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.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


We’re leaving for San Francisco on Friday in order to be there for the pre-Salon events on Saturday. I thought it might be fun to post a “before” account of my preparations for the Artisan Fragrance Salon, followed by an “after” account of what worked and what didn’t once the learning experience is over. For anyone in San Francisco interested in checking it out, it will be held on Sunday, July 6, from 11:00-5:00, at Gallery 4N5, 863 Mission Street. 

First of all, I opted to ship all of my product to the hotel where I’m staying rather than take it in a checked bag. I’m bringing full bottles in 5.5 ml, 15 ml, and 30 ml sizes. The small sprays include all of the fragrances in my line, as well as all of the DevilScents that I’m launching, and I expect to use one of each for a tester. The larger bottles include some that I had on hand and some of the most popular ones, but not everything. If I don’t have a particular fragrance, people can order it at the Salon, and I’ll ship it at no charge. I debated selling sample packs, but was swayed by Ayala Sender’s comment, in which she said something to the effect that she didn’t want to travel to another country just to sell samples. I think that makes a lot of sense, since samples are primarily for people who can’t try a fragrance in person, on the spot. After I shipped my big packages, I did decide that I should give free samples with purchase, so ended up shipping another package of just samples. The big question is how much stuff will be left to ship back after the Salon is over.

Along with the product, I shipped advertising cards, business cards, display stands, testing strips and baggies to put them in, and press packets with hard-copy press releases and samples.

In last-minute packing, following last weekend’s orchid show, I bought 3 yards of non-wrinkling, beautifully-draping crushed velvet to cover the table, changed out the signs in the acrylic stands that I use at orchid shows, cleaned up my table banner, tested my new Square device for scanning credit cards, and am now agonizing over the eternal female question of “What to wear?” 

I like to travel extra-light, so will probably stick to my usual repertoire of basic black easy-pack items, but there’s a part of me that thinks I should go all high fashion for this event. However, I hate schlepping around anything more than the basic necessities, so will probably forego the fashionable approach, given that the event is out of town. I can always rationalize the decision with the argument that I don’t want to upstage my creations and that launching the DevilScents requires the wearing of black.

Countdown is now 1 day to takeoff and 3 days to the event itself. I think the most exciting part of the whole experience is going to be actually meeting so many people I only know through the internet. 

[Sea-Tac and San Francisco Airport photos from Wikimedia; Gallery logo from their website]


  1. You sound totally prepared, Ellen. Have a great trip and a successful show. Gail

  2. Thanks, Gail. I know it's going to be an amazing experience.

  3. Have fun, success and best of luck. And lots of visitors.