Kenya I looked at this perfume in a shop and my instinct told me it might not be original.”
She says: “At some point I even run out of my favourite fragrance. That meant I had to wait until my next travel abroad to replenish. That is when I decided it was time to turn my dream into reality.”
She says as she travelled to Europe and many world capitals, she would always visit perfume stores to learn about new scents and how some of them are made.
After two years of researching online on production methods and also physically visiting different manufacturing companies in Europe, Scents by Geraldine was born in 2016 with the aim of providing a high quality fragrance for the Kenyan woman. “I chose a company in Germany to create and produce my fragrance because they have a reputation for quality.”
It was a journey of learning about different ingredients to get the perfect combination that resulted in “Whole”— the name she gave her first perfume for women.
Over the last 10 years, the perfumery market has grown in Kenya, attracting shops such as Madora and improvement from other retailers like Lintons, Fragrance Lounge and Petals, among others.
But she regrets that Kenyan are yet to fully embrace “home-made” brands like hers. “What most people do is walk into a shop smell the perfume and buy it because they like the smell and the shape of the bottle. “What they do not realise is that they only smell what is called the top notes of the perfume. This changes as it settles after a while.”
She describes “Whole” as representing a woman who is confident about herself and does not need approval from anyone. On the production method, she says:
“I tried to balance the notes in the fragrance because I did not want it to be too fruity, too flowery, musky or oriental. I had to balance these.”
The perfume is sold in 15ml, 30ml and 50ml bottles-that cost Sh3,800, Sh4,900, and Sh6,900 respectively.