Patricia discovers a new love in Wit.
Daphne, a spring plant that smells like candied citrus rind and jasmine, is the inspiration for Wit, the latest creation by Parfums DelRae. Parfums DelRae is a niche fragrance brand based in San Francisco and Paris and comprised of nine fragrances known for their creativity, complexity, and high quality. I own two others: Début, a fresh, green lily-of-the- valley, and Coup de Foudre, an effervescent rose.
Wit by perfumer Yann Vasnier, is easily my favorite release of 2014. I haven’t felt as excited about a floral perfume since L’Artisan Parfumeur introduced Séville à l’Aube in 2012. Although different in composition, they share the same lush, falling-into-a-pile-of-petals feeling. I wore Séville à l’Aube for a month straight after it came out, and I can easily imagine doing the same with Wit.
When I press my nose to my wrist and deeply inhale, I think of spring, romance, and my favorite heroine Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, of whom Mr. Darcy unflatteringly commented early in their relationship, “Her a beauty? I’d as soon call her mother a wit.” He, of course, changes his mind. I picture Elizabeth during her long walks about the English countryside, reading her letters from Darcy and from her aunt in private away from the prying eyes of her mother and sisters. Delrae Roth, also a great walker, was inspired during one such walk by the fragrance of the lovely spring-blooming Daphne plant and determined to create a perfume around it.
Wit starts out delicately green and zesty and dries down to an enveloping sweetness of amber and vanilla. Musk lends it a creamy, tender layer, but it doesn’t obscure the complex floral accord. The star of the show is the fragrant Daphne plant that smells of peach, citrus and sweet jasmine. From start to finish all we get is a cascade of spring blossoms, and it’s an exhilarating sensation. They smell of lemony jasmine and narcissus, with just a hint of spicy sweetness.
Although I see Wit as a classically feminine perfume, it might be an interesting choice for the right man. After all, who says that men can’t carry off flowers? Whoever selects it will discover that Wit is a great daytime perfume, especially perfect for the office or school environment, where low sillage fragrances are more appropriate. It’s unlikely to offend even the most perfume-phobic office mate, but it has plenty of character and has enough twists to keep you guessing what happens next.
Despite its subtle sillage, I find Wit to be very long lasting. When applied early in the morning, I can still smell it on my wrists at bedtime; the soft, creamy, floral drydown is practically a guarantee of sweet dreams.
Parfums DelRae Wit Eau de Parfum includes notes of lemon, mandarin orange, angelica, bay leaf, jasmine, narcissus, mimosa, ylang-ylang, amber, vanilla, and musk. Available at Luckyscent. 50 ml/$150