For many of us, a closet with the latest fashion trends, immaculate grooming practices and a basic makeup “facebeat” routine are essential beyond simply looking and feeling good. All these take plenty of thought, time and money.   But indulgences like perfumes are luxuries that nobody really needs. Their purpose is essentially just  to make you feel good, not just smell good. So don’t skip that bath. But investing in some great perfume can make the perfect ensemble even better. A great scent is capable of triggering arousal and attraction and can spark off conversations.   But in a country fraught with fake cosmetic products and “perfume refill shops” all over the place, you must be very diligent lest you buy a counterfeit product costing thousands of shillings. Here’s how to identify authentic perfumes and where to buy them in Kenya Choosing a Scent Each perfume or cologne consists of different "notes." These notes determine the overall scent. These notes consist of three different layers called base, top, and middle notes, and they all work in synergy to create a specific smell. Some perfumes, for example would be considered floral and contain different scent notes like rose, gardenia, or geranium. Others may be a bit fruitier, with undertones of citrus or apple.  Exotic perfumes contain spicy notes like star anise or even cinnamon. Men's scents have various notes as well. Musk scents have a heavier, more masculine tone, while others may have smells like pine or even leather-based notes. It is always a good idea to determine which types of cologne or perfume you prefer and then see which base notes they contain before making a purchase decision.  Choose a Concentration Fragrances come in four different levels of concentration. As the concentration gets higher, the price usually gets higher as well. Typically, colognes or perfumes with high concentration have a more powerful scent and last longer. They can be a bit pricey, but some people feel the higher price is absolutely worth it.  The highest concentration is simply called perfume or parfum. This level usually will last all day with just one application to the wrists or pulse points. The next lower level is eau de parfum, which typically can last about six hours after application.  The third level is called eau de toilette and is usually fairly affordable and easy to find in retail stores. It typically requires more than one application throughout the day to get it to last. The fourth and lowest fragrance concentration is eau de cologne, which only lasts about two hours. Test the Fragrance Before you decide to purchase any fragrance, you should definitely do a few simple tests to make sure that it is something you will want to wear and that you will enjoy. Do a simple sniff test of the bottle first to get the main idea of what it smells like. The key, however, is to try a bit of the fragrance on your skin. This is why most cosmetics stores offer testers for people so they can try something before they buy it.  Spotting Fakes
  • Authentic perfumes typically have cellophane that is quite thick and is folded flawlessly so that it can tightly adhere to the box. Improperly wrapped cellophane, on the other hand, is a telltale sign of counterfeit perfumes.
  • Real packaging is made from high-quality paperboard and is designed to protect the bottle from damage. That is why inside the box there is a special construction that keeps the perfume bottle in place.
  • When buying a perfume, don't hesitate to check the manufacturer's website to see if the information published there matches with what is provided on the packaging. Even the smallest mismatch is a sign of a counterfeit.
  • Famous brands don't use lots of dye in their products, which is why the color of authentic perfume is usually pale. The striking 'chemical' color of a liquid is the sign of a fake perfume.
  • The original perfume will have 3 layers: Top notes, middle notes, and base notes. That’s why you can smell the perfume differently when you first pray it, later you will smell the middle notes and finally, you can smell the base notes. However, fake perfume may smell familiar but have a flat, one-dimensional quality to them like they are missing an entire layer of notes.
  • Original perfume should last at least 2-3 hour or more when you wear it. Fakes will last less than 1 hour.
  • Original perfume should last more than 24hours when sprayed on paper
  • The serial number should be indicated on the bottom of the bottle (and not glued on!).
  • The serial number on the bottle should match the number on the bottom of the box. It should be imprinted on the base of the box or printed with ink.
     *Source Where to Buy Authentic Perfume in Kenya These brick & mortar and online stores have KEBS certification and QR codes on all their products that enable you counter check the authenticity of the perfume on the manufacturer's websites.  Perfume Center Kenya This store has a huge variety of designer perfumes, cosmetics, body care products and gift sets from Europe and the U.S. You can shop by brand on their online shop or visit their physical stores at Capital centre or TRM. Fragrance Lounge They’ve been in business for over a decade now. They stock unisex designer brands and have some really cool gift sets. You can shop online on their site or visit their physical stores at Two Rivers Mall, Galleria, Westgate, Junction Mall & The Hub Karen. Kenya Perfume Parlor  Online store with a wide range of perfumes from pricy designer brands to easy on the pocket body mists from Bath & Body works.  Nairobi Duty Free Shop  Their designer scents are slightly discounted because they’re duty free. Their online delivery fee is quite steep. You might want to consider visiting the store instead at JKIA, Wilson & Moi International airports Lintons Beauty World Visit their stores across major malls: The Junction Mall, Westgate Mall, Galleria Mall, Yaya Centre, Garden City Mall, Jubilee arcade Mombasa & the Hilton Arcade.  Their selection is limited to a few major brands like Chanel, Estee Lauder, Lancome & Dior.             

About The Author

Maureen Kasuku

Maureen is our resident cat lady and Beyoncé stan. She writes about spas, brunch and ballet recitals but has never been to any. Moonlights as a social justice activist in her spare time. She knows things and is obnoxiously opinionated on the internet but not in real life

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