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.

Thursday, December 24, 2020


Where to start? A lot of this fall was taken up with adapting a large class to strictly online format. That’s over, but I’ve got to do it again for another class in January. 

Anxiety about the elections, and now the insane aftermath of the elections, has occupied a lot of mental space for me and everyone I know. If n politics this year were a satire, it would be too far-fetched to work effectively. I just hope we can get through the next month without a major crisis of some kind. 


Apparently the covid epidemic has greatly increased online shopping, because we’ve had unprecedented numbers of orders for both orchid plants and perfumes. I ran out of boxes for the 100 ml size bottles, and it took over a month for the new batch of boxes to arrive, so shipping of many orders was delayed and I’m still dealing with the backlog. We are running out of small sample vials, and can’t get the usual ones because they’re all being used for covid vaccine. 

The solstice is over, so the days will at least start getting longer, if not warmer. Crocuses and daffodils are starting to come up, and the hellebores are in bud. On Monday we had torrential rain, then on Tuesday it snowed. The Pacific Northwest is the only place I know of where it can snow – and the snow can stick – when the temperature is well above freezing. On Wednesday I finally had to bring inside all of the orchids, tender succulents, and other tropical plants that had been having such a good time outside. Today I’m planting the last of the bulbs that I ordered when they were on sale, hoping that the squirrels and moles don’t eat them all. 


I’ve been going through all of my perfumes, eliminating anything that I don't think I need to keep. For that reason, I’m offering a series of big giveaways to all US readers. The items in the giveaways include small samples, larger samples, decants, mini bottles, and a few full-sized bottles. To enter, just leave a comment about your fall. To make up for lost time, up to 5 readers will be winners of this drawing. 

[Photos are mine]