Woodcut by Ellen Covey for Olympic Orchids 2014


Post by Azar


Hello APJ,

Happy New Year – and I am ready for it! There have been too many changes in 2014. This time last year I was dealing with emotional trauma associated with the destruction of the small forest behind our home in Issaquah, WA, “Tree City USA”. The smell of sap and tree blood was almost toxic, the whole experience brutal. After the trees were ripped out and hauled away, a monstrosity of a house was erected not far from our lot line. In an effort to mitigate the view of our neighbors’ kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms we installed 150 feet of cedar fencing, several varieties of timber bamboo, 20 cedar saplings, prayer flags and a large polycarb greenhouse. It will be several years before the bamboo and cedars obscure the up-slope action, but eventually we hope that we will no longer be a part of our neighbors’ intimate daily lives. In the meantime we have been enjoying our greenhouse and looking for peaceful retreats away from the fishbowl that is our home.

Woodcut Olympic Orchids Azar Ferry 2014Photo Donated Azar

On December 29th Ellen Covey, her husband Michael Clune, Brad and I set out over the Puget Sound to visit Troy Meyers Orchid Conservatory near Poulsbo, WA. The conservatory, residence, greenhouse, shops and guesthouse are located on several acres of beautiful cedars, hemlocks and Douglas firs. When we arrived at our destination an all too familiar smell assaulted my nose…sawn wood and tree sap! Initially I was stunned, but when I took a closer look I could see that our host had very carefully and selectively cut a few trees in order to manage the forest, preserve the buildings and allow the solar panels to continue generating electricity. This well considered stewardship of the land was a far cry from what had happened behind our home in late 2013. Visiting Troy Meyers Orchid Conservatory, staying in the lovely guest cottage and seeing how Troy and his wife Phyllis managed their sustainable and self sufficient life style was the perfect and positive ending to a year dominated by the life, death and smell of trees.

Speaking of the smell of trees: 2014 also saw the launch of Ellen Covey’s new fragrance Woodcut.

Woodcut by Ellen Covey for Olympic Orchids 2014

Woodcut Olympic OrchidsPhoto Stolen Olympic Orchids

Woodcut was released late last year and has already made it to the Cafleurebon “Best of 2014” list. The name Woodcut describes the fragrance perfectly.

My first impression of Woodcut was of a bracing, outdoor cedar board scent associated with new fences and carpentry. For me this introduction lasted, at the most, five minutes. There was no gradual transition to the next phase but simply an immediate and sudden shift to a dense and heavy sap, recalling the brooding woodcuts of American artists Leonard Baskin and Edward Gorey. Within 10 minutes or so Woodcut shifted again and a completely different personality appeared. Sugar, caramel, and vanilla surrounded the resinous balsam and created a cozy and comforting perfume that lasted for many hours. Woodcut is perhaps the first fragrance I have experienced that manifests such distinctly different and delineated personalities. The bracing cedar, the dark sap and the caramelized resin do not evolve from one to another but simply change in an instant.

Giveaway lavanyasrecipesPhoto stolen lavanyasrecipes



This week we will have 2 Winners who will each get:
1 x 1ml sample of Woodcut by Olympic Orchids
2 x additional decants of “woody” fragrances from Azar’s collection
P&H to the world


Open to everyone in the world who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


Leave a comment about the new Woodcut fragrance or name your favorite tree or wood smell.

Extra Chance?
Tweet: Olympic Orchids Perfume GIVEAWAY http://wp.me/p3PURw-3vv  


Entries Close Thursday 8th January 2015 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by pulling names from a sunhat (maybe)
The winners will have till Sunday 11th January 2015 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

Azar xx

60 comments on “Woodcut by Ellen Covey for Olympic Orchids 2014

  1. Adelle hunt says:

    Hi! I follow via e-mail & really enjoyed your review. I would love the opportunity to try this one. My favourite ‘wood’ smell is rosewood.

    • Azar says:

      Thank you, Adelle!
      I really enjoy the smell of rosewood too. I have a little old bottle of essential oil but I understand the tree in “endangered” now and that quality oil from sustainable sources is hard to find. Do you have a good source for the oil? BTW I remember when piano cases were made entirely of the lumber variety of rosewood (not the same as the fragrant rosewood).
      Azar xx

  2. Jaybee says:

    Hi Azar! As an Aussie I would have to say eucalyptus is my favourite wood smell, but I also like the sound of this fragrance. A bit like Un Bois Vanille, which I’ve been wearing lately. I follow by email.

