Welcome to JORUM JOURNAL ISSUE 16
JORUM JOURNAL is a monthly glimpse behind the scenes at independent Scottish perfumers Jorum Studio. Find out what’s inspiring us, what’s motivating us, what we’re celebrating – the thoughts and stories behind our unique fragrances.
MAY at Jorum Studio saw us delve deep into the inspiration and creative process behind our much-loved earthy green bergamot and grapefruit perfume Paradisi. We hope you've enjoyed our blog giving a deeper insight into the best-selling fragrance. If you haven't yet, you can find them below:
Paradisi: A Visual Journey
Scent Soundtracks: Paradisi
Anatomy of a Scent: Paradisi
A MOMENT WITH: AKVILE SU
Glasgow School of Art alumnus Akvile Su is a jeweller who epitomises the spirit of contemporary craft in Scotland and beyond, with her gender-neutral pieces created from recycled silver offering a forward-thinking approach to materiality and form. We chat about her creative process, about her recent exhibition in New York and the sensory experience of making and wearing jewellery.
From Bauhaus to Our House by Tom Wolfe
An insightful opinion piece on the state of modern architecture and general aesthetics.
Nearly Eternal by Norbert Schooner and Steve Nakamura
Some of the best and most striking food photography we've seen – straddling the line between reality and fiction. Pure sensory delight.
The Book of Symbols – TASCHEN
A wondrous collection of archetypal symbols from throughout history and the world.
MATERIAL FOCUS: BERGAMOT OIL
We touched upon the humble bergamot oil in our recent Anatomy of a Scent: Paradisi. There are a few types of bergamot extract – however we won’t get into them all, as we'd be here all day!
The Citrus Bergamia plant is thought to be a hybrid of the bitter orange tree and the lemon tree. Interestingly, bergamot trees are grafted onto bitter orange tree rootstocks. Most of the world's bergamot harvest, cultivation and extraction happens in Calabria, Italy – a perfect location for growing the plant with beautiful warm days and cooling coastal winds from the Ionic sea.
The bergamot fruit resembles a large orange with a tough green/yellow peel. The fruit is usually harvested by hand so as to avoid bruising the peel and losing some precious oil. Bergamot essential oil is obtained from the peel of the fruit when it is nearly ripe, and may possess a dark green to pale yellow hue.
Bergamot extracts are produced by cold expression. Cold pressed (or whole) oil contains a level of furocoumarins that can become phototoxic and sensitising. This whole extract is drastically limited in its use within a fragrance or cosmetic product. Furocoumarin-free (or reduced) extracts can be used in perfume much more freely. This material is produced by further processing via distillation under vacuum, reducing the pesky furocoumarins as a result! The profile is marginally altered in the process and in our opinion the quality of the aroma is slightly reduced – thankfully however, the richness can be reintroduced with some skill and the end result is almost identical.
The aromatic profile of bergamot is nothing short of exhilarating. Characteristic citrus notes of orange, lemon, lime; more floral tones of petitgrain, neroli, orange flower and even subtle hints of dewy jasmine and fleeting osmanthus-like stone fruit aspects push-and-pull into focus. As the profile develops there is a detectable oakmoss soapiness with a weak woody back note. The initial sweet, citrus fruity character becomes almost wine and tobacco-like on development. Good grades of bergamot oil should show an oily herbaceous character too. Bergamot is an all-rounder that can be used in any perfumery application and is one of the most useful, prolific and versatile materials.
At Jorum Studio we tend to use the furocoumarin-reduced extract exclusively, and in many applications within our niche fragrance collection. Tiny traces in leather and woody structures to add lift and naturalness to the opening impression (as can be experienced with Medullary-ray), more significant quantities to freshen floral profiles (as found in Trimerous) and naturally, large primary amounts in citrus formulas such as Paradisi. Our neo-Chypre Elegy also contains large amounts, where the saturation and synergy provides both freshness and improved performance due to bergamot oil's unique fixative capabilities.
Bergamot oil always transports us to happy childhood memories. Our master perfumer Euan's grandfather loved bergamot – he would wear traditional colognes dominated by bergamot, he would plant bergamot trees and bergamot mint (mentha citrata, not to be confused with the citrus fruit), would treat his grandchildren to hard-boiled sweeties with bergamot extract in the summer (and aniseed or ginger ones in the winter) and he only cared for Earl Grey tea in the morning. For Euan, bergamot has been a constant companion for as long as he can remember.