What is the Perfume Project?

This blog is a constantly evolving forum for thoughts on perfume, perfume-making, plants (especially orchids and flora of the Pacific Northwest) and life in general. It started out chronicling the adventures of Olympic Orchids Perfumes, established in July 2010, and has expanded in other directions. A big part of the blog is thinking about the ongoing process of learning and experimentation that leads to new perfumes, the exploration of perfumery materials, the theory and practice of perfume making, the challenges of marketing perfumes and other fragrance products, and random observations on philosophy and society. Spam comments will be marked as such and deleted; any comments that go beyond the boundaries of civil discourse will also be deleted. I am grateful to all of you, the readers, who contribute to the blog by commenting and making this a truly interactive perfume project.

Monday, June 7, 2010


This cute little orchid is blooming in my sunroom this week. It’s an amazingly tough plant that breaks out into clusters of frilly light yellow flowers every spring no matter how much I abuse it by failing to water it when I should and exposing it to light levels that would kill many other orchids. The most astounding thing about it is not its hardiness or its reliability in blooming, but its fragrance. These flowers start out smelling like the original Fendi for the first few days but end up smelling just like Chanel Egoiste for the rest of their life. No kidding. Egoiste, teak and all. There’s no way I could make a perfume to duplicate the scent of these flowers because Fendi and Chanel have already done it by accident, and done it almost perfectly. Now I have to wonder just what sorts of insects are attracted to Fendi and Egoiste.


  1. Awesome. I had no idea. I've grown cattleyas before, but never one that smelled like either egoiste or Fendi. I want one!

  2. Let's keep in touch and when my plant is big enough, I'll send you a division. I think the Egoiste scent is characteristic of this particular plant, and not necessarily all Cattleya luteola. It may also depend on growing conditions.

    There's a huge range of scents just among cattleyas. The variety never ceases to amaze me.