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, July 26, 2017


First things first. The winner of the Bad Birds drawing is YUKI.
Please contact me with your complete shipping address at olympicorchids at gmail dot com or by PM on Facebook

The announcement of the latest random drawing winner was delayed due to my old car breaking down beyond repair and the scramble to find a replacement before I have to start commuting to the university again. One of these days, in the far distant future, we are supposed to have functional public transportation where we live (assuming all goes well), but for now I have to drive.

The outcome of the process was a nice “new” car, but the search for one and the bureaucratic paperwork associated with the sale took a lot of time. The whole transaction brought up a question that I’ve had for a long time. In addition to the cost of the car, the cost of the title transfer and registration paperwork, there was sales tax. I was not the first owner of the car. In fact, there had been two owners before me, each of whom presumably paid sales tax when they purchased it. This means that the state has collected tax on the same item three times.  Somehow the triple-dipping seems illogical, if not unethical. On a smaller scale, our local thrift store also charges sales tax on used items. Taxing of used clothing and household goods seems like the ultimate regressive tax on people who have minimal resources.

Now that the car problem is solved from a practical point of view, we will be taking off soon for a two-week vacation in Aruba. This will be the third year that we have actually taken a real vacation, going somewhere far away from home and spending an extended time without our laptops and phones. That’s not quite true – if I can get wi-fi, I check e-mail on my phone once a day and deal with anything urgent, but that’s it. I’m putting up notices on my websites saying that orders placed before 13 August will not ship right away, and giving a small discount to compensate for the delay, and have already set up my automatic “out of the office” messages to start at the end of the week. Needless to say, I won’t be posting here while I’m gone. 

Nevertheless, I will start a new contest, with the usual goodies – 100 grams of random perfume samples and a few miscellaneous larger fragrant items. To enter, just say what you think about charging sales tax on used items - justified or not?. The winner will be chosen by random drawing.

[Photos taken as is or adapted from Wikimedia] 


  1. I've always thought it was strange to charge sales tax on used items. Technically, it is a sale, so I can see where they are coming from, but like you say, a good number of people buying used things can hardly afford to be paying a tax. Of course, I don't think there should be a sales tax on food, either, and Idaho does *that*, so it seems that people who decide on what to tax aren't really thinking from a humane point of view.

  2. Laurie, we are fortunate not to have a tax on food - one of the most regressive of all taxes. The point on used items is that tax should be on the item, not the act of buying it. In taxing used items, the same one is taxed multiple times. You're in the drawing.

  3. It doesn't seem like taxing a used item that had already been taxed is fair. Then again taxes on consumption items tend to be regressive with poorer people paying more of their income on goods and services they need. And the rich get richer. Fortunately, we don't have a tax on food items either and I do a slight muttering under my breath whenever I travel to a state that has one and get charged.

  4. I'm an expat American from Oregon living in New Zealand. The tax system is quite regressive here. There is a %15 goods and services tax on all commercial transactions, including food.NZ is the only OECD nation that charges tax on all food items. :-(
    I have long wanted to try Olympic Orchids fragrances as I have read great things about them and have had a n almost lifelong fasciation wth orchids and grow quite a few. Cheers!

  5. Taxing used items is wrong on a fundamental level yet it seems to align perfectly with the greed-driven nature of our country. Profit is the name of the game. "The Man" needs to get paid as many times as possible and will charge whatever the market will bear . It's high time for some well needed changes, wouldn't you say?