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.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


This is a contest for those of you who grow orchids or have encountered fragrant orchids at some point, and for those of you who have only experienced the so-called “orchid” note in perfume. Just post a comment naming your favorite fragrant orchid (the real flower) and describing its scent, or your favorite perfume that contains an “orchid” note, describing its scent. At the end of June, I’ll pick the winning entry. If there are not enough entries by then, the contest will be extended until there is some sort of quorum. If you are the winner, you will receive a gift set containing a 15 ml bottle of Red Cattleya Eau de Parfum and a matching soap. Check out the post on Red Cattleya to learn about the orchid flower that inspired the scent, the making of the perfume, and what it smells like.

Here's a picture of a miniature orchid whose name identifies it as being fragrant, Schoenorchis fragrans. The whole plant only has about a 5 cm (2 inch) leaf span, so the flowers are tiny. My plant, shown in the photo taken a couple of years ago, is blooming right now, a little jewel hanging in the sun room where I grow some of my plants. Surprisingly, the fragrance is not the traditional "orchid" note, but rather a light, fresh, green, aquatic scent. Like so many other orchids, its scent could be interpreted to make a wonderful perfume.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting project you have got going. Good luck with it. :) My favorite orchid scent is definitely Neofinetia falcata! Hands down. I am not good at describing scents, but perhaps a bit of jasmine and coconut mixed with a drop of vanilla...

    Here is a photo of the lovely Neofinetia falcata ‘Shutenno’ cultivar blooming for me right now: http://www.orchidkarma.com/neofinetia-falcata-shutenno/