This post has been on hold since lockdown. We’re not out of the woods yet but it feels right for me to start talking about perfume again.
I got to try Scottish perfumer Euan McCall’s work for the first time when up in Edinburgh last year and then Val the Cookie Queen sent me some samples. I’m pleased to finally be able to talk about them here, although they have been established for a decade now.
The Jorum Studio website has a beautiful aesthetic and – joy of joys – 15ml bottles are available.
Here are my impressions of the six fragrances in the Progressive Botany Vol. 1 collection which is split into Progressive and Botany.
These first three Progressive fragrances below are more unconventional.
Quince, Honey, Saffron, Osmanthus Absolute, Magnolia, Burdock, Papyrus, Mugwort, Rose Absolute, Tuberose, Myrrh Absolute, Spruce Resin, Douglas Fir, Labdanum, Jatamansi, Malt, Lichen
As the name suggests, Arborist is inspired by woods however, it is also deeply spicy and musky. Rather than green and leafy, the scent is as earthy as if we are down and dirty in the soil covered roots. There’s Indian spice (which reads as a very smooth cumin to my nose) and vegetal musks which lend it a sensuous feel. It’s all a bit too husky to suit my winsome style but cohesive and nicely done.
Chamomile, Bengal Pepper, Honey, Clary Sage, Sea-holly, Marjoram Tea, Myrtle, Rose Absolute, Vetch, Clove Bud, Hart’s Tongue, Tuberose, Musk-thistle, Heliotrope, Tormentil, Mahogany, Cocoa Absolute, Tobacco, Meum, Deertongue, Cherrywood
Carduus has a bