Wit & West Duo

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 formulated, bottled, packaged and designed completely in-house. Fragrance by Wit, Design by West.”

HOUSE: Wit & West
FRAGRANCE: Gavitella + Habari
NOSE: Whitney Swales
SIZE/COST: 15-50ml / $60-160

Gavitella (2021): As these are all-natural botanical fragrances steeped in grape alcohol, some might not fully understand what to expect. But I say, bring on the expectations, especially when it comes to this particular fragrance. This was my favorite from the house but you will have to read onward to find out about my newfound gem…. It’s like peeling back the reddish-orange citrus skin, the leaves and all combined, and slowly revealing the innards of a glowing fruit orb. It’s like the spiced allure that one gets from indulging in a wondrous cider made of prickly pear and mandarin, stewed over a slow burn fire of cedar and sandalwood. It’s as bracing as it is coastal, and yes, that can be one and the same, or not, depending. Though, when the wood comes through, it’s as if the thicket of limbs replicates nerve endings, surrounding you like a nest, with the best type of nourishment for the senses. Deeply embedded is a passing accord that reminds me of a jazzy patchouli, but its fleeting. I find this quite contemporary for a botanical, often something hard to pull off due to the nature of the shapeshifting organic ingredients. The Italian Mediterranean, the Tyrrhenian coastline – Sardinia, Capri, Positano, Salerno, Ravello – a little of each seems to emerge from this artfully concocted perfume. The hills are alive, and the trees are in full bloom along the wavy shore. Enjoy the olfactory view from here. (91%)

Notes: Bergamot, Red Mandarin, Neroli, Orange Blossom, Cypress Leaf, Haitian Vetiver, Sandalwood

Habari (2021): Ah the coloration is of amber and topaz and like gemstones. What rises up first is the combination of clove and a shaded pepper note. The spices have a striking yet cooling sensation, both on my senses and on my skin – likely making this a great option to wear on the humid months of the Texas everyday. This has a slight oud smoke lingering off to the sidelines, which gives me pause, the type of pause one is overtaken by when something gives you glints of reverence. If Tiger Balm was chilled to room temperature, and then crafted into a sophisticated perfume, this starts to tug at those shirt tails a little. There are florals woven in and around the fine spice and balsamics here, though they are delicate enough to play a secondary role, sweetening the perfume just one iota. It’s breathy, lively, warm. This aromatic fragrance is altogether dynamic in its colorful spectrum and will garner attention from on-sniffers and even strangers. Oddly enough I find this similar to the quality (not the scent) that I get while wearing a keen olibanum (though there is none here). It just embraces the mind with the spirit of the higher power bestowed upon Mother Nature. The phrase #blessed is so trite, but this just may make you feel (even those who are irreligious) as though you have been given entrée into a world of magic, and the lure of angelic spirits. (92%)

Notes: Black Pepper, Cardamom, Clove, Jasmine, Tuberose, Amber, Agarwood

Recommended Soundtrack:
Cocteau Twins & Harold BuddThe Mood and the Melodies (4AD), 1986


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