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LEARN MORE & WHY NATURAL PERFUME

 Who We Are

Wit & West Perfumes is a 100% all-natural botanical perfumery with a focus on rare ingredients and legit scents for those who don't want to smell like everyone else. Based in Colorado, our small-batch artisanal perfumery is solely owned and operated by myself (Wit) and my husband (West). Our perfumes are handcrafted in small batches using only the finest, high-quality 100% natural whole botanicals and naturally derived ingredients including wildcrafted and organic essential oils, CO2 extracts, absolutes, naturally derived isolates as well as custom handmade tinctures and enfleurage extraits carefully selected, sourced and handmade from raw materials including those from our very own garden. The alcohol base used in our perfumes is three-stage filtered USDA organic grape alcohol made from the finest certified organic wines and grape varietals. Our perfumes are made from 100% all-natural ingredients and are vegan, cruelty-free (we are Leaping Bunny certified), phthalate and paraben free.

Why Natural Perfume?

While certainly having a purpose and place in mainstream and indie perfumery, we believe that synthetics alone do not represent what scent and perfume should be – inimitable, luxurious and natural – an olfactory interpretation of an essence in its true form that elicits emotion, connects us to the natural world, and ties memories to the moments in our lives. Synthetic materials alone fall short of our standard for 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?.

Perfume can't truly be experienced if treated as disposable, uninspired fast fashion. We believe perfume is an experiential art, both for the perfume wearer and the perfumer. Our approach is based on a commitment to creating authentic, handcrafted perfumes developed with 100% natural whole botanicals and naturally derived ingredients that are unique and never boring. At Wit & West there is no corporate structure or shareholders who tell us what our brand is or should be, no scent of the month gimmicks and no outsourcing of our perfume creation or fulfillment. All perfumes are designed, formulated, bottled and packaged in small batches completely in-house in our studio in Littleton, CO. As a purpose-based business, we strive as much as possible to maintain that our small-batch process, 100% natural whole botanicals and naturally derived ingredients and packaging have a focus on sustainability, minimalism and recyclable materials. By purchasing our raw materials and packaging in small quantities from trusted suppliers 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. In addition, we work with our suppliers to verify there is origin traceability and information regarding the farming and cultivation process of our raw materials ensuring ethical and sustainable practices are maintained (including documentation on-hand where required). 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. All of our perfumes are cruelty-free and vegan, phthalate and paraben free. See our FAQs to learn more about our process and ingredients.

 How to Use & Important Things to Know About Natural Perfume

  • Natural perfumes made from 100% all-natural ingredients tend to last between 2-6 hours depending on the perfume as well as the person wearing the perfume. Ensure you have well-moisturized skin and apply perfume liberally on your pulse-points. For added longevity try spritzing in your hair.
  •  Dark colored perfumes may potentially stain clothing. Spray directly on skin to avoid any clothing stain mishaps. 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 color, other ingredients such as osmanthus are slightly greenish 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 – they are likely not 100% natural. 
  • Keep your perfume bottle away from extreme temperatures and avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.
  • As with any perfume, you should always conduct an allergy patch-test prior to use. Our perfumes contain ingredients such as citrus essential oils, floral absolutes, etc. that some individuals may find irritating to their skin.
  • Citrus oils used in some of our perfumes can cause photosensitivity, do not apply to the skin before direct sun exposure.
  • Common Sense Reminder: For external use only. Do not ingest. Avoid contact with eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 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 or may be created to be nature-identical using aroma chemicals. In addition, our perfumes are vegan, cruelty-free and do not contain phthalates or parabens.

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. For example, some (not all) ingredients that are natural include allergens (e.g., seasonal allergies or general allergies to certain plants for some individuals). The same can be said for some (not all) synthetic ingredients that include petroleum derived ingredients which are known to be harmful or irritating to certain individuals.

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.

ARE WIT & WEST PERFUMES CRUELTY-FREE?

Yes, all Wit & West products are cruelty-free. At Wit & West, we test our products on ourselves, not our furry friends.

ARE 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 are cruelty-free and we never test our perfumes on animals. However, we do thoroughly test them on ourselves before releasing new perfumes.

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.

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 synthetic fragrances do. Synthetic fragrances often contain fillers and other aroma chemicals specifically developed to increase the longevity of the fragrance (these aroma chemicals often include phthalates or hormone disruptors). While we don’t use these fragrance enhancers, we believe that perfume is not meant to last 24 hours as that is simply not natural! Instead, natural perfumes tend to last 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.