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WIT & WEST FAQ

WHAT DOES 100% NATURAL MEAN?

Our perfumes are made with 100% natural botanicals and naturally derived ingredients (as defined by ISO9235 - Natural Aromatic Raw Materials Vocabulary). These ingredients include wildcrafted and organic essential oils, CO2 extracts, absolutes, natural isolates as well as custom handmade tinctures and enfleurage extraits carefully selected and sourced from raw materials including those from our very own garden. In short, our perfumes do not contain synthetic ingredients or ingredients based on aromas that don’t exist in nature. In addition to being 100% all-natural, our perfumes and colognes are vegan, cruelty-free and do not contain phthalates or parabens.

WHAT IS A NATURAL ISOLATE?

Natural isolates are single odor molecules that are extracted from natural raw materials using distillation techniques. These materials exceed the ISO 9235 standard for Natural Aromatic Raw Materials.

ARE ALL WIT & WEST PERFUMES CRUELTY-FREE?

Yes, all Wit & West products are cruelty-free (we are proud to be Leaping Bunny certified). At Wit & West, we test our products on ourselves, not our furry friends.

ARE ALL WIT & WEST PERFUMES VEGAN?

Yes, all Wit & West products are vegan. Please refer to the individual product description for additional ingredient details.

ARE WIT & WEST PERFUMES ALLERGEN-FREE?

As with any beauty product or perfume, you should always test a product via a patch-test to determine if you will have an undesirable reaction. Natural perfumes contain ingredients such as citrus essential oils, floral absolutes, etc. that some individuals may find irritating to their skin. We strongly recommend purchasing samples first before committing to a full-size bottle (not only so that you can determine which scent you like best, but also so you can conduct an allergy or patch-test prior to use). We are cruelty-free and we never test our perfumes on animals. However, we do thoroughly test them on ourselves before releasing new perfumes.

WHAT IF I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS REGARDING INGREDIENTS?

Just ask! We are always happy to help answer any questions you may have regarding ingredients or our process. Feel free to email us at info@witandwest.com.

WHY DOESN’T WIT & WEST USE SYNTHETIC INGREDIENTS?

By connecting the sensory experience of perfume to its historical roots in the natural world, we are committed to creating authentic, handcrafted perfumes developed with 100% natural whole botanicals and naturally derived ingredients that are unique and never boring. We choose not to work with synthetic materials because we believe they fall short of our standard of drawing upon the richness and beauty that exists in the natural world. If compared to other prized sensory experiences such as wine, artisanal coffee or chocolate – using synthetics is considered non-negotiable. We take this same artistic approach in our perfumes (e.g., natural perfumery as a genre or style of perfumery). To learn more, check out our blog post: What is Natural Perfume?

IS NATURAL BETTER THAN SYNTHETIC?

No, not necessarily. We choose to use natural ingredients as an artistic choice and appreciation for the medium, not because we think one is better than the other. The art of perfumery – just like any other artform – has different genres or styles. Just as in music or the visual arts, different tastes point people toward an affinity for different genres and the same is true in perfumery.

ARE NATURAL INGREDIENTS SAFER THAN SYNTHETIC INGREDIENTS?

No, not necessarily. Some (not all) botanical ingredients include naturally occurring molecules that are considered to be known allergens and therefore may be irritating to some individuals. The same can be said for some (not all) synthetic ingredients that include known allergens. As previously mentioned, the best thing to do is to conduct an allergy patch test prior to using any perfume, regardless of whether the ingredients are natural or not.

ARE NATURAL AND SUSTAINABLE THE SAME THING?

