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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


I have no idea what happened to summer. As soon as school was out, we had major construction projects going on. Then in July we went to the Big Island of Hawaii for a much-needed vacation in the vog, and then spent several weeks at home while the sky and air was filled with wildfire smoke, trying to downsize my huge collection of cacti and succulents so that I don’t have to figure out where to put them all when the weather gets cold. On top of it, there was our summer sale, with frenzied packing and shipping for a month. Now I’m one week back into teaching the intensive 4-week course that I do each year. So much for summer. 

As I type this, I see that the leaves on the maple tree outside my window are turning yellow. I don’t know if it is because the weather was warmer and drier than usual (I don’t think so), or whether it is an effect of the smoke. This tree normally doesn’t lose its leaves until the middle of November, so I don’t know what’s going on with it. 

Yesterday was the first mostly smoke-free day we’ve had, and it was good to see blue sky. This morning it looks like the smoke may be coming back. Smoke in summer seems to be the new normal. 

I’ve been trying to upgrade my perfume studio with new shelving and storage for bottles, stock, and labels. It’s an ongoing process. To celebrate the fact that I now have storage space with easy access to printed bottles, I’m offering a huge end of summer giveaway. Leave any sort of comment about your summer or anything else that strikes your fancy, and be entered in a drawing for 100 g of perfume samples along with other random things including creams and lotions, facial cleansers, cosmetics, and who knows what else. 

[Photos are mine, taken on the Big Island]