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

LIVING IN A SOCIETY ON HOLD AND A BIG GIVEAWAY


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.]

32 comments:

  1. Like you, I’m trying to make the most of my “free” time by getting started with some gardening, as well as by continuing to run. All of my spring races I’d been training for have been cancelled now, which leaves a strange void, but with all the stress in our lives right now I find that continuing my normal routines helps me a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Claire, you're right that continuing some normal routines is good, as is establishing new ones. You're entered in the drawing.

      Delete
  2. wvsinda247@aol.comMarch 24, 2020 at 1:40 PM

    I work at an essential business so I am working, going to the grocery store as needed and staying home with my pets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wvsinda247, the pets probably wonder why we are always at home, or home more than usual in your case. You're entered in the drawing.

      Delete
  3. Organising the work with my colleagues on Teams but in the same time falling in a sofa potato state not without a kind of guilty pleasure. To help the society by staying home, using a lot of perfume to feel less anxious and watching the world at the edge of the precipice.
    ☺ I'm very curious about your new creations !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frederic, I agree that this is an opportunity to engage in guilty pleasures without the guilt. Watching the world at the edge of the precipice - maybe that's a theme for a new perfume! You're entered in the drawing.

      Delete
  4. I am taking care of my sister's toddler while she is working around the clock to stop the spread in our community (she is managing our local cases including monitoring patients plus giving them lots of emotional support because of ignorant members of community spreading rumours and blaming those infected). We are taking walks, playing and baking with Nana! Stay smart and be wise everyone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're the same as Anonymous, above. You're entered in the drawing once.

      Delete
    2. I will delete the redundant Anonymous comment.

      Delete
    3. Yes, sorry! I entered it again because i thought it was not valid when it was labelled 'Anonymous'

      Delete
  5. I’ve been working from home while my parents and I try to manage three young kids out of school. Thank goodness for long walks in the woods with grandpa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dubaiscents, long walks in the woods are a great getaway. You're entered in the drawing.

      Delete
  6. Savannah- savvylee17@yahoo.comMarch 25, 2020 at 4:55 AM

    I took off work through the end of March to self-isolate at home. I would like to do some cleaning, organizing, baking, and start practicing yoga again. Thank you for the opportunity and stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Savannah, sounds like a good plan! You're entered in the drawing.

      Delete
  7. I'm still working for now. When that changes I'll be spending lots of time on projects around the house. I'm kind of looking forward to it. I'm trying not to obsess about the situation in order to remain sane.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown, not obsessing is a good strategy. You're entered in the drawing.

      Delete
  8. Ive been working from home which is working out pretty well. The kids are also at home and trying not to fall too far behind with their schoolwork. My husband is a medical professional at the local hospital and considered an essential employee. I'm trying not to be too anxious for him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne, medical professionals have it the worst! I wish your husband, you, and all your family the best. You're entered in the drawing.

      Delete
  9. I am retired and home with my husband who is a medical professor, like you. I have been on your site wondering if u are selling any products. I have been thinking about blackbird and how I love it. Glad to know you are well. He is still working and gearing energy into this virus. Enough minds I think can help. All through Zoom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Audrey, we are still selling and shipping. For some reason Blackbird has been insanely popular recently. It does have a cheerful vibe. Best wishes to you and your husband. You're entered in the drawing.

      Delete
  10. I have been researching new fragrance houses that are new to me. I found yours after searching for perfumes that have my favorite notes, incenses and resins. I read a review on Kyphi and started looking at your site and now i'm buying a sampler package. All of your fragrances sound very well thought out and crafted. I'm excited to smell your creations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark, thank you for trying some of my creations! You are entered in the drawing.

      Delete
  11. I am spending my time lately, learning about permaculture, starting seedlings indoors, cooking broth all day, and researching plants and the various ways to work with them. I have long been yearning to learn how to distill my own scents, perhaps thats what i can tackle next, now that I dont have any work! Ended up on your site via an old post about smoke notes, thanks for the helpful information : )

    Stay safe and well

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Ellen, your amazing perfumes popped into my mind again so I’m placing another order tonight!

    I’m dealing with this time in lockdown (here in Australia) painting and reading and catching up on some design work. Life isn’t too different for me to be honest, I just miss my people x stay well!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Ellen, thanks for your generosity. I'm cooking, cleaning, caregiving and trying not to complain too much. Wishing the planet Peace and Joy! ♡♡☆♡♡

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello Ellen from Italy,
    i love your perfumes, the last (i bought) is Mardi' Gras...love love love so much...i have Rainforest too and i think i'll buy Ballets Rouge too (i'm not rich and i must wait now, cause with covid in italy there is not work and not money). The life in Italy with covid is very hard and difficult...i stay alone at home with my pets (2 rescued pitbull dogs), i'm single, your fabolous creation take a care me. I miss my freedom (but everyday i "wear" a parfum!) TIZIANA from Rome

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Ellen,

    I was browsing online through some orchid pics when I accidentally linked to your blog! I wanted to know more about orchids which have a citrus scent and it now shows that you mentioned something related to this. Thank you!

    Since you asked, Covid-19 has turned our lives around. And it can be tough for workers in health care like me and my wife. That's why I read up on gardening in my spare time. Orchids are a fascination because I grew up with our house surrounded by orchids on the ground, on stands, and up on tree branches!

    Lastly, I read that you are a perfumer. I'm wondering if you have anything like Diptyque's Philosykos. Somehow it reminds me of freshly-mown grass which I like very much!

    Best,
    Ken from Toronto

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Ellen,

    It's been a while since I tried your perfume samples (2015?). All of your perfumes are memorable and I really love Woodcut.

    I am a graduate student and have been busy with my research and writing during this covid-19 pandemic. To ease my stress, I grow plants in the garden and of course, sniffing perfumes. :)

    Please stay safe and healthy!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I enjoy reading this post and living vicariously though those around me who are finding time to unwind during the pandemic. I am a doctor and am absolutely drowning at work. Thankfully none of m staff has gotten sick yet but we are so insanely busy and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. Been making an effort to get outdoors more on the rare days I have off. Taken up biking. My garden is flourishing despite my neglect. The sunshine is keeping me going. Living for the wafts of tomato leaf and basil that stick to my sweaty skin after working outside. Eating too many watermelon popsicles (don't have to worry about bikini weather if pools aren't open!) Cataloging my perfume collection and leash training my cat.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Can we still enter the sample give-away drawing? I've been working as usual because part of the research we do in our lab is CoV-2 research. Other than that, busy with restoring wildlife habitat and cat(friendly) research in my spare time.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Many thanks to all of you who commented while I was taking some time out to deal with switching to online teaching and other things. Because I have so many samples to give away, I am offering a box of samples to everyone who commented here. If you are in the US, it will be a big box. If international, a small one. Just send your full name and shipping address to olympicorchids at gmail dot com.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I walk every day or every other day. I am lucky, I live far from the city and close to the forest. I walk in the woods alone, so safe. My business is on the Internet, so I only go to the city once a week to the post office and buy groceries.

    ReplyDelete