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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.

SEPTEMBER at Jorum Studio brought long, blissful days of late summer heat, before plunging us fully into autumn moodiness. Once again, we attended Pitti Fragranze in beautiful Florence – thank you to everyone who came to visit us there! 

For this special 20th issue of Jorum Journal, we've prepared two features for your enjoyment: a chat with Craft Scotland about how the organisation continues to champion contemporary craft, and some seasonal reflections on berry picking from culinary artist Flora Manson. Thank you for reading Jorum Journal – we hope you continue to enjoy this little moment of calm and creativity in your inbox.

Internal Palazzo in Florence with columns and arches, Italian statues and palm trees
A quiet moment in Florence, in between the hustle and bustle of Pitti Fragranze.


A Moment with: Craft Scotland

Celebrating contemporary craft in Scotland is a crucial part of preserving our cultural heritage while building and maintaining thriving cultural communities. At Jorum Studio, in addition to ongoing creative collaborations and commissions, we champion creative craftsmanship through the Jorum Craft Award: a biannual funding opportunity in association with Craft Scotland to assist with the development of a maker's creative practice.

We spoke to Kelsey Johnston, Marketing and Campaigns Manager at Craft Scotland, about the vital projects and programmes the organisation have in place to support dynamic creatives across the country.


What is Craft Scotland looking forward to in the coming months? Are there any particular events, initiatives or makers you would like to highlight?

We have just launched an exciting new programme for craft curators! At Craft Scotland, we aim to develop a vibrant and resilient craft ecosystem and recognise that curators are a crucial part of that.  

There are some great professional learning opportunities for makers in Scotland, including our own COMPASS programmes, which help participants grow and thrive in their craft careers. 

However, there haven’t been similar opportunities for craft curators, and this year we have launched a new programme to address this.

Curator, educator and maker Katy West is leading the programme, and it has been great to hear about some of the important conversations that are taking place already. 

COMPASS: Emerging Curators 2023 / Photography by Alan Dimmick (Left to right) Soizig Carey, Murray Morrant, Rachel Ashenden and Jemima Dansey-Wright
COMPASS: Emerging Curators 2023 / Photography by Alan Dimmick (Left to right) Soizig Carey, Murray Morrant, Rachel Ashenden and Jemima Dansey-Wright

Looking to the past, Scotland has a long history of heritage craft tied to the deep roots of community culture. Looking to the future: why is it so important to raise the profile of contemporary craft in Scotland?

Sadly, in contemporary society craft often doesn’t receive the appreciation and respect it deserves, despite being a valuable part of the economy and influential in many of Scotland’s greatest exports and achievements. Further than that, craft brings joy and well-being to our communities and plays a key role in our cultural identity.

Here at Craft Scotland we seek to promote contemporary craft as an art form and showcase the skill, imagination and talent of Scotland-based makers. Through our programmes we provide opportunities for makers to share their exceptional work, experiment and learn new professional skills to support their creative and business practice. In addition, we create spaces for people to encounter Scottish contemporary craft, recognise the creativity and mastery at play, join in with making and help sustain craft for the future. 

You’re right that craft has long been intertwined with community culture. Making has so often been a communal or shared activity, and it is something that continues to bring people together today. We hope that by cultivating connections between makers, the craft sector and our communities, we can build a welcoming, inspiring and resilient contemporary craft sector in the years to come. 


Do you think community is just as important today in terms of contemporary craft?

Through conversations with makers across Scotland, we know how much they value being connected to a wider creative community. From sharing ideas and inspiration, to learning new techniques and ways of making, it’s so important for both creative practice and well-being. Today there are a host of ways that makers are finding spaces to share and encourage each other, from digital platforms like social media and our Craft Directory, to communal studio spaces and group exhibitions. 

Being rooted in a local community is also something that’s really important to Scotland’s makers. In a recent Sector Report (to be published soon) we found that an average of 39% of makers’ income comes from within their local region. This shows how closely tied makers are to their communities, it’s not only where they live but also where they find support, and share their skills and knowledge. 

Emerging Maker Hannah Sabapathy looking at their work / Photography by Neil Hanna
COMPASS: Emerging Maker Hannah Sabapathy / Photography by Neil Hanna 


For those looking to purchase or commission contemporary craft in Scotland, which are the best shops, directories (including the Craft Scotland directory of course!), fairs or events to frequent?

I’d recommend SPOT events in Glasgow, Tea Green Events that pop-up around the country and CLOTH events if you’re a textile aficionado. 

Dovecot Studios (Edinburgh), The Barn (Banchory) and V&A Dundee all have lovely, curated retail spaces, and there are some brilliant independent stores such as Bonhoga (Shetland), ÒR (Skye) and Bard (Leith, Edinburgh).

However, my favourite places to discover makers and their work are all the Open Studios and festivals that Scotland hosts – Spring Fling (Dumfries & Galloway), Coburg Open Studios (Edinburgh) and Pittenweem Arts Festival (Fife) to name a few!

And if you want even more suggestions, our ‘What’s On’ page is where we collate craft-related events happening in Scotland for you to see, buy, learn and enjoy craft. 


Do you have any advice for young makers looking to make their craft into a business, particularly in terms of marketing and digital presence?

Funnily enough, we delivered a Brand Storytelling workshop for our learning and development programme COMPASS: Emerging Maker earlier in the year and it was on just this topic! I would say customers connect to authenticity, storytelling and beautiful work. So, try to discover your authentic voice and translate that into your visuals, branding, website and social media presence. Take your time and tell your story in a slow and consistent way, and sprinkle in some actions for your audience to take, whether that is checking out the new collection on your website or signing up to your newsletter.