    • Azar says:

      Hi Jaybee,
      I like the smell of eucalyptus too. In the PNW I see various eucalyptus planted as ornamentals but if I want a whiff of the big trees I have to go to California (closer than Oz!). It sounds like you might enjoy Woodcut!
      Azar xx

  3. Jackie b says:

    Oh I feel your pain regarding the slaughter of your neighbouring trees, you can almost hear them scream.
    People here also like to build houses right up to the boundary…they call it low maintenance!

    I have a small bottle of fir balsam essential oil that has a wonderful resinous, jammy smell.
    Sandalwood is also another favourite woody scent.
    I follow by email.

    • Azar says:

      Hello Jackie b,
      Low maintenance? HA! The funny thing is the builders here had an acre to work with. I don’t believe in curtains so I hope the new residents are enjoying our geriatric physiques!
      Sandalwood is also a favorite of mine. I have a lovely sandalwood solid perfume made of S. spicatum oil and powdered wood in beeswax as well as some S. album and S. spicatum oil from Mt. Romance. Love them both. Which sandalwood do you prefer?
      Azar xx

      • Jackie b says:

        I love the Spicatum too. And there is a new extract called sandalite which is so smooth. From Heritage Oils Tasmania.
        Album is a bit out of range these days!

      • Azar says:

        Hi again Jackie b,
        Thank you for telling me about Heretage Oils Tasmania! I noticed they had S. lanceolatum oil. I have wondered about that one. I also wonder if they ship to the US? Couldn’t find if they did or not.
        Azar xx

      • Jackie b says:

        Sorry, could not reply below.
        I don’t know about postage to US but I can always be your mule!!
        If Portia would permit…

  4. Lyubov says:

    Happy New Year, Azar,
    may it be healthy and fragrantly blissful!
    Woodcut sounds right up my alley!
    My favorite tree is …the one I can climb on! The last one was a walnut tree. Well, as far as fragrance is concerned I must admit I love the cool smell of cedar needles, the mellow birch sap and the dusty vanillic residue of burnt pine chips. Moreover, I love the scent of my hometown in May and June, when the lime trees are in full bloom!
    I follow by email and on the FB page. Thanks for the chance!
    Lyubov recently posted…Tango CorteMy Profile

    • Azar says:

      Hi Lyubov,
      Happy New Year (and I really enjoyed your December 31st tango post)! The lindens in bloom sound divine! The last tree I climbed was a big old pear tree and yes, I think it was and still is my favorite tree. Thank you for your lovely comments and for joining the draw.
      Azar xx

  5. Kesbah says:

    Hello Azar,

    Australia’s huon pine is perhaps my favourite wood smell, and I wish it was used more in perfumes. Tommy Sooni 1 showed just how beautiful a note it can be, I think. (I follow by email.)

    • Azar says:

      Hello Kesbah,
      I heard of but did’t know much about the Huon pine. After reading your comment I looked it up. I was amazed to learn that some living specimens are 2000 years old! What a treasure. Can you describe the smell? You are so IN!
      Azar xx

      • Kesbah says:

        Hello again Azar,

        I wish I were writing to you from home because there’s lots of it there to smell. (The male has a hoard of it. He often uses it for building the decks of his model sailing ships.) It’s in my scent memory, but nevertheless I wish I had it at hand as I try to describe it to you.

        Huon pine has a unique aroma. A Gondwanaland tree, it smells nothing like radiata or other pines. If blind-folded to smell smell it, you may not even easily identify it as a wood.

        With a high eugenol content it’s extremely pungent when freshly cut, and it continues to exude its aroma for at least a year. After that you have to bring your nose closer to smell it. Freshly cut, it’s also very rich and very sweet, somewhat reminiscent perhaps of cinnamon – or better yet, cinnamon sugar. I’m thinking now of a good, warm doughnut, with its sugar and cinnamon outside, and hint of vanilla inside. Yet at the same time it’s slightly menthol-like. But not in a sharp, spiky way or medicinal way. (Nothing like eucalyptus or mint.) The overall effect is warm, oily, spicy and deep – yet also fresh and foresty! And it’s smooth. Very smooth. (“Suave”, as I believe noses say.) The male says it’s “pretty”. And it certainly is that too.

        Azar, it truly is amazing! I wish you could smell it. (I’m sure that the lumberyard you mentioned, the one in Seattle, has some. And if they do, I reckon they’d happily cut a little piece for you, so that you can REALLY smell it.)

