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, August 19, 2016


We returned to Seattle from the Bahamas last weekend, but it’s taken me until now to get around to actually downloading my photos and starting back with the blog posts. Both of my assistants have been away, one on vacation herself, and one out of town dealing with family issues. That means that I’ve been packing and shipping furiously on my own, and am just now getting caught up.

I thought it would be fun to kick off this new cycle of blogging with a list of a few things I learned while I was on vacation.

1. I really enjoy being in a tropical place. I like the heat and humidity. It’s liberating not to have to worry about dressing in layers or carrying a jacket around all the time, although it seems that some places in the Bahamas have adopted the US custom of using air conditioning to freeze their clientele. Fortunately, most have outdoor seating areas for those who didn’t bring a down jacket. If it’s 95 degrees outside, I can see cooling it down to 85 or even 80, but not 55! I will never understand why so many people seem to think they need to spend their lives refrigerated. I don’t think it will make them last longer. People are not picked vegetables.

2. I can drink coffee without sugar! I discovered this when I made coffee the first day and found that there was no sugar in the sugar bowl or anywhere else in the place. After a couple of days, it was OK.

3. I can run on a treadmill! I had been planning to run on the beach, but the beach was miles away and fairly inaccessible. I had forgotten to bring my running shoes, and it really wasn’t a good idea to run barefoot on roads with no sidewalk, possibly stepping on all manner of unpleasant things. There was a community workout room nearby with a treadmill, so I tried running barefoot on that. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected, and I got a good workout in every day I was there, ending up running two 5Ks at target race pace on the last 2 days. That’s much better than I can do at home, but it has inspired me to join the local community recreation center so that I can use their equipment a couple of times a week and probably more when the weather gets cold and stormy and the days ridiculously short in winter.

4. I can go for almost 2 weeks without obsessively checking my e-mail, texts, and news reports throughout the day. I got by with just checking my business e-mail once a day on my phone (when the wi-fi was working) and dealing with any pressing issues. Since I’ve been back, I’ve fallen into old habits, but have resolved to cut down on the number of times I check everything. It’s amazing what a time sink it is.

Stay tuned for the regular features to return, as well as the usual random things that I write about. 

[All photos are mine. Another thing I learned is that I can take decent photos with my phone and don't need to bring a camera when I travel.]

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ellen,
    I don't know why, but somehow I missed this post. Perhaps I wasn't checking my e-mails? :) Your vacation sounds fabulous. I really like the idea of being totally incommunicado. I try to be like that at home but it doesn't always work out so well...