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, January 1, 2015

HAPPY 2015!

First of all, a big thank-you to everyone who has read the blog over the past year despite my erratic schedule of postings. Thanks to everyone who has helped support my work as a perfumer. Best wishes to all for a healthy, happy, productive, and successful new year that brings you whatever you most desire.

One of my traditions here is doing a post that looks back on the past year and forward to the next. It’s trite, I know, but it always seems like a good idea anyway. For the sake of the readers, I’ll go light on my “other lives” and focus on the perfume-related track.

The past year saw the launch of two new floral scents, African Orchid, a tropical white-flower scent based on the fragrance of an angrecoid orchid, and Sakura, a light cherry-blossom soliflore. It was also the year of Peace-Love-Perfume, with the release of three commemorative scents for the Facebook group headed by Carlos Powell. Just under the wire in December came Woodcut, which I’d been working on for a long time, ever since the day when I passed by the construction site with the newly built fence. I agonized for a long time about what to call it, but when the right name finally came to mind, the rest was easy.

I traveled a lot, participating in the San Francisco Fragrance Salon, FRAGments in Los Angeles, several out-of-town orchid (plant) shows, and my first-ever holiday pop-up shop. I’m getting much better at organizing for these events, I keep more stock on the shelves now so I don’t (usually) run out, and I’m getting better at handling increased production. It’s been a good year all around, with Blackbird a finalist for the Art & Olfaction Awards, and Woodcut named one of Cafleurebon’s “Best of 2014”.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because “resolution” sounds so rigid and final, as if it’s a rule to live by. Instead, I set goals, which may shift one way or another as I approach them. My goals for 2015 are to:

1. Improve my websites with up-to-date photos and descriptions, addition of some new products, and more frequent routine maintenance.

2. Never announce new products in my newsletter until they’re listed for sale on the website. More than once I’ve been guilty of writing about items before they are listed, so that people are disappointed when they go to the website looking for them and they're not there. This goal goes hand-in-hand with No. 1, and also involves better newsletter management.

3. Take a critical look at my line and figure out which fragrances to discontinue and which to keep. Because there is constant pressure to come up with new releases and I can only handle so many (I am not  BPAL or Montale and do not want to be!) I need to figure out which are the perennials and which are the annuals in my garden of scents. An upcoming post will deal with this question and solicit suggestions and nominations for permanent status and elimination.

4. Try to simplify, organize, and cut down on distractions. I still spend a lot of time looking for fragrance materials that are stored in a disorganized way, compulsively checking e-mail and Facebook, and other unproductive behaviors.

5. Try to post something here at least once a week. It’s not that hard, I just have to make the time and maybe enlist the help of more guest writers.

6. Do some marketing. I’m fully aware that this is my weakest point in running the perfume business. The goal for 2105 is to start sending samples to bloggers and other potentially interested parties, and add a few more wholesale accounts.

That’s enough to start with. If I make any progress toward these goals, 2015 will be a very good year!

[Janus, detective, and stage hook images adapted from Wikimedia.  Orchid photo is mine.]

1 comment:

  1. I wish you an happy new year Ellen. I hope it brings you lots of success and joy in all your projects. I feel a little bit guilty to make you work even more on an additional project, I hope you will have time to rest sometimes.