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, May 13, 2015


The past two months have gone by like a tornado, leaving in their wake the usual post-tornado cleanup work to do. This includes sucking up all the twisted mobile home scraps of guilt about not posting here for months and getting back into the routine of blogging, tending my Facebook page, and updating my websites.

Flashing back to March, there was an out-of town orchid show, followed closely by the Artisan Fragrance Salon in San Francisco. Then there was a local orchid show, followed by another out-of town one in early April, followed by the Art and Olfaction Awards in LA the next weekend. The weekend I got back to Seattle started tech week for the theatre show that I was producing, which just finished its 3-week run on Sunday. To make matters worse, the student intern who usually helps me with orchid care and shipping was unable to work during much of this time.

You have to understand that because of my “day job” at the university, the prime time to work on orchids, perfumes and theatre is on the weekends, so being away or otherwise incapacitated on weekends puts a severe strain on my ability to take care of plants, fill orders, and work on production. I’m not complaining, mind you, because I acknowledge that I have a neurotic need to be constantly overbooked, and actually thrive on it. It’s just by way of explanation of why there were no blog posts between then and now.

I have to say that it has been an amazing and surreal couple of months, with some very successful shows of all types, Woodcut winning the Art and Olfaction Award, the business expanding, and just generally having fun.

It’s good to be back on the blog. This post is all about me, but I promise you that future posts will be more interesting!

[Tornado photo from Wikimedia; Golden Pear photo from the Art and Olfaction website; rat on running wheel from the website of a manufacturer of such equipment. ] 


  1. Hi Ellen,
    Welcome home and Congratulations!!! The Pear looks fabulous, so shiny and round and so very much deserved! I suppose I'm showing my ignorance, but why did A&O choose a pear?
    Azar (AKA Gail)

    1. Gail, I'm as ignorant as you about why they chose a pear. Anyway, I'm glad it wasn't a watermelon. I had enough grief at airport security with the pear!