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, March 24, 2020


First of all, let me wish good health and financial stability to everyone who is being impacted by the coronavirus, wherever you are. I know that the pandemic has changed all of our lives in numerous ways, and that it is a constant process of adjustment. 

Ever since university classes stopped meeting in person and schools closed at the end of February, we in the Pacific Northwest have been going through increasingly stringent stages of isolation and suspension of public activity. Like everyone else, I’m in the strange situation of suddenly being freed of all outside obligations. I can do what I need to do from home, on my own time. It’s limiting, but it’s also freeing, and gives me some time to do things I would probably not have done otherwise. I’ve set up an online class for spring quarter, so we’ll see how that goes. I’ve purged my e-mail of over 100 thousand old messages, so it’s about as lean and mean as it can get. I’ve started running again after a long hiatus, so am going to get some outdoor exercise. I’ve weeded the entire front garden and started back on the battle of the blackberries, which take over everything if not controlled. I’ve been making perfume samples and filling bottles to get stock back up to where it should be. That’s not finished, but it will be before too long. I’m updating my websites and thinking about some new perfume releases. I’ve been cooking with the aim of emptying our pantry of old stuff over the next few weeks. I’ve been taking care of the orchids and shipping out orders to help keep people sane while they are shut in. Plants and perfumes are important for mental health during this time. 

This week I’m taking up blogging again, and this is the first post in a very long time. To kick it off, I am giving away a huge box of fragrance samples that have been in total quarantine for a months or years, so all you have to do is leave a comment about how you’re dealing with the coronavirus situation and you will be entered in the drawing. 

[Coronavirus image is from King County; other photos are mine.]