Bottle of Perfume in a Perfume Shop

Perfume Shops in Kenya: Sensations, Nakumatt

My mother often half-jokingly says that I eat toilet paper and drink perfume. That’s in reference to how fast I use up each of these items. Let’s leave the first item alone for now and focus on the second, perfume. Well, not really perfume itself, rather I’d like to talk about where to purchase perfume in Nairobi and tell you how I came to settle on my current preferred perfume shop.

Buying Perfume at Duty Free Shops

From the time I owned my very first perfume, Anaïs Anaïs at the tender age of 13, most of my perfumes have been bought at duty free counters at airports across the world. When I was very young, this would happen when my parents would travel for business, after I’d beg them to bring me back perfume. When I got a little older, this would invariably take place during long transit hours spent at airports in Europe as I crossed continents to go to and from school.

Even now as an adult, I usually acquire perfume either as I am traveling or when others gift me perfume when they have been traveling. Whatever the case, I’ve always had the mindset that the cheapest place to buy perfume is at duty free stores, so I rarely ever attempted to buy perfume at a perfume shop in Nairobi or elsewhere.

Buying Perfume in Nairobi

Fast forward a number of years. Without going into too many details, a company I was working for, at the time, needed to purchase a bottle of Cool Water , the man’s fragrance , on a very strict budget but were having a hard time finding it.

In the spirit of team work, I decided to pitch in and check for it at a perfume shop or two even though it was my day off. While I was at The Village Market, I stopped by the Diplomatic Duty Free, to see if they might stock Cool Water. I was in luck! They did, but unfortunately, not at the price I was looking for.

Not to be discouraged, I walked downstairs to the City Walk, which sells shoes but also has a well-stocked fragrance counter. There too, I found what I was looking for, though still not at the price required. I left The Village Market and decided to make my way back towards town.

Before that, I decided to make one more stop at The Sarit Centre to see if I might have any luck at Lipstix, the cosmetics and perfume shop, on the lower ground floor. Again, I found the same situation: they stocked the product, but it was above my budget.

One Last Perfume Shop

Not about to spend my entire day off performing work-related activities, I called the office and told them that I was unable to find the item at the required price. Although the item was widely available, I hadn’t been able to find it within the required budget.

My colleagues thanked me for my efforts and continued looking for the item elsewhere. I, on the other hand, proceeded with my day as I had originally planned. One of my next stops was Nakumatt Ngong Road, where I needed to purchase some items.

As I stood in the checkout line at Nakumatt, it occurred to me to check out Sensations, the perfume shop at Nakumatt. I wasn’t very hopeful, but I thought, since I was already there, I really had very little to loose.

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Believe it or not, Sensations stocked Cool Water at exactly the price I was looking to pay! After conferring with the office, I quickly purchased the cologne and off I went on my merry way! I had never paid much attention to Sensations before then but with retail prices being 500-1000 Ksh below anywhere else I had looked that day, I made a mental note of it.

(Is having 24-hour supermarket services something that is available in your country? What do you think of the phenomenon? Let’s discuss it at: Nakumatt Ukay & 24 Hour Supermarkets in East Africa.)

A couple of months later, when I noticed that I was running out of perfume without any air travel (or visitors) in sight, I decided to make a stop at the same perfume shop, Sensations, to restock. My heart settled on Rose Essentielle by Bvlgari. Again, I was not disappointed. I purchased this perfume at only a little more than I would expect to pay at a duty free counter.

So there you’ve got it. According to my informal survey, Sensations is one of the least expensive places to buy authentic fragrance in Nairobi. Do you, my reader, know of any other that you would like to recommend? (The perfume shop at Westgate Center seems to also stock a wide variety of perfumes for OK prices, though I’ve not paid that close attention to their pricing so please don’t quote me.)

As always, I look forward to hearing what you have to say. For now, I wish you a great weekend!

Until the next time,
Biche

21 thoughts on “Perfume Shops in Kenya: Sensations, Nakumatt”

  1. Biche: How could you go from Anaïs Anaïs to Rose Essentielle? I was just wondering what were the steps in between? Because I feel something must have gone wrong along the way. Just a personal opinion, but I don’t like this Rose Essentielle.

  2. Hi Muthoni,

    I see you also wait for people who travel to buy your perfume. I tell you, it’s the perfect gift! 🙂

    Let us know which perfume you settle on, once you purchase.

    Welcome to ChickAboutTown!