        If you ever sample Eau de Tommi Sooni 1, the scent of huon pine is right up there in the top notes I think, along with the bay leaf. And it remains throughout that perfume’s evolution, even into the dry-down. The only other time I’ve found huon pine used so well was in a particular huon pine soap which, sadly, I can’t find for sale anywhere but at a wood carvers’ shop in Strahan, Tasmania, which is a town right on the edge of the Franklin River wilderness, where huon pines grow.

        Huon pins are protected, and every single plank and tiny off-cut that’s for sale in Australia and around the world has been reclaimed from the river, or from fallen forest timber. (It can float in water for centuries without rotting.) The small lumberyard that stockpiles the timbers for future sale and export is also at Strahan. And so unprepossessing do the old, weathered logs look that you could easily drive past, never imagining that inside that ancient (often 1,000 years old), grey timber is a golden wood with one of the most beautiful scents in existence.

        Oh my, I’ve written an essay here. I hope I haven’t banged on waaaaay too much for you Azar! In my previous post I deliberately kept it brief. But it’s clear that you love trees and greens and woody things, and I’ve tried my best to share with you a scent that’s possibly also unfamiliar to many Australians – which is the greatest shame, I think.

      • Azar says:

        Oh Kesbah! What a wonderful description. I am going to try to track some of this wood down as well as a sample of Eau de Tommi Sooni 1. Oudh move over! Huon sounds like a far more precious and equally gorgeous smelling wood. Wow!
        Azar xxx

  6. Kandice says:

    I used to live in Seattle, and every time I read your posts about the area I miss its beauty. My favorite wood scent is silver fir. I follow via email. I haven’t had the chance to try any scents by Olympic Orchids so I appreciate the opportunity. Thanks for the review.

    • Azar says:

      Hi Kandice,
      The sun is trying to break through the clouds and mist this morning. It really is quite beautiful here, even in the rain. You probably don’t miss the rain too much though – or do you? BTW Olympic Orchids has a great silver fir semi-gourmand fragrance that includes the scent of silver fir needles, fir balsam, dark chocolate and other lovely and woody things. Thank you for dropping by and joining the draw!
      Azar xx

      • Kandice says:

        I don’t miss the rain except for the beauty it creates :-). Which Olympic Orchids perfume contains silver fir? I’d definitely like to try that one. Thanks.

      • Azar says:

        Seattle Chocolate is the one with silver fir!

  7. australianperfumejunkies says:

    Heya Azar,
    DNEM but I love the smell of the lumberyard. all that lovely fresh sawn wood of all sorts. It gives me tingles of olfactory pleasure. Like the death of trees giving their last fragrant gasp before they become decking, cupboards or shelves. FABULOUS!
    Portia xx

    • Azar says:

      Hi Portia,
      There is a great place to shop for lumber here in Seattle. It is a lumber yard that carries wood from every part of the world in big planks and all sizes of boards. Closer to home, right down the street in Issaquah, we have a lumber yard the specializes in cedar. I enjoy these places as much the perfume counters at the department stores.
      Azar xx

  8. Erica Golding says:

    Hi! *waves* I follow APJ via email.
    Your description of the scent phases is fascinating, how the notes suddenly and sharply change. I’m very curious to see if this scent develops with the same abrupt shifting on my skin!
    My favorite scent right now with a woodsy heart is Sensei.

    • Azar says:

      Hi Erica,
      I was totally surprised by the abrupt shifts in Woodcut. We took a sample to a young friend in the hospital who loves scents. He got the same impressions too. Hmm! I have not tried Sensei but will make it a point to find a sample. Thank you so much for joining the draw!
      Azar xx

  9. einsof says:

    Hey Azar, thank you for the shout out! 😉

    I was blown away by Woodcut… so primal and refined… the Edwards Gorey reference took it to new levels!

    anyway, no need to enter me into the draw- but such a great review and cool to see Ellen!


    • Azar says:

      Hi einsof!
      It is me in the photo as well as my husband Brad (and the ferry). Sorry for the confusion. Ellen is much more elegant looking than I am!
      Yes, Woodcut is at once primal and refined. What a great description!
      Azar xx

  10. cookie queen says:

    Hi Azar!
    DNEM – I plan to sniff away with you “All things Ellen” in a few months. I love this review. Brilliant. xxx

  11. Robert Herrmann. says:

    Hi Azar,

    Writing from right up the road a bit (well…80 miles) on a dreary cold Lopez Island Day! Thanks for including a picture of you on the ferry to Poulsbo! Sometimes it’s hard to explain our “bus” service!
    I follow by email (Hi Portia!) and my favorite tree is the California scrub Oak, the tree of my childhood.