Find out more about the Jorum Craft Award here.

COMPASS: Emerging Maker Helena Robson holding chair
COMPASS: Emerging Maker Helena Robson / Photography by Neil Hanna


Brambling with Flora Manson

Late Summer and early Autumn, it looks like the colours of rich amber and buttery yellows, it smells like warm rain and burning candles. The introduction of September comes and with it an almost instant shift in the seasons. Small glimmers of autumn in the form of a familiar tree flaunting a few leaves in auburn and gold; waking up to see the sky as a gentle grey-blue to replace the bright sun I’d grown used to over the past couple of months. I begin to notice apple trees in every other garden I pass, laden with ruby red fruit, and think of the hot apple pies and cakes aromatic with cinnamon that I will be making soon. 


From an early age I came to know seasons based on the produce I would notice growing around me; September would come and I would begin to see the plum tree in our garden, old and buckled, show small green fruits. Soon its branches would heave with plump and fragrant ripe plums, and I took great joy in assuming responsibility for going and collecting them by the bucket load. Our garden was sprawling, a home to many edible treats thanks to my green thumbed Dad, and home to towering trees that made this garden feel like my own wonderland. I spent the majority of my childhood outdoors, my imagination wild, no need for anyone but myself to fill my days with adventure. Colder weather would come and I paid no mind, I wouldnt notice the fact that my hands and arms were pink with cold, my cheeks flushed. The afternoon would begin to fade into evening as the sun started to go for its sleep, casting a golden beam across the fields that lay in front of my childhood house. The pull for home would begin to set in, but I had one last task to fulfil.

Ripe and unripe brambles on the stem


A detour on my walk home to stomp up the steep hill that lies between two houses a few down from my own, reveals the sprawling fields that sit at the back of our gardens. I would stand proudly at the entrance to one of the fields – the view across our town here was magnificent, all encompassing, yet felt so small, and I revelled in spying movement in the form of people miles away. I’d take a moment to stand and take it in, before scurrying back through the harsh cut stumps of grain, scraping at my ankles as I went. A long old wall lined the fields, and all along it lay cascading bramble plants, the spiky branches guided into waves by the uneven stone. This stretch of land generally went untrodden, and so the bounty of berries sat lush and waiting to be picked. Obsidian jewels, plump and gleaming, stared up at me wherever I looked, as I took a brief glance down at my tiny hands to assess how many of the berries I will be able to carry home. I cautiously position myself closer, and with careful precision, reach into the shallow depths of the thorny hedge to begin. Within moments my finger tips are kissed with the stain of bramble juice; crimson trails working their way down my cold arms, my hands and wrists speckled with tiny surface cuts. With my palms cupped and brimming with brambles, I conclude my scavenge successful and turn towards home with my loot. I leave a small trail of berries as I go, the inevitable overspill as I excitedly frolic home through our wild garden. I spill my remaining sweet treasure onto the kitchen worktop proudly, describing the peril of the collection to family members and displaying my war wounds proudly.


Every year I look forward to seeing as these berries appear everywhere like a tedious and unrelenting weed, irksome to some but a treasure to me. I take specific routes home where I know bountiful bramble bushes reside, to collect a small handful as I go, to spill out onto my own kitchen worktop. I wonder at how something so small can hold such a power; to have the ability – if even for a moment – to melt away any festering feelings of stress or anxieties and transport me back to simpler times; of my childhood joys.


Jorum Studio September Reading List


Reading List

Tim Walker: Storyteller by Tim Walker
An enchanting and inspiring collection of photographs for lovers of the surreal and the fantastical.

Mario Botta Architetti: Leading Architects by Mario Botta
Celebrating the iconic projects and creations of the Swiss architect, giving insight into the influences that shape his designs.

The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry
Celebrating Perry's wonderful exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy.


Blurred colourised image of vintage blackberry illustration


Material Focus: Blackcurrant Bud Absolute

Intensely green in colour and of a paste-like consistency, blackcurrant bud absolute is a material full of contradictions.


The viscosity would lead you to assume the aroma is thick and heavy and the colour would trick you into thinking it’s incredibly green and grassy. In reality blackcurrant bud absolute is in stark contrast – the aroma is surprisingly light, fresh, a zesty green with juicy and fruity sweet facets with wood and phenolic notes thrown in for good measure. Many perceive a distinctive urinous/ ammonia undertone when smelling blackcurrant bud absolute and this is thanks to the sulphur-containing compounds present in the extract (particularly 4-methoxy-2-methylbutan-2-thiol). In my option, it’s this animalic urinous quality that makes the material and the similarly sulphurous bucchu extract so special. 


Blackcurrant bud absolute is a complex aromatic and its profile and uses are numerous, so a full review would be too sizeable. I like adding traces alongside citrus to add realism, with woods and herbs to produce a more verdant accord and combinations with smoky materials yields really fascinating results. Blackcurrant bud absolute is one material that I will never tire of researching and studying as it reveals new secrets with each observation. 


Blackcurrant bud absolute is front and center in our Scottish Odyssey perfume Healing Berry adding realism to the berry facets. It's found hiding in the undergrowth in Gorseland too, where it adds shrubby fruitiness and rich terpene complexity to the kush accord. 


It’s an oddball material on first encounter however if you invest time exploring it, the uses for blackcurrant bud absolute seem infinite. Its high cost is definitely worth it – truly innovative and new sensory experiences are almost always created. 

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