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.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Grades are all calculated, book proofs have been returned, I’m more or less caught up on shipping, and the temperature is staying above freezing, so life is good.

This week’s big push is to get the winter 2014 Scents of the Season sets ready to ship and get ready for a holiday pop-up shop, the Little Green House in Ballard, where we’ll be vendors. Our dates there are Friday, 19 December through Sunday, 21 December. Hours are 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM, so if you’re in the Seattle area, please stop by and say hello!

I will be using this occasion to launch the wood fence fragrance that I’ve been talking about for so long. The main obstacle holding up its release was the fact that I was sitting on the fence (no pun intended, of course!) about what to call it. I’d seen everyone’s suggestions, each with its merits, but none of them felt completely right. Last week I finally decided to call it “Woodcut”. No one else uses the name for a perfume or other fragrance product, and it really conveys the spirit of what I’m trying to do with the scent. Here’s the description that I wrote to go with it:

“Strong lines and delicate tracery combine to tell an archetypal tale of man’s rape of the earth. Woodcut conjures up dark images of ancient trees inhabited by spirits from a time when the earth was new, the flowing sap of felled trees, and the burnt sugar of the trees’ blood when it is heated by the saws of lumbermen and builders. The inspiration for this fragrance came from passing by a building site where old trees had been newly cut for a development and lumber was being sawed for a fence. The scent of cut wood was intoxicatingly beautiful and primitive, like a fleeting glimpse of the invisible essence of life spilled carelessly on the ground and burned as an offering to human greed.”

It just occurred to me that December is the perfect time to launch Woodcut as millions of trees are cut to be sold as Christmas-trees. I don't know which is worse, cutting real trees grown for the purpose or using plastic "trees" made in China. Probably the latter. 

Woodcut will officially go on sale this Friday, 19 December, and I’ll be promoting it at the Little Green House Pop-up Shop. I’ll also do a sneak preview of another new one, Mardi Gras, scheduled for release in February 2015. One other local perfumer will be launching her new line, Parfum Magnet,  at the Little Green House on Friday night, so there will be lots of first-sniff-ever fragrances. We’ll have a big perfume bash on Friday night, so that would be the ideal time to come. However, Saturday and Sunday would be good, too!

Now, off to prepare the winter discovery sets and all of the stuff for the holiday event. 

[For those in Seattle, the address of the Little Green House is 5341 Ballard Avenue NW, Seattle, WA  98107. Old woodcut images and Christmas tree photo from Wikimedia; Little Green House photo from their event website.] 


  1. Congrats for your new creations. I'm really into wood fragrances, so wish I would be there :/

  2. Farbod, I hope I can get a sample of Woodcut to you!

  3. I really appreciate it. Sadly, the distance and frontiers makes it a bit difficult.