Posted on April 13 2021
Photo by Photography by BlueSky
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and share the Wit & West Perfumes story as well as West and my thoughts on our business, life and more with Shoutout Colorado.
Hi Whitney, what matters most to you?
The principle that matters most to me is authenticity. Authenticity in relationships both personal and work, as well as authenticity to myself and how I live my life. To me, to live authentically is to live by being true to yourself and focusing on what is important to you – regardless of what others might think or what others tell you that you should or should not do. This might mean taking a risk and attempting something that seems very daunting. However, as I have gotten older, I have realized that no one can make my life be authentic except me. This mindset shift helped me realize that I wanted to follow a passion of mine and take it to the next level by starting my own perfume brand, Wit & West.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The world of perfumery is highly competitive, with the majority of perfumes on the market coming from large beauty/luxury brand perfume houses. In addition to large brands dominating the perfume and fragrance market there is also a perception that to be a true perfumer (known as a “nose” in the industry) one must study at top institutions in France and post-graduate work as a perfumer must be at a top brand. This may seem a bit discouraging from the outside, however, there is a silver lining. Change and disruption is occurring within the industry. These change-makers include indie perfumers who are often self-taught or who’ve studied under other independent perfumers. Within the indie perfume community there is a smaller sub-genre of perfumers focused on naturals. One could classify me as an indie natural perfumer, but I would say I am more a student of the olfactory art of perfumery. As someone who started down their artistic journey later in life, I took a more non-traditional path to becoming a perfumer and am mostly self-taught, with some time spent studying under well-known natural perfumers. Coming into this field and starting a small business after spending 20+ years in medium and large corporations has humbled me as I know I have only begun to scratch the surface of the art of perfumery. Some of the primary challenges with this artistic path (besides the competitiveness) is the mainstream perception of natural perfumery. Natural perfumery is growing in interest with more and more small natural perfumers emerging each year, but there are still misconceptions regarding its legitimacy and relevancy in the industry. These misconceptions are based on a belief that natural perfumery is not luxurious or sophisticated and instead is rooted in aromatherapy and simplistic homemade formulations. While I was aware of these misconceptions prior to embarking on this journey, it wasn’t a challenge I originally sought out to take on. However, now one of my primary goals is to show that natural perfumery is not only as beautiful as mainstream perfumery, but also that it can connect us to the sensory world in a way that synthetic perfume cannot...
Read the full local story and the discussion between Wit and Shoutout Colorado: Shoutout Colorado Local Stories Featuring: Wit & West Perfumes