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, December 21, 2015


Where to start? I’ve been away from the blog for so long that it seems strange to be writing again, but now that the worst of the fall quarter is over I’ll have a couple of weeks to get back to normal before school starts back up in January.

As always happens at the winter solstice, my Laelia anceps and Laelia rubescens have shot up their ridiculously long spikes and are blooming. We’ve had an entire month of rain, including windstorms and one internet outage that took days to fix. It doesn’t get light until 8 in the morning, and it gets dark at 4 in the afternoon. The fact that the sky is covered by heavy clouds and near-constant rain doesn’t help. 

They have 6 feet of snow in the mountains. I look at the webcam at the local ski area every morning, but the thought of actually finding time to go skiing is laughable. I feel sorry for all of the orchid plants that are having to put up with this unpleasant season and mentally cheer them on, just hoping they hang in there and stay alive until February.

The good news is that I’ve finally managed to launch my new orchid fragrance, White Cattleya, and it’s been reviewed once already. Now I just have to find time to get it out to all of the other reviewers on my list. Maybe once the holiday shipping rush is over.

The fragrance that I made for Zoologist is set to launch at the end of December, and I understand that Bat is already available for pre-release sale in Niche Essence in Toronto. Victor Wong does an amazing job with packaging!

Here’s to a post-solstice lengthening of the days, much happiness and success to all, and my getting back to posting here on the blog.

[All photos are mine]


  1. I didn't realize that you composed Bat, that is so exciting! What a great way to end a very busy but fruitful year! Happy 2016!

    1. Marla, It's been fun working with Victor on Bat. It is indeed a good way to end a very busy year. Happy 2016 to you, too!

  2. Hi Ellen,

    I can't tell you how relieved I am that the days are longer. The sun is shining here too!

    I'm looking forward to trying White Cat and Bat. See you soon!


    1. Gail, it's always a relief to know that the days are starting to get longer. There's no sun here, but at least it's not pouring rain at the moment.