Natural ingredients, while beautifully layered and complex, can raise sourcing concerns from an ethical and sustainability standpoint (e.g., Bois de Rose, commonly known as rosewood, animal ingredients, some types of sandalwood and agarwood “oud”, etc.). We choose not to use animal ingredients in any of our products for ethical and sustainability reasons. For other non-animal natural ingredients where sustainability is a factor, we work with our suppliers to ensure there is origin traceability and information regarding the farming and cultivation process of the raw materials (e.g., the patchouli oil we use is harvested through a collaborative project to teach farmers in Indonesia how to cultivate patchouli seedlings in a more sustainable way), or, if the raw material is regulated that it is CITES compliant where applicable (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna), and documents are on hand (e.g., our vanilla CO2 and agarwood oil are both CITES compliant), or, in the case of threatened or vulnerable species/raw materials, we look for alternative sources from other supplier(s) and/or we use similar alternative natural/naturally derived ingredients (e.g., benzoin, a gum oleoresin that is extracted from the resinous tree in the Styracaceae family, is a natural ingredient that has similarities in aromatic profile to vanilla. Our rosewood leaf oil is distilled from the leaves and stems of the tree rather than the heartwood. This avoids sacrificing the whole tree, and renders a comparable and sustainable rosewood leaf oil available for generations to come). If a raw material is in question from a sustainability standpoint and it cannot be verified or traced back to its origin, producer, grower, farming and cultivation process, we don’t use it at all.

As a small-batch indie natural perfumery and as co-owners of Wit & West Perfumes, West and I are always looking at our business operations and practices including ways to improve upon them. This includes in areas such as sustainability through our raw materials sourcing (as mentioned in the previous paragraph), small-batch production and bottling/packaging. In addition, by purchasing our raw materials and packaging in small quantities as well as producing our finished perfumes in small-batches, we ensure we only produce what will be enjoyed - with as minimal waste as possible.

WHY ARE NATURAL PERFUMES MORE EXPENSIVE THAN SYNTHETIC PERFUMES?

Natural perfumes can contain difficult to extract raw materials that are often costly due to their low yields and the labor required to grow, harvest and extract them. For example, 60 roses are required to produce ONE drop of rose oil! The cost of one ounce of rose oil can be more than $500, while other rarities can be upwards of $1,000 or more per ounce.

WHAT DOES “CLEAN” PERFUME MEAN? IS WIT & WEST CONSIDERED “CLEAN”?

“Clean beauty” is a marketing term with no independent organization governing the standards that define “clean”.  In addition, “clean” simply means that a company has decided to self-regulate their products by excluding some ingredients considered by the company to be harmful, but it does not mean that the ingredients they choose to include are natural. In fact, most “clean” products are comprised of synthetic materials with little to no natural ingredients. The enthusiasm for “clean” is leveraged by some companies through marketing messaging as a way to create the perception of being more eco-friendly, safe or natural - even when they are not. We choose not to use the term "clean" as it is not a standard that is regulated or defined by an independent organization or government entity. However, just as "clean" doesn't necessarily equate to natural nor safer, natural doesn't necessarily equate to safer and synthetic doesn't equate to more harmful. The short answer is that there is no short answer. Some individuals may find that certain ingredients (natural and/or synthetic) are irritating to their skin, while others may not. If you are concerned about the safety of ingredients in a perfume the best thing to do is conduct an allergy test to see if the perfume causes you an adverse reaction as different ingredients can impact individuals differently.

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND AND HOW DID YOU LEARN PERFUMERY?

Both myself and my husband and co-founder of Wit & West have analytical and quantitative educational and professional backgrounds (we both love math). Previously, I worked in corporate marketing and finance leadership roles including leading the marketing analytics functions for both medium and large fortune 500 companies. My husband (West) has a background in chemistry and physics and works full-time as a rocket scientist (not a prerequisite for perfumery, but certainly a huge benefit). Before starting Wit & West Perfumes, I spent 2+ years studying on my own and under some of the world’s most well-known and highly regarded natural perfumers including Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes, Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume Co., and Anya McCoy of the Natural Perfumery Institute and Anya’s Garden Perfumes. As an avid believer that an artist can never stop learning and growing, I approach perfumery with a mindset that is always open to new techniques, technologies, styles, and ideas. Perfumery is something that requires many years of training, patience, and dedication to reach a level of proficiency. As such, I consider myself to be a life-long student of the art of perfumery and continue to receive ongoing mentorship and training with other natural perfumers as well as via continuing education through organizations such as the prestigious Grasse Institute of Perfumery (GIP).

