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 21, 2016


I don’t even know how to begin this. I can’t remember when I last wrote a blog post. I think it was last summer sometime, and now it’s the winter solstice. First things first, here’s wishing you a happy lengthening of the days! I know I and the orchids are looking forward to gradually seeing more light over the next few months.

Fall quarter went by in a blur as I frantically tried to balance my life at the university with running two businesses. It’s been a continuous mad scramble to keep up with everything, so much so that I haven’t had time to release any new fragrances this past year, nor the time to update websites, keep up with making stock and ordering supplies, and all of the other things that I’m now trying to catch up on in between the demands of people who say, “oh, you have this nice long vacation, so let’s …. ”. I love socializing, don’t get me wrong, but it can quickly become a time sink. This is especially true when the first week of my “vacation” is spent cleaning up teaching and administrative stuff from fall quarter and the rest of the time is spent preparing for winter quarter.

I don’t want to make this a depressing post (the political scene notwithstanding), so want to observe that day before yesterday I looked out my work area window and saw a brightly colored full rainbow in the west, an unusual occurrence because they’re usually on the east side as rain showers move away.

Yesterday the sun was shining, temperatures were moderate for this time of year, and I made time to go on a run. Exercising always feels great. Then I finally planted the spring bulbs that have been sitting on our front porch since September. They were alive and well, with the crocuses sprouting significantly. I realized that this is a good time to plant bulbs because the old ones are starting to poke up through the ground and I can see where I need to fill in.

I’m working on my own (non-science) writing projects again, plays and blog posts, and I’m going to start working intensively on all of my new perfumes this week and next, which makes me extremely happy.

Look for a post here from time to time as we move forward into “winter”, which I see as the beginning of spring!

[All photos are adapted from webcam shots from our local ski area, which I hope to get to at least once this year]