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, March 10, 2011


The saga of the mystery perfume continues. I just put together a set of samples to send to our dark and devious friend, who apparently is currently residing somewhere in Denmark. Here’s what he’s going to try, all diluted to perfume strength so that they can be tested on skin, his own or his (probably female) assistant’s:

* A whole bunch of different types of frankincense, including Boswellia carteri from Ethiopia, Boswellia carteri SCO2 extract, Boswellia serrata essential oil and SCO2 extract from India, Boswellia freereana from Somalia, Boswellia neglecta from Kenya, and Boswellia sacra from Oman. I may have forgotten something. It sounds a little overwhelming, so I hope he’s up to the task of sniffing all of these different variations on frankincense and making some decisions. I see he’s frantically sniffing his wrists in his latest photo, trying to make up his mind.

* Several variations on labdanum, including green labdanum absolute, a “clear” labdanum absolute, and two versions of cistus essential oil, which is distilled from the labdanum resin. I think I’ll do a post on labdanum sometime soon, since it’s one of my many “favorite” materials.

* A couple of synthetic ouds, thrown in just for fun.

* A mystery herbal extract that may or may not work. More shall be revealed on that one, should he decide to try to use it.

I think that’s all for now. Once I get feedback and decide on which frankincense and labdanum version(s) to use, that will probably determine the next step.


  1. Frankincense, labdanum, mystery...this sounds like so much fun! Looking forward to your post on labdanum.

  2. Loved your comment on the photo! ;) We can only hope his nose is...up for the challenge! And I apologize for not seeing this before...it's been a frantic week! Ah, but several varieties of frankincense and labdanum - and mystery herbs, too! Doc Elly - if you do this right you'll have a smash hit on your hands! ;) We shall stay tuned and on tenterhooks!