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 Artisan 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, and the theory and practice of perfume making. I no longer post reviews of the perfumes that I sample, unless specifically requested to do so. To counter my inherent grumpy tendencies, I try to write about something I appreciate at least once a week. Once in a while I get up on my soapbox and write about things that aren't at all related to perfumery. 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, April 16, 2012
THE ORCHID SHOW
This week I’ll try to get back to regular posting.
After a 4-day weekend of 12-hour days loading in, attending my vendor table, and loading out plants, I would say that the orchid show was a success. There were no major disasters on the way to or from the venue, I came home with far fewer plants than I brought in, and, most importantly, I had fun. The photo shows part of my vendor table.
I didn’t have a lot of time to go around sniffing all of the orchids on display, but the usual fragrant ones were there. The Sharry Babies were putting out their cocoa smell, the Cattleyas were producing a variety of scents ranging from citrus through sweetly fruity-floral, the Maxillaria tenuifolias were pumping out coconut suntan lotion scent, but the most impressive fragrance came from a Gongora whose name I should have written down but neglected to do so. It was a powerful mixture of indolic-camphorous sweet floral notes and creosote. There was considerable discussion about the scent, with about equal numbers loving and hating it. I was on the “love it” side, but I can see how it might be too much or too weird for some people. The Gongora is the long hanging spray of insect-shaped orange flowers in the foreground.
It’s too bad that there are no awards for orchids with the best fragrance. Orchid awards are typically based on the size, color and number of flowers, and on the plant having a "spotless", "perfect" appearance.
I am a research scientist based in the Seattle metropolitan area who has many other parallel lives. This blog is primarily about my experiences as a perfumer but will also weave in threads from my lives as an orchid grower, runner, theatre person, and lover of food, fashion, travel, and other good things in life.
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