    • Azar says:

      Hello Robert,
      This past summer we took a road trip down the coast and crossed over to Forrestville, CA to visit friends. It is amazing to me how different the trees are from WA through OR and into CA. I so enjoy the CA scrub oaks as well as my favorite tree, the Monterey Cyprus (they just don’t grow well this far north). Thank you for joinng the draw and for your comments too!
      Azar xx

  12. Ellen Covey says:

    Einsof, nice to see you here. What a small world! Just to set the record straight, in case it was not clear, the photo is of Azar, not me!

    Portia, a sample of woodcut will be on its way to you soon along with a couple of other things.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I follow by email^^
    My favorite wood smell is birch <3
    Thanks for the draw!

    • Azar says:

      Hello Elizabeth,
      Thank you for joining the draw! Do you have a favorite fragrance that includes birch?
      Azar xx

      • Elizabeth says:

        Yes) Black by Comme des Garcons whith ‘sharp’ birch note and Luce by Meo Fusciuni whith delicate soft birch 🙂

  14. poodle says:

    I love the smell of cedar, pine, and fir. Does burning wood count? I love that too.
    I love your description of the perfume. I’m sure it’s lovely. I like a lot of Ellen’s fragrances. I think when I’m done with my self imposed spending freeze I may have to buy a bottle or two.
    How’s your feathered friend?

    • Azar says:

      Hey Poodle!
      I am trying the self imposed spending freeze thing too but so far have had only had partial success. Gomez, my feathered friend, is doing great. At this very moment he is scattering his food all over the place in typical pionus fashion. Are you in the draw?
      Azar xx

  15. Sun Mi says:

    Hi Azar! What a lovely photo! I dearly miss Washington and the photo doesn’t help! I am heading back to visit the parents in February though, so I will get my fix. 🙂 I have read a lot about this scent – it’s so interesting that the phases are so distinct. The drydown sounds absolutely lovely. I’ll have to see if there’s a brick and mortar store I can visit to smell more of the Olympic Orchids scents – they really seem wonderful. As for my favorite wood scents, I’m really not sure. I love the smell of cedar, but not necessarily in perfume. Cheers!
    Sun Mi recently posted…Frederick Malle – Bigarade Concentree (perfume review)My Profile

    • Azar says:

      Hi Sun Mi! I don’t know if there is a brick and mortar locally that stocks Olympic Orchids. I know that Tigerlily in SF carries the line. I will check with Ellen and let you know or you could contact her through the orchidscents.com or the olympicorchidsperfume.com websites. I hope the weather is nice for your visit! If our schedules match up and we both have time perhaps we could meet up at a local perfume destination and have a sniff or two.
      Azar xx

  16. Julie F says:

    I follow by email. My favorite wood smell is cypress. It smells like no other wood. My aunt’s house was paneled in it, so it reminds me of my childhood. Our house was paneled in magnolia, which didn’t have much of a distinct smell. I also love cedar, sandalwood, and all the Christmas firs, balsams, spruces. BTW, love Seattle Chocolate. Thanks for the draw.

    • Azar says:

      Hello Julie F!
      What lovely memories of your aunt’s home! I spent some of my childhood in Florida and your memories remind me that we had cypress panelling in of one the houses we lived in years and years ago. I wish I could remember the smell! In those days I was so focused on the outdoor scents, the ocean and the plants. Thank you for your wonderful comments and for joining the draw!
      Azar xx

  17. Nemo says:

    I follow by email, and your description of Woodcut sounds so interesting! I love the smell of cedar and dusty, old, polished wood (does that count?) I also like the smell of pine/fir very much, and I think Ellen does a wonderful job incorporating wood notes into her perfumes. Thank you for the draw!

    • Azar says:

      Hi Nemo and thank you for dropping by and joining this draw! Old polished wood is a great wood smell. I can imagine it right now. I especially like to use pine and fir fragrances in the summer time. They seem to help cool me down. I am such a wimp with heat. These days my ideal temperature range is between 64 to 76 F. I can’t believe I ever lived for years in hot locals!
      Azar xx

  18. FeralJasmine says:

    DNEM but had to say, what a lovely photo of you two! Nice to see your faces, and the ferry scene makes me miss Seattle. My husband and I used to vacation there a lot but haven’t gotten there the last couple of years.

    • Azar says:

      Hi FeralJasmine and thank you for stopping by and commenting! Seattle may look the same but over the past couple of years the traffic has become an absolute nightmare and I’m afraid it will only get worse. We are now consistently numbered in the top ten worst traffic cities in the US. You had better get out here again for a visit before the town comes to a complete standstill!
      Azar xx

  19. Roslyn says:

    Happy New Year, Azar! I love the smell of cedar, rosewood and sandalwood, and am really pleased that a sustainable plantation of Indian sandalwood is now available from Western Australia! Woodcut sounds amazing. I follow by email.