    Biche

  3. Hehehehehe Rafiki,

    I totally get where you are coming from but as the French say les goûts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas (essentially: there’s no accounting for tastes)!

    Truthfully, Anaïs Anaïs is not my style at all. I find it’s too soft, floral, and subtle. I like stronger, “clean” smells. My Mom just says I like “murky” perfumes. (What?!) I can’t really enumerate the steps between Anaïs Anaïs and Rose Essentielle because my adventurous spirit can be evidenced in my choice of perfumes too (as a rule I never buy the same perfume more than once). Some of the perfumes that I’ve used of the years which still stand out for me are: L’Eau d’Issey (by Issey Miyake), Parfum d’Été (by Kenzo), Lalique (by Lalique), Sotto Voce (by Laura Biagiotti), Acqua di Gio and Sensi (both by Armani), and Deep Red (by Hugo Boss). (Does that sort of explain how I could go from Anaïs Anaïs to Rose Essentielle ;-))?

    What are you preferences in fragrances for men and women?

    Biche

  4. Biche: That path from Anaïs Anaïs to Rose Essentielle has some very strange turns and twists. And why do you never buy the same perfume again? Maybe you have just not found your perfect one yet? Or maybe you are you an energetic person always on the move? How stable are your relationships? Have you tried Chanel no 22 or Chance (also by Chanel)?
    My favorite ones would be Voile de Jasmin by Bvlgari for women Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger for men.

    1. Hi Rafiki,

      On your recommendation, I made it a point to smell Voile de Jasmin. Great stuff (but a little subtle for me)! As for not buying the same perfume twice, it’s a long story that involves my Dad’s younger brother, a second bottle of Acqua di Gio, and a long cross-country journey on the back of a pick-up truck that ruined Acqua di Gio for me forever! I guess I realized then that you never can quite love the second owning of a perfume like you did the first. After that, I just learned to embrace the change of perfume that occured when each bottle would run out. Frankly, now I’ve come to love this change! I would never consider settling down to only one perfume. It has nothing to do with not having found the perfect perfume yet – they’re just so many good ones to try! (And no, that’s not my policy when it comes to relationships, though some may argue that that’s why I am always in and out of relationships. Hehehehe…may these words never come back to haunt me! 🙂

      Oh, also, I think Chanel No.22 is really nice too. I remember that being one of my favorites among my mother’s perfumes when I was younger. I see you have good taste! 🙂

      Biche

  5. Biche, sorry for my late response (I was out in the parks and on the beach and with family), but you have really clarified a lot and I am now getting your point and I actually agree with you (and yes, you got taste as well, thanks for the compliment), although I can buy the same perfume twice without problem.
    Good that you were able to sample Voile de Jasmin. I hope you will be able to savour Tommy as well (best done on a real man)…

    1. Ha ha ha Rafiki,

      I will work on smelling that Tommy on a real man (but if that fails, I will just go to a perfume counter and catch a whiff). I am glad you are enjoying the festive season, please continue doing so as it is far from over!

      Biche

  6. hi biche… Hoping u still running the shop! I was interested in the same business though am outside nairobi or rather am in nakuru. Jus wondering can i be able to purchase at wholesale price? Pliz inbox via my facebook – brianmoses lukania k o…appreciated!

  7. I love the duty free perfumes, and am glad to know Nakumatt has the same. But I cant get my favourite “Dior Addict: To Life”

    1. Hi WaNganga,

      Welcome to Chick About Town!

      The particular store I went to was the one at Nakumatt Prestige. There was also a Sensations outside Nakumatt Lifestyle. I am not sure about the Junction. Maybe at the back of the store? You’ll have to check.

      Good luck, and I hope you find what you are looking for! 🙂

      Biche

  8. Hi Biche. Thanks for this helpful info. Have you tried a shop called Scents. It as on Muindi Mbingu Street near Jeevanjee Gardens next to Family Bank and opposite Barclays bank. They have a wide variety…even of latest perfumes and very good customer service. Thanks. Mose

    1. Hi Mose,

      Welcome to Chick About Town!

      No, I haven’t been to Scents before but it sounds interesting. Thanks for leaving a comment about it. What’s their price range like?

      Biche

  9. Hi Biche. I appreciate your effort and details in pointing out where to find authentic perfumes in Nairobi. Have you considered Smartcell Fashion. They are located along Kenyatta Avenue, Phoenix House, 2nd Floor.They stock authentic fragrances at discounted prices. Check them on http://www.smartcellfashion.co.ke

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