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 20, 2014


When we left San Francisco Monday night we never expected to endure a long ordeal of flight cancellations and delays, but that’s what happened. We finally did manage to make it back to Seattle, totally exhausted and debilitated from eating the horrible airport food that the airlines provided to keep us quiet while we waited. The only consolation was that our plane didn’t disappear en route like the Malaysian one did, and Jasper the cat was glad to see us when we walked in the door.

The last few days have been a blur of unpacking boxes from the San Francisco salon, packing and shipping orders that had accumulated while I was gone, reading students’ papers from the quarter that just finished and turning in grades, taking care of badly dehydrated orchids, and dealing with whatever e-mails and other tasks were extremely urgent.

Today, at last, I got some closure. Grades are all turned in, so now I can focus on getting ready for next quarter, which begins a week from Monday. At the same time I’m reading grant applications for a meeting I’m going to in DC that week. In case you’re thinking something doesn’t add up, you’re right. I’m going to miss the first week of class, so I have to get everything ready for substitutes to come in and teach my classes.  I have a book manuscript due at the publisher’s next month. I have to make more perfume concentrates because I’m running out of stock on some things. My car is having issues, so I need to take it to the shop during “spring break” week. My to-do list goes on and on.

I can’t face any of this stuff right now, so blew it all off and treated myself to a short run outside in the sunny weather, a nice dinner and glass of wine, and a hot bath scented with the dregs left in small bottles that had contained rose de mai absolute and mehndi attar. They make a nice combination. Oh yeah, that reminds me. I need to order a bunch of perfume materials. Put that on the list, too. My crowning achievement of the evening is actually sitting down and writing something for the blog, even if it’s minimal.

I’m sure that tomorrow I’ll be in a more upbeat mood and can report a little on the San Francisco Salon and upcoming perfume events in Seattle.

[Gratuitous cat photo is our own Jasper. Photo of our San Francisco booth is by Shelley Waddington. Sandalwood and rose photos from Wikimedia] 


  1. Jasper's fuzzy tummy is so cute!

  2. Jasper pretty much personifies (catifies?) your title. You'd think he had to do all that work himself :) I look forward to hearing more about the Salon, and good luck with the formidable to-do list!

  3. Jasper works hard, no doubt about it. Eating mass quantities of cat food, sleeping, occasionally catching a mouse or rat, and generally "helping" and supervising everything really takes its toll. Yes, his furry tummy is cute. Add having his tummy scratched to his list of activities.