DO YOU OFFER PERFUMERY WORKSHOPS OR CLASSES?

Currently, I do not offer any workshops or classes. However, it is something I am considering doing in the future. If you are interested in learning about perfumery, I do offer one-on-one mentorship on a case-by-case basis (fees determined upon assessment of your needs and goals). If you are interested, please email me at info@witandwest.com.

WHICH GENDERS ARE WIT & WEST PERFUMES FOR?

Perfume and assignment to gender is cultural and rooted in marketing towards a specific gender by the big perfume houses. To us, perfume is gender neutral. Natural botanical perfume by its very nature is more gender neutral and lends itself to greater flexibility. It's up to you which perfume suits your mood or tastes.

HOW LONG DO WIT & WEST PERFUMES LAST?

Because we only use 100% natural whole botanicals and naturally derived ingredients including essential oils, absolutes, etc., the scent may not last as long as typical fragrances do. Synthetic fragrances often contain aroma chemicals specifically developed to increase the longevity of the fragrance. Since natural perfumes don't include these types of aroma chemicals, they tend to have a shorter wear time at between 2-6 hours depending on the perfume as well as the person wearing the perfume. We recommend applying our perfumes liberally on your pulse-points and for added longevity, try spritzing in your hair.

HOW LONG AFTER PURCHASING DO WIT & WEST PERFUMES LAST?

Because our perfumes are diluted in a base of three-stage filtered USDA organic grape alcohol (acting as a natural preservative) they should last for several years if the perfume bottle if stored away from direct sunlight and kept in a cool, dry environment. After using the perfume for a few years you may notice a reduction in sillage, but because our perfumes use alcohol as the base, they will not go bad.

WHY ARE WIT & WEST PERFUMES COLORED?

Natural perfumes take on the color of their botanical ingredients – don’t worry, our perfumes are not artificially colored! Some raw materials such as jasmine sambac are a darker reddish-brown color, other ingredients such as osmanthus are slightly greenish-brown in color. Synthetic perfumes are often transparent so look out for perfume brands that claim to be natural when their products are transparent in color – chances are that they are not 100% natural.

MY PERFUME APPEARS TO HAVE SEDIMENT IN THE BOTTLE AND/OR IS CLOUDY. IS THIS NORMAL?

We systematically filter each perfume prior to bottling so you shouldn’t see much sediment or cloudiness, but if you do it is because natural perfumes contain ingredients such as resins, essential oils, wood, leaves, etc. that may leave small traces behind in the perfume.

DO YOU HAVE ROLLERBALL FRAGRANCES?

No, all Wit & West perfumes and colognes come in a spray bottle format and are meant to be spritzed. The base used in our fragrances is an organic alcohol base which lends itself to a better application and overall experience in a spray/atomizer bottle format whereas oil-based fragrances are meant to be applied directly to the skin and rollerball bottles are better suited for their application. We have 3 sizes of bottles to choose from; 1.5ml sample spray bottles, 15ml spray bottles (great for travel or spritzing on the go) and our 50ml spray bottles.

HOW DOES THE BESPOKE CUSTOM PERFUME PROCESS WORK?

For more information about Wit & West Bespoke visit our Bespoke Perfume Experience page (includes information regarding process, timing and pricing).

DO YOU OFFER PRIVATE LABEL CUSTOM PERFUME CREATION FOR BRANDS?

Yes, we do offer private label custom perfume creation for brands. For more information and/or to get a quote for your project, please contact us at info@witandwest.com (please include details regarding your project including fragrance vision/concept, information about your brand, quantity and timeline).

DO YOU SELL PERFUME SAMPLES?

Yes! Purchase one (or several) 1.5ml perfume samples so you can spritz before you commit to a larger bottle. Want to try everything? Purchase the Signature & Cologne Collection Sample Set and get all 13 of our perfumes and colognes, plus, get a $20 digital gift card to use toward the purchase of a full-size bottle.

DO YOU OFFER FREE PERFUME SAMPLES?

