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.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


The other day I was happily typing away on something not perfume-related when a little skype-type box suddenly popped up on my laptop screen (or maybe it was in my brain) and there was the mystery customer, Dev, sitting comfortably in a Danish apartment holding what I think was a glass of prosecco. The image was dark and a little blurry, or maybe he himself was a little blurry, but he seemed to be alone and unsupervised in Tarleisio’s house. I suspect he’d been raiding her wine storage area because he seemed a little jollier than I would have expected given his reputation.

Dev (preening himself): You know what? I’m about to become fashionable again. Trends may come and go, but they eventually always come back to me.

Me: Oh yeah? What makes you say that?

Dev: Andy Tauer said so on his blog. Fetish-related stuff is going to be totally in next year. Black leather, rubber, you know what I mean.

Me: Did it ever go out of style? Anyway, that’s good news because it means that our perfume will be right there, riding the crest of the next big wave like a runaway surfboard.

Dev: True, but only if you finish the perfume in time. I know how you like to drag your feet and sniff, and sniff, and mix, and mix, and you’re such a f***in’ perfectionist that you’re never satisfied, and then just when you think it’s done, you discover some (makes hand quotes, dropping cigarette ash all over the place) “promising new material” that you have to order, and it takes a while for it to come … at the rate you’re going it could take years.

Me: No, actually it’s going quite well. I already have a first draft of the base mixed up, and I’m sending you another big package of material samples on Monday.

Dev: Wouldn’t it be easier just to get a ready-made leather accord, add a little bit of ambroxan and a ready-made fruity base and be done with it? If you call it Leather Fetish and advertise it with some dark, suggestive images, it should be a best-seller, and you don’t have to go to all that work.

Me: Don’t tempt me, Dev. You know I don’t work that way. Besides, I have no advertising budget unless you can come up with one.

Dev: Don’t take offence. It was just a suggestion. Just trying to do my job. And regarding the budget …

Me: You want it to actually work on her, don’t you? She’s probably not very gullible when it comes to advertising.

Dev: I suppose you’re right. It’s got to be the smell, too, not just the concept, although concept usually seems to be 90% of it. Well, do what you have to do.
(He shrugs, gets up unsteadily, goes to the kitchen and refills his prosecco glass. He holds it up as if making a toast)
Here’s to the revival of the dark side! Just hurry up or we'll miss it and have to wait for the next cycle.

[Drunken Angel and Prosecco images adapted from Wikimedia]


  1. Doc Elly, you can't say I didn't warn you...He's not just the Devil, he's devious, too. Drank all my prosecco for starters...;-)

  2. This is great! Can't wait to see how the scent comes out!