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.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


All last week I’ve been in a cleaning frenzy. I’m not usually a compulsive cleaner – in fact, I’m not a cleaner at all - but there’s something about starting the year off with a clean house that is both comforting and liberating. I cleaned things that hadn’t been cleaned for ages, like the floor of the pantry, under the bed, and the work table in the solarium. At school, I shredded old exams and repotted two of my three office plants, and I deleted thousands of old e-mails in all of my accounts. I took boxes of stuff to the local thrift store and threw out old odd-sized cardboard boxes that I’d been saving like a card-carrying hoarder. Now it’s time to get back to the blog.

Yesterday I picked the first of the second crop of brown turkey figs. There are so many that I’m freezing most of them to go with the earlier batch, and plan to make jam later this fall. The rains have come and swollen the figs to gigantic proportions. The tree has grown so tall that we can’t reach the fruit on the top branches even with a ladder, so the heavy, split figs from the top branches plop down on the ground, explode, and make a mess. I’ve never in my life done any canning, so jam-making will be a new adventure.

Today we’re going with Michael’s family to harvest hazelnuts from a farm up north, near Bellingham. We have wild hazelnut trees growing on our property, but not a single nut survives the squirrels, who eat them while they’re still green, or bury them and forget where they put them, creating more trees in the spring. I have no idea how a nut farm stays squirrel-free, but maybe I’ll find out.

The forest outside my window is still lush and green, but here and there I see signs of autumn color starting to tint the trees. I was just putting together a batch of Devil Scent discovery sets, and realized that Dev Two is the perfect fall scent, spicy and smoky. I think I’ll wear it for hazelnut hunting today. It’s strange how, after not smelling one of my perfumes for a while, I revisit it with a new nose and realize how much I really enjoy it.

All summer long I’ve been neglecting this blog, but I’m going to try to get back into a routine of posting. Today is the first day of the new effort!

[Today I took the lazy way out, so all images are from Wikimedia] 


  1. My family down in Louisanna make Fig Jam each year. It is great on hot homemade biscuits. I need to follow your example and do a serious Fall cleaning here. Starting each season with an orderly home is great. It just doesn't stay that way...LOL! Cardboard is never thrown out here, it is recycled into art or jewelry. Along with cereal boxes, newspapers, magazines...I love how each season also changes my nose towards different scents.

  2. Hazel, fig jam on biscuits sounds delicious! We have official cardboard recycling in the Seattle area, so I trust that it will continue its life somehow!