Given that we are small business, please note that we cannot offer free samples. You can get a discount on your order if you sign-up for email or if you take our Scent Quiz. We offer a variety of options for samples including individual samples as well as part of one of our sample sets.

DO WIT & WEST GIFT CARDS EXPIRE?

No, Wit & West Gift Cards never expire.

CAN A GIFT CARD BE PURCHASED IN ANY AMOUNT?

No, gift cards can only be purchased in specific amounts starting at $25 and up to $600.

CAN A GIFT CARD BE USED MORE THAN ONCE?

Yes, if a gift card still has an available balance left on it you can use it until it is depleted.

CAN MORE THAN ONE GIFT CARD BE USED TOWARDS A PURCHASE?

Yes, you can use more than one gift card to make a purchase.

HOW DO I PURCHASE A GIFT CARD FOR SOMEONE ELSE?

If you would like a gift card to be sent directly to the gift recipient please indicate the recipient's email address during the check-out process.

WHAT IF I NEVER RECEIVED OR MISPLACED MY GIFT CARD?

Click the link in the original order confirmation email to "resend" the gift card.

DO YOU WORK WITH INFLUENCERS AND/OR OFFER FREE PRODUCT IN EXCHANGE FOR CONTENT CREATION?

Each week, we receive a large volume of requests to partner/collaborate with content creators and social media influencers. While we greatly appreciate the interest and enthusiasm to collaborate, in general, we are unable to accept requests to do collaborations or "gifted collabs" with influencers (e.g., sending free product in exchange for a review and/or content creation on social media platforms). There are several reasons for this. First, we are a small family-owned business that is operated by just myself (Wit) and my husband (West), and as a result we have to be conscious of how we allocate our resources as well as our marketing budget. Second, we are a small-batch artisanal perfumery and as such, we have a limited stock of our products (in some cases, we have not only limited availability, but also limited seasonal availability of our perfumes due to the fact that we use in-house ingredients that are extracted from the flowers in our garden). Third, West and I are committed to creating unique, non-mainstream scents for those who don't want to smell like everyone else. Our focus is on the artistry of perfumery, and specifically, natural botanical perfumery, a genre that isn't mainstream and therefore not necessarily for everyone. Fourth, we feel that authentic feedback and reviews of our perfumes should come organically and from those who already know and love our brand and our vision for creating unique all-natural botanical perfumes and colognes. So, while we are unable to accept any new requests for "gifted collabs" from content creators/influencers, from time to time we may reach out to influencers, writers/bloggers or friends of ours who have already purchased Wit & West products from us and/or tried our products at one of our wholesale retailers or at an in-person event for things like giveaways, new product releases, etc. If you are interested in trying out our perfumes and colognes and would like to purchase samples, you can get a discount on your order if you sign-up for email or if you take our Scent Quiz. We offer a variety of options for samples including individual samples as well as part of one of our sample sets.

DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNTS FOR INFLUENCERS?

If you are a beauty/fragrance influencer who is interested in trying us out, we have a couple of ways you can get a discount on samples (PLEASE NOTE: Given that we are small business, we cannot offer free samples at this time). You can get a discount on your order if you sign-up for email or if you take our Scent Quiz. If you would prefer not to sign-up for our email newsletter and/or if you are having trouble with a discount code working, please email us at info@witandwest.com and we will create a discount code for you. We offer a variety of options for samples including individual samples as well as part of one of our sample sets.

DO YOU HAVE AN AFFILIATE MARKETING PROGRAM?

If you are an influencer/blogger/writer who would like to apply to be an affiliate for Wit & West, you can sign-up through Share-A-Sale by going to our Wit & West Affiliate Marketing Program page.

DO YOU HAVE A PR AGENCY OR PRESS CONTACT?

Currently, all PR is handled in-house. If you have a questions and/or are interested in featuring Wit & West Perfumes in your publication or blog please email us at info@witandwest.com. PLEASE NOTE: As mentioned previously, we cannot offer free product in exchange for reviews or content creation at this time. We do offer a shared commission for sales generated through affiliate links. If you are interested in applying to be an affiliate, you can check out the Wit & West Affiliate Marketing Program through Share-A-Sale.