    • Azar says:

      Hi Rosyln,
      I hope your 2015 is the best year yet!
      Yes, it is wonderful that S. album is now being successfully cultivated in Australia! What a great model for preservation and sustainability. I learned so much about the planting and the process from Jordan River’s post in late 2013. I also won a little bottle of the first S. album oil which I treasure and use on special occasions. Thank you for entering this draw!
      Azar xx

  20. Fazal Cheema says:

    I follow you through email. My favorite wood smell is cedarwood. thanks so much for the draw. I am in the US

    • Azar says:

      Hello Fazal,
      Thank you for joining the draw! Cedarwood is a favorite of mine too. There are various true and not so true cedars. My favorite cedar is our western red cedar (Thuja plicata – a false cedar, really a cypress). We have several large ones growing on our property as well as a few of medium size and the 20 saplings that I planted near the lot line. They are beautiful trees and smell fabulous.
      Azar xx

  21. TinaG says:

    Hi Azar, this is a lovely article, thanks so much for sharing the story of a wonderful trip as well as the horror story of the tree deaths and the building near your home. I’m really sorry to hear that… So awful.

    I really enjoy Olympic Orchids so I’d like to enter this draw – Woodcut sounds great! I follow by email, Feedly, and Real Life. Gosh, a favourite wood smell…?? So many, but I think the thing which comes to mind right now is the thick heavy smell of eucalyptus oil on a hot summer day. The Blue Mountains, near Sydney, are so called because of the coloured haze of the eucalypt forests’ airborne oils, which create a shimmering blue/green haze when seen from a distance.

    Best wishes
    Tina xx

    • Azar says:

      Hi TinaG,
      What a beautiful image you create with your words! I can imagine the fragrant, shimmering, blue/green haze and the heavy smell that you describe so well. Thank you so much for this fabulous comment and for entering the draw too!
      Azar xx

  22. Lauren says:

    Hi Mom –

    Ahh that’s such a cute picture!! My favorite wood smell is the cedar hope chest Grandpa made me. I follow by email and Twitter – am I eligible? This fragrance sounds really interesting to me. I don’t think I have anything like it.


    • Azar says:

      Dear Lauren,

      I will tell your grandfather that your favorite wood smell is the cedar chest he made for you. I’m sure he will appreciate that a lot. Yes, Lauren, I believe you are eligible for this one as I did not solicit your comments or even remind you that I posted something! In any case I’m sure you will get to try Woodcut soon.

      Regarding the picture, Michael C. took the photo with my camera. I had accidentally set the camera on zoom and, for some reason, the fence and maybe even the ferry boat, are in better focus than our faces serving to blur the wrinkles! Yeah!

      Mommy Azar xx and X

  23. maggiecat says:

    I follow APJ by e-mail. Sandalwood and pine are my favorite wood scents!

    • Azar says:

      Hi maggiecat and thanks for joining this draw! I have walked through many pine forests in US west and south and used to enjoy squishing the sticky dripping pine sap between my fingers. Makes a big mess, though!
      Azar xx

  24. Bec says:

    I have seen a lot of people referencing Olympic Orchards recently but have never tried any out – this one sounds amazing!

    I love a cedar note in perfume! I am completely in love with Korrigan by Lubin at the moment which reminds me of burning wood.

    I follow via email! Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Azar says:

      Hi Bec!
      Olympic Orchids uses cedar notes and other woods in several of the fragrances. You might like more than one of them. Thank you for commenting and for joining the draw!
      Azar xx

  25. Trésor says:

    The area where I grew up is know for it’s lumber industry so the smell of sawn trees is something I am incredibly familiar with. As sad as the process makes me, I cannot deny that I do find the smell intoxicating. There is something incredibly melancholy about those aromas. I will most certainly give Woodcut a go. My favourite tree is easily a Pine or more specifically the resin or sticky “pitch” which oozes forth from their bark.

    • Azar says:

      Hi Tresor,
      Thank you for commenting and joining the draw! There IS something melancholy about the smell of sawn trees, but there is a promise there too. The scent can be refreshing, cooling, brooding, uplifting. Re pine: I used to love to play with pine pitch. I enjoyed the smell and the squishy feeling but my mother was less than happy about it. It is so hard to remove from hands, clothing and furniture without the help of a distillate of the same pine resin – turpentine!
      Azar xx

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