Why Natural Perfume?
Perfume and the world of perfumery is thousands of years old with its origin being rooted in the burning of incense. The first use of perfume can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Cyprus where the first perfumes were blended with aromatics and rare raw materials such as resins, oils and fragrant herbs. Perfume usage and the art and craft of perfume-making has evolved over 5,000 years – with the decline of natural perfumes beginning in the 20th century as synthetics entered the market. Synthetics allowed both the perfumer and perfume-wearer increased accessibility to the world of perfume through the use of less expensive ingredients. As a result, since the early 1920s synthetics have dominated the perfume world with most mainstream perfumes being comprised of very few (if any) natural ingredients.
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?.
Our Small-Batch Artisanal Process
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. Fragrance by Wit, Design by West.
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. We strive as much as possible to maintain that our small-batch process, ingredients, packaging and shipping processes have a focus on sustainability, minimalism and recyclable materials. In addition, we are committed to sustainability through partnerships and annual giving to nonprofit organizations that are dedicated environmental causes and protecting our planet.
- Our Process, Ingredients & Sourcing: 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. We also 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 vegan, cruelty-free (we're proud to be Leaping Bunny certified), phthalate and paraben free. See our FAQs to learn more about our process and ingredients.
- Shopify Sustainability Fund: 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 about Shopify Sustainability Partners). Interested in learning more about how carbon emissions from Wit & West orders are calculated to ensure each shipment is carbon neutral? Visit the blog feature on Making Your Shipment Carbon Neutral with Shopify Planet.
- 1% for the Planet: Wit & West is proud to be a 1% for the Planet business member. As a business member, we donate at least 1% of our total revenue each year to 1% for the Planet and their network of carefully selected nonprofit organizations committed to protecting our planet and the environment in these six areas: climate, food, land, pollution, water, and wildlife (the network of organizations includes those such as the World Wildlife Fund, Rainforest Alliance, Oregon Tilth and many, many more). Learn more about 1% for the Planet and become an individual or business member today.