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.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Things are growing outside, not least of which is the black bamboo. The canes this year are thicker than I’ve ever seen them, which means the new ones are going to be even taller than old ones, which are already taller than the mature alder trees that grow next to them. Today there’s a huge one pushing its way through the asphalt of the driveway despite the supposedly bamboo-proof barrier that is buried 18 inches into the ground. The canes grow a foot a day, more on the rare days when there’s some sun.

Right now getting my business up and running is not progressing at as fast a rate as the bamboo. The response to my offer of a free goodie box was immediate and a little overwhelming. I got way more than 5 requests within the first day, and intend to fill them all. Of course, as luck would have it, last week was the time when everyone in the world ordered orchids, too, so I spent most of the weekend packing plants. In between the orchids and the work that I have to do for the “day job”, I’ve been putting together perfume sample packs and other items, but it’s going at a slow rate, partly because I’ve been waiting for some supplies that were very slow to arrive after I ordered them. To complicate matters even more, my brother-in-law is visiting for the Independence Day weekend, and he’s staying in the room that provides the only access to my perfume “lab”. He goes to bed early, so that cuts into my prime working time. The boxes will arrive, but later than I had hoped. The benefit of this exercise is that I’m finding out things I need to know before I start shipping real orders. Today I learned that the labels I had planned to use on the 2-ml vials don’t work well, so I’m going to have to redo those. Slowly it’s all coming together, and I look forward to the day when shipping fragrance products becomes as routine as shipping orchid plants.

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