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, October 12, 2010


Here’s the brief that Alyssum submitted, describing what she is looking for in a perfume. It’s nice to be able to start off with some specifics as to what the notes should be. She writes:

"Firstly, I’d just like to reiterate how excited I am to “invent” a perfume with you! I’ve been dreaming of doing this for years. I’ve worn perfume since I was about eight, when I would take home the leftover testers from my aunt’s boutique, but even after all this time I’ve never settled on a single scent.

I always seem to be caught between floral scents and the warmer incense-like notes. My family heats our home with a wood burning stove, and considering there are only three rooms with no doors, we all wind up smelling like a campfire. I always liked how that smell blended with my sweeter floral perfumes, but once winter ended my play with scents went with it. Now that I’m no longer living at home, I fear I’ll really miss having that seasonal comfort.

If it would be possible to achieve a mix of earthy wood smoke (cedar is my favorite) as a base note and a light floral fragrance as a top note, I would be in heaven. And, although I believe this would be hard to find, I’m particularly partial to the smell of an alyssum flower (not to mention I’ve never been able to really honor my namesake besides the occasional exclamation when I see them at the side of the road). If not, I’m also extremely fond of peonies, and I find the smell of vanilla to be quite comforting.

Regardless, I’m open to your expert opinion. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do or contribute; I’d love to learn more about this process. Thanks so much!"

The first step will be to have Alyssum sample some different materials for the smoky cedar base: smoke notes, different varieties of cedar, different varieties of frankincense, and other resinous materials to see which ones she likes best. I’ve been wanting to make an aromatic burning cedar accord for quite a while, actually ever since I smelled the incense-like smoke of burning cedar and juniper in Arizona many years ago, so this is going to be great fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment