Kenyan pilot, Geraldine Gitau turns to perfume business to make ends meet

Geraldine Gitau || The COVID-19 pandemic has affected most industries and the aviation industry is among the worst-hit since all local and international flights were suspended in a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The pandemic has also taught a lot of people that it is important to have an extra source of income in case an economic crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic, strikes.


Geraldine Gitau, a pilot working for Kenya Airways, founded Scents by Geraldine in 2016, and she is now fully running her business to survive the COVID-19 harsh economy.

Speaking during an interview with Nairobi News, Gitau said she is glad that she set up the business that is also home to Kenya’s first original designer perfume.

“I am lucky to have started this perfumery business a few years ago even though it isn’t really where I want it to be but at least I have a fallback plan,” she said.

However, just like many other companies, Gitau admitted that businesses has been badly affected by the pandemic.


“My amazing team at Scents By Geraldine agreed to take a pay cut that way I kept their jobs secure. Communication and transparency with them is key,” Gitau said.


On why she decided to venture into the perfume business, Gitau said she settled on the idea after experiencing different cultures on perfumery, and sampling perfumes during her visits to different countries.

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“I have had the wonderful opportunity of travelling widely, meeting people, experiencing different cultures, and sampling perfumes out there.

“I love perfumes and so when it was time to start my business, I dived into what was natural,” she said.

She also said starting the business was a bit hard because Kenyans would not be convinced that original perfumes can be made by a Kenyan. However, as time moved, they slowly embraced locally made fragrances.

“Like any other business, starting is never easy. You have to have a passion for it otherwise you will easily give up. It has been a struggle creating brand awareness and changing perceptions that a quality fragrance can be made by a Kenyan.

“The reception has been great in the Kenyan market. Our low-cost perfumes have also been received very well as they are both original and affordable,” she added.

Finally, she advised anyone who wants to venture into business to do a lot of research and seek advice on the business idea.

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“Never give up before you have tried something for long enough. Do your research and please seek advice and help when you need to. Remember – you can’t do it alone because you’re not alone,” she concluded.

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