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.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Fall is officially here in the Pacific Northwest. Nights are cooler. Days are shorter. We’ve started having the usual monsoon-like rainstorms. The fall crocuses have bloomed and gone, the cyclamens are starting their winter display, and the second, huge crop of brown turkey figs is getting ripe, almost as big as apples and dripping with sugary juice. There’s not much fall color yet, but there are tinges of red and yellow on some trees.

Now that the dismal winter season is just around the corner (at least in my hemisphere), it’s time to have another contest of wits and luck. Every so often, once a year, maybe, I check the statistics on my blog to see which posts have the most views. I’m always surprised by the results. As the years accumulate, some posts come and go, while others become perennial favorites.

To win this contest, you have to guess which 5 blog posts are the all-time favorites, in rank order. Whoever comes closest will win a 30 ml spray bottle of any of the 10 Olympic Orchids fragrances that are available in the new retail packaging. That’s probably the most valuable prize I’ve ever given away!

This contest will also keep you busy until next week when I get back from the orchid show in Seaside, Oregon and can post again. Enter your guesses, and stay tuned for another exciting contest soon.
So have at it, folks. Here’s a hint: you may find some clues in the posts relevant to the last contest of this type. 

[My photos. There's no trickery in the top one - the figs really are that gigantic due to all the rain we've had.]


  1. 1.) Ambrette Seed, Okra, and Botanical Musk
    2.)Topiary Tree Torture
    3.) What's in a Lavender?

    I'm a horrible guesser, but the biggest loser is the one who doesn't try at all. I honestly think Gail will win this again....

    On the side note, while looking at all your files, it was very interesting to look at all the times gone by. I guess temperate seasons are just like life, beginning, climax, slowing down, end, and then it comes back 'round. I guess you can say tropical weather's more like everyday things.

    How's your cat by the way? And what are those beautiful ground flowers? As a tropical girl all her life, anything that's normal to temperate climates are "exotic" to me.

  2. Belle,

    The cat is doing great. He's become quite the hunter, catching rats and mice and proudly bringing them in to show us. The beautiful ground flowers are cyclamens. They're native to the Mediterranean area, are dormant during the summer dry season, and bloom in fall and winter. They grow from a corm that keeps getting bigger every year.

  3. Hi Ellen and Belle,

    I'm going to take some time out this week and look at all of the old posts. I really enjoy the reviews, rants and information. Every post is a great little read. I have won a lot of stuff lately and so will not enter the contest this time. No need to be greedy.

    This year I noticed that my neighbor has hardy cyclamens popping up in her lawn. She just mows them down! I think I will ask if I can have some.