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, December 26, 2012


First off, here are the winners of the Holiday Giveaway:

50 ml atomizer bottle of Red Cattleya: TAFFY
Coming to My Senses by Alyssa Harad: LINDALOO

The names were chosen by my usual method of balled-up scraps of paper mixed thoroughly and drawn from a hat. No one really seemed to want the fragrance oils, so I’ll hang onto them for the time being. If you are a winner, please e-mail me with your full shipping information. You can just click on the e-mail link on my profile page. 

It’s been a busy December. As a consequence, it’s been about a month since I set foot in the greenhouse, so I was dreading what I’d find when I finally went in there. I half expected everything to be dehydrated, with a lot of dead plants, but I should have known better. Not only had nothing died, everything seemed to have grown, and some plants were even in bloom. There was a young Neofinetia plant that had decided to become beautifully variegated on its new growth, so that made me happy! What I have come to love about epiphytic orchids is their phenomenal survival skills. They can live happily without water for months, tolerate extremes of temperature as long as they don’t freeze much, go for years without fertilizer of any kind, and still stand up and bow and say “thank you” to their grower. The best thing of all is that the orchids survive even when the little ferns and oxalis that insist on appearing as weeds in their pots have shriveled and died, making it unnecessary for me to weed.

With the December holidays come all of the musings on the past year, including “best of the year” lists. I’m ecstatic to report that Olympic Orchids Ballets Rouges made Cafleurebon’s “Best of 2012” list, where it was awarded “Best Bang for the Buck”! I’m particularly happy about this award, because superb value for the money is one of the things I strive for in my business, and it couldn’t have been more fitting. Having spent a good bit of my life as a “starving academic/starving artist”, I have a lot of sympathy for those who want to enjoy nice things on a budget. Huge thanks to Michelyn Camen for her strong support of so many indie perfumers throughout the year!

Ballets Rouges was named one of the year’s top rose perfumes on The Alembicated Genie, where all of the perfumers who contributed to the Devilscent Project also received a lot of love. Much love goes right back to Sheila Eggenberger, the only blogger (as far as I know) who regularly writes mini-novels about perfumes that manage to be both entertaining and informative.

The year 2012 has been good, and more musings from my side will come in a new year’s post next week. For now, I’ll just say that I’m looking forward to being part of the amazing local and international perfume community in a very fragrant 2013!


  1. Thrilled to have won the Red Cattleya!! I always get noticed when I wear Lil, so I am looking forward to trying this beauty.

    Happy New Year, Doc Elly! So glad you received well-deserved recognition for Ballets Rouges!

    1. Thanks, Taffy. You're right that Lil will get you noticed! I was surprised to get so much recognition for Ballets Rouges, but am really happy about it. Your Red Cattleya will soon be on its way.

  2. Oh so happy! Just sent you an email with mailing details.
    It's great to see the recognition for Ballet Rouges and for your work at value for money.
    Have to agree that Lil is amazing -- it packs a gorgeous punch.

    All the best for the New Year!

    -- Lindaloo

  3. Lindaloo, I got your mailing details, and the book will soon be on its way.

    Best wishes for the New Year!