IS SHIPPING INCLUDED IN THE RETAIL PRICE?

No, shipping is not included in the retail price of our products. Shipping costs will be applied during the check-out process. All orders placed in the continental United States are shipped via USPS standard ground. Shipping for orders placed in the continental United States are free for orders of $50 and above as well as for any orders placed in the state of Colorado. International orders ship via DHL and shipping fees vary based on country (see below for list of countries we ship to as well as associated shipping fees by country). We apologize but at this time, we cannot offer free shipping for international orders.

DO YOU ACCEPT RETURNS?

All sales are final, and we do not accept returns or exchanges as perfumes (like most beauty and personal care products) cannot be reused or resold once opened. Wit & West Perfumes is a small artisanal perfumery owned by myself (Wit) and my husband (West) and all of our perfumes and colognes are made in small batches by us (we don’t outsource any of our process – all of our products are made by West and I, in-house in our studio in Littleton, CO) from 100% all-natural ingredients and while we feel they are very beautiful and unique, they are very different from mainstream fragrances that are made from primarily synthetic aroma chemicals. As such, we understand that the olfactory experience of wearing our perfumes and colognes might not be something that many people are familiar with, so we recommend against "blind buying" and instead, first purchasing samples to determine which scents appeal to you before committing to a full-size bottle. Samples are available as part of one of our sample sets or you can purchase samples individually (given we are small business, please note that we do not offer free samples. You can get a discount on your order if you sign-up for email or if you take our Scent Quiz). To view and purchase samples, please visit our Samples page. If you received an incorrect order or your perfume was received damaged, please contact us at info@witandwest.com for assistance (include your first/last name, order number and any detail regarding the damage to the perfume).

DO YOU SHIP OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?

International shipping via DHL is currently on hold as of January 5, 2024. We hope to resolve the shipping price issue with DHL and turn back on shipping to limited countries soon. If you have questions, please reach out to us directly at info@witandwest.com.

Please note that per aviation regulations through organizations such as International Air Transport Association (IATA), alcohol-based perfume is considered a dangerous good/hazardous good which means that there are certain requirements that we must follow for international orders shipped via air. As such, international orders cannot be placed for 50ml sized bottles of perfume or cologne at this time. If you add a 50ml bottle to your order, we will contact you directly to advise of alternate options (e.g., multiple 15ml bottles instead). You may purchase 15ml sized bottles of perfume or cologne as well as 1.5ml samples (individual samples and/or multiple samples or one of our sample sets). You can purchase multiple 15ml bottles in a single order, however, if it is above the allowable quantity for a single parcel then we will contact you to let you know that your order will be delivered in multiple boxes.

WHAT IS SHOPIFY PLANET AND HOW DOES THIS PROGRAM ENSURE THAT WIT & WEST SHIPMENTS ARE CARBON NEUTRAL?

We've partnered with Planet by Shopify, a program that is part of the Shopify Sustainability Fund, to use a portion of all Wit & West profits to offset 100% of carbon emissions for shipped orders. Funds generated through the Shopify Sustainability Fund go toward supporting organizations and innovative companies committed to fighting climate change (learn more bout Shopify Sustainability Partners). Interested in learning more about carbon emissions from Wit & West order are calculated to ensure each shipment is carbon neutral? Visit the blog feature on Making Your Shipment Carbon Neutral with Shopify Planet

DOES WIT & WEST OFFER WHOLESALE OPTIONS FOR RETAILERS?

If you are an online or brick-and-mortar retailer who is interested in selling Wit & West Perfumes in your store, we have several options for purchasing our products wholesale including through Faire as well as direct. Visit our Wholesale page to learn more.

DO YOU HAVE PAY OVER TIME / BUY NOW, PAY LATER PAYMENT OPTIONS?

Yes! Wit & West offers Shop Pay Installments through Shopify (in partnership with Affirm). Shop Pay allows you to pay for products as well as the Bespoke Perfume Experience over time. Minimum of $50 per order required to pay over time. Simply select Shop Pay Installments as your payment type when you checkout. Learn more about payments with Shop Pay.