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JORUM JOURNAL is a monthly glimpse behind the scenes at independent 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.

JULY at Jorum Studio brought travels far and wide for the Jorum team – so in this special travel issue of Jorum Journal, we're revealing our highlights of Marrakech and Amsterdam from a scent-seeker's perspective.

This month we also took a closer look at Pony Boy, our seductive fresh rhubarb fragrance inspired by Scottish folklore, and Pentimento, our grown-up gourmand with rich tonka, rum and orchid notes. The perfect pair to accompany many Scottish summer thunderstorms! 


Travel Diary: Marrakech

Where we stayed: Annakhil.
What we saw: Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Le Jardin Marjorelle, Jemaa al-Fnaa, Menara Gardens.
What we smelled: orange blossom, hot tarmac, street food, ginger, cinnamon, menthol, nigella, argan.

The light in Marrakech couldn't be more different to Scottish light, diffused through cloud as it so often is. Blindingly bright, it creates harsh shadows that dance along the abundant geometric architectural detail, creating streets filled with graphic, high-contrast energy and the distinctive smell of hot stone and clay.

Man with a bike taking fresh produce to the market: Marrkech

A scene from inside the Medina: Marrakech
The souks are a delightful assault on the senses. The aroma of traditional teas containing ginger, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, mint, rose, cloves & more... there is nothing quite like it. Colour seems to sing here like nowhere else, and as lovers of colour we left feeling thoroughly inspired.
Souk inside the ancient medina in Marrkech
Dyes found at a souk in Marrakech's medina


Le Jardin Majorelle

A highlight of our trip was Le Le Jardin Majorelle. What a blue! Imagine a Klein painting covering an entire building, made even more surreal by crisp Moroccan light and shadow. 

On a blisteringly hot day, the garden is truly an oasis to escape the intensity of the Medina. With the abundance of fountains and lush greenery on a hot day, it was only fitting that we wore Paradisi for the occasion.

Musée Yves Saint Laurent Courtyard
Musée Yves Saint Laurent, red brick building with cactiHouse at Le Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, bright blue building with tropical garden
House of Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech bright blue building with cacti

Pond at Le Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech

Travel Diary: Amsterdam 

Where we stayed: Amsterdam Nieuw-West.
What we saw: Amsterdam's quiet, leafy streets in De Pijp, De 9 Straatjes, Westerpark. Hans Egstorf, Mosel Mosel Tattoo Studio, Beeldverhaal Amsterdam, Chez Rosie.
What we smelled: 
hot caramel, ink, fig leaf, petrichor, basil, coffee, passionflower, musk, marijuana.

Our stay in Amsterdam was a fleeting (and somewhat rainy!) one. Away from the tourist-favourite centre, the city's hidden canalside streets are quietly blooming with fig trees, buddlejas, roses, hollyhocks and bamboo. The lush vegetation and beautifully tiled front porches of off-kilter tenement houses give a real sense of the care taken by residents to bring beauty to the everyday. 

Amsterdam shop front with large rose growing
Amsterdam canal view from bridge with boats
Amsterdam ornate doorway tiles pink green and mustard


The many markets and street vendors selling freshly cut flowers (tulips abound, of course!) and produce paint the city in a distinctive muted colour palette with pops of primary – different from Marrakech in its vibrancy but no less beautiful.

In warm weather, the canals and vegetation give the city a stunning humid, verdant petrichor scent.


Amsterdam flower stall tulips

Amsterdam vegetable stall

Amsterdam canal view with bikes


Two cultures blossom in Amsterdam – tattoo culture and café culture. We couldn't resist a visit to Westerpark's Mosel Mosel for some botanical-inspired ink. Then it was off to Beeldverhaal Amsterdam, owned by a lovely couple with an incredible selection of rare comics. Of course we wore inky Athenaeum for the occasion!

The day after, we stumbled upon newly-opened Chez Rosie – a must-visit for some of the best baked goods (made in front of you on site) we've had outside of France. And of course we couldn't miss the famous hot stroopwafel at Hans Egdorf, the oldest bakery in Amsterdam complete with yet another beautifully tiled interior and a powerful caramel scent wafting throughout.

Amsterdam Chez Rose French Bakery and cafe

Amsterdam Hans Egdorf Interior tiles 

Amsterdam Hans Egdorf Stroopwafel


Reading List 

Jorum Studio July Reading List Death By Landscape, Yves Saint Laurent: A Moroccan Passion, Muji

Death by Landscape by Elvira Wilk
A perspective-altering collection of essays on the relationship between human and nature, and the power of the weird.

Yves Saint Laurent: A Moroccan Passion by Pierre Bergé
After visiting Le Jardin Majorelle and Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech, this is a fascinating read.

Muji by Jasper Morrison, Naoto Fukasawa, Kenya Hara
The perfect marriage of simple beauty and utility, and a lesson in restraint!

Material Focus: Tonka Bean Absolute

Jorum Studio Tonka Bean Pentimento

A well loved raw material here at Jorum, tonka or tonka bean absolute makes its way into a number of Jorum Studio perfumes and is easily detected in the moreish Pentimento

Tonka consists of a high percentage of coumarin, and as such the aroma is sweet, woody, herbaceous, warm and dry. I like finding unusual places to use tonka – like in fruity compositions where it imparts a natural stone-fruit sweetness with a rich prune facet, helping to enrich most any fruity sensation.

There is an inherent booziness perceived within tonka and I find that even small amounts help to round off harsher notes. The synergy that is created when using tonka notes alongside tobacco scent profiles is worthy of note. 

Tonka finds many uses in many types of perfume as it not only helps with fixation but is useful for adding some floral sweetness where a formulation requires. In Pentimento, tonka is used to push the sweetness into a very natural place as the perfume fades and develops. I find tonka to be a very useful tool for many reasons – and it's totally addictive stuff!

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