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.

Monday, July 15, 2019


The winner of the last drawing is:


To claim your winnings, just send an e-mail with your full name and shipping address to olympicorchids at gmail dot com, or leave a message on our Facebook page

Yesterday I spent almost the entire day packing perfume to ship and supervising the new person who was packing orchid plants. Such a lot of busy work. I’m still trying to sell the orchid business, even as it grows, so that I can spend more time with the perfume and other creative activities. 

In the evening our neighbor invited us over to sit on her back deck and drink a bottle of prosecco. We made a fire in her clay chimenea using wood scraps picked up in the woods. The high point was when we burned parts of an old, decommissioned bird feeder that was so dry that the flames leaped up immediately, crackled, popped, and sent up showers of sparks. The fire eventually settled into a red glow that just took the chill off the night air. We watched the stars come out, and the moon come up. Everything was perfectly quiet. It was like sitting around a campfire, and about as relaxing as it gets. 

There’s something magical about watching a controlled open fire. It invites contemplation, clears the brain, and brings people together in a friendly way. The smell of the wood smoke is part of the magic. 

To enter this week’s drawing, leave any sort of comment about fire. The prize will be at least 100g of perfume samples. 

[Photos of chimenea fire and rising moon are from Wikimedia. We had no devices of any kind with us last night. Moon and campfire painting by Albert Bierstadt, 19th century.] 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019


Finally, I’ve done the drawing, and the winner is 


To collect your goodies, just send your full name and shipping address to olympicorchids at gmail dot com or leave a message on our Facebook page. Facebook has been having some issues, so e-mail is probably more reliable. 

I was recently reading an article on the US obsession with air conditioning, which pointed out the obvious fact that running all those air conditioners to keep people refrigerated is a significant contributor to global warming, which would ultimately lead to a need for more air conditioning. What should be even more alarming, also pointed out in passing in the article, is that all of the server farms that store our data rely on air conditioning to dissipate the enormous amounts of heat generated by the servers. If the air conditioning should fail, the servers will go down, and who knows what will be lost. Any operations that depend on the server farms will come to a screeching halt. 

I’ve always had my doubts about keeping anything I valued on the “cloud”, so I have jpeg files of all my photos and mp3 files of my music library on my laptop, backed up on an external hard drive. All of my documents are backed up as well. 

It’s only a matter of time until some major server farm fails, either through hacking or through natural causes like a natural disaster and/or power failure. Luddite and jack-of-all-trades that I am, it should not affect me all that much. 

The next drawing will be for a massive haul of samples of all sorts, probably at least 200 g for US shipping, but 100 g international. To enter, just leave a comment about air conditioning, server farms, or how you back up your important data. 

[Fuschia photo is mine, freezing baby and server farm are from an internet search.]