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.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Wherever we went in Ireland, everything seemed washed clean by the ubiquitous low clouds and rain. There were sun breaks, and when those occurred the sky was as clear and blue as anywhere, but it never really warmed up. Most telling was Michael’s comment one day that “it would be nice to come back here in the summer”. I had to point out to him that it was summer.

After a surreal return flight that took a total of about 20 hours because of British Airways re-booking our flight on an itinerary that involved an excruciatingly long layover in Heathrow, it was with some relief that I was able to shed the multiple layers of clothing that I’d been wearing and enjoy what’s left of our summer. There’s not a cloud in the sky, but it’s not the bright blue sky that I was expecting.

Since we’ve been back, the sky has been an ugly yellow-brown color due to the big wildfires that are burning east of here. Yesterday the map showed at least a dozen fires, and today there are more. When I go outside this morning, there’s a strong smell of smoke, the intensity of which has increased since last night.  Houses and buildings have burned, and several firefighters have died.

It’s not unusual to have wildfires in the late summer, but the magnitude of the fires this year is unusual due to the drought. The new smell of summer in Seattle seems to be smoke.

[Photos from various news sources. I would take some photos, but can’t download them from my camera or phone until my laptop undergoes some more treatments for what ails it.]


  1. Fortunately there's no wildfire here in Karaj. But dust pollution is discernibly increasing these years.

  2. Farbod, Today (29 August) we're having a winter storm of the type we normally get in November-January, with wind and rain. The rain is welcome after the drought, but definitely not normal. The eastern part of the state is apparently having dust storms to go with the fires that are still burning. People don't seem to care that the environment is progressively more damaged with every new development project. Each one individually may have a tiny impact, but put them together and the effect is huge.