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, March 12, 2012


I know everyone is anxious to see what the Devil Scent Project comes up with, but perfumes aren’t made overnight, especially when the perfumer has a day job and several others jobs besides and has been spending a lot of her free time, such as it is, reading Quantum Demonology. After I got back from my latest trip, I was busy packing and shipping orchid plants to places that had been too cold to ship to all winter, slogging through the usual end-of quarter marathon of work, and trying to get the momentum going on a new theatre production.

I’m not caught up yet, and never will be, but I did find time tonight to get back up in the lab and test the things I mixed up before I left town. I was surprised to find that they’re not half bad! Lil has mellowed over the past couple of weeks, and is starting to have the sharp edge and kewda-passionfruit note that I was going for. It still needs a lot more sharpening and tweaking, but I think it’ll be ready to send a prototype to Tarleisio soon.

The real surprise was Dev’s base that I mixed up before I left. It’s mellowed into a real fragrance that could almost stand on its own. Instead of hijacking the composition, the giant arborvitae has decided to cooperate and lend a unique note to the opening. As it dries down, the animalic notes show up, but are no longer stinky. The incense is there, too. I’m wearing it as I type and actually loving it!

Before trying the well-rested Dev 1, which I thought I would end up scrapping, I had started working on another Dev base (Dev 2). It contains four - count ‘em – 4 different variations on labdanum (You can never have too much labdanum!) Along with the labdanum fest these's immortelle absolute, balsams, and some animalic notes. I’m going to add some more things in a day or two when I have time and my nose is fresh.

I think I may make a Dev 3 variation that has a lot of leather in it. It will have labdanum too, of course, but in a duet with the leather, not as the lead. I may even get some samples shipped off to Tarleisio by the first of April.


  1. I've just discovered your blog and I'm also a gardener/tinkerer with plants. This project sounds like a helluva lot of fun (;-) and I'll keep up with the blog to see how it turns out.

  2. Hi Marla, I'm glad you discovered this blog! Gardening is always fun, and so is tinkering with plants, making tinctures and plant-based perfumes. As you can see the topics here are fairly eclectic, whatever strikes my fancy that day.