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 12, 2011


This past weekend I didn’t post anything because I came down with a horrible cold, accompanied by full-blown flu symptoms. On Saturday I slept over 14 hours, and yesterday I slept about 20 hours. Today I’m almost recovered, ready to go in to work and give a final exam. When I’m sick, this is what my body tells me to do - just sleep till I’m better, and it seems to work wonders.

When I was a kid living in France, I remember hearing someone say that she was going to go do a cure de sommeil - a sleep cure. I don’t know exactly what it entailed, but I imagined that she just went to relaxing place far away from all distractions and slept to her heart’s content. An informal cure de sommeil is how I deal with migraines, flu, and anything else that hits me.

People in this society don’t get enough sleep. In the US, anyway, there’s a puritan idea that “early to rise” is somehow virtuous, and that work done before 10 AM is more valuable than the same work done later in the day. Many people have to be at work by 5 or 6 AM, and even school children have to be at school by 7. This time of year, they’re out in the cold and the dark waiting for the school bus. It seems cruel, especially for teenagers, who need to sleep in.

During the fall academic quarter, I was getting up at 7:00 every morning, which is not a good thing given that I typically don’t go to sleep until 1:00-2:00 AM. I need my 8 hours. Getting sick was probably a reaction to chronic sleep deprivation, allowing me to finally catch up a bit. I figure that if I’m able to sleep 20 hours at a stretch, my body must need it. Everybody needs a cure de sommeil from time to time. I highly recommend it! And don't wait to get sick.

[Sleeping Beauty painting by Henry Mynell Rheam, 1899]

1 comment:

  1. I so agree with your take on sleep deprivation. Teenagers are being tortured to facilitate bus schedules and sports. I attribute my own recent serious illness, at least in part, to years of trying to change my natural sleep cycle to fit the "early to bed-early to rise" model. All I managed to do was go to sleep very late (my normal cycle) only to get up very early.

    Since I can't take melatonin and won't take any of the prescription sleep potions I have tried all kinds of other products and regimens to get a good night's sleep. A couple of fragrances I find to be very relaxing are Annick Goutal "Songes" and Versace "Blonde" in layers. At first "Blonde" smelled odd on me (perhaps because I was a brunette) but I could feel it was calming. Also, about a month ago I got a new dog. He was a rescue but has the most wonderful, relaxed energy. The whole house feels so much better since he has been around. I also believe in naps, when I can fit one into my schedule.

    I'm glad you are sleeping your way to a speedy recovery! I hope you are at 100% very soon.