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 18, 2013


It’s been one hell of a fall quarter, but it’s finally over. Last weekend I took care of a huge backlog of old orders. Yesterday was the first day that I’ve been able to really relax at home, take care of some grading and other academic cleanup operations, and actually make a small amount of progress.

I’m making lots of ready-to-ship stock for the new shelves. This is going to make my life much easier. I also ordered new custom boxes for the little triangular 15 ml bottles, which I’m going to keep because I like the way they look. The new boxes will give them a much-needed makeover.  I was running out of the old brown cardboard boxes that didn't quite fit, and I either had to get more of them or change.  Not surprisingly, I decided to change. The new boxes will match the new 30 ml and 100 ml boxes, making for a unified look.

I’m also finally getting back into my routine of testing one or two perfumes every day, something that I didn’t feel like doing when I was constantly on the go from morning through night. When I experience perfume, it’s like a form of meditation. I like to be in a quiet, calm environment where I can just breathe it in, concentrate on it fully, think about it, and feel its intent and whatever memories or emotions it evokes. I always write down notes, a habit that persists from my pre-perfumer days when I used to post a lot of perfume reviews. These days the notes are mostly just for me, to remind me of what each perfume was like and help reduce the chances that I’ll inadvertently remake something that already exists.

I’m almost ready to start work on formulating a few new perfumes, but this week I’m just going to finish up a good part of the work that was neglected all fall. What a delight to start getting caught up!

[Upper graphic is my perfume bottle photo and the box manufacturer's proof. Lower photo is from Wikimedia.] 


  1. I'm so glad you have decided to keep the little 15ml bottles. They fit nicely in my hand and (when I'm not using them) don't take up much storage space. I really didn't mind the plain cardboard boxes or even the white ones, but the black boxes will definitely give a sleek, new presentation to the old triangular bottles.

  2. Gail,

    I love the look and feel of those little 15 ml bottles. The triangular labels are kind of a pain, but it's worth the trouble. With the new boxes that actually fit, they should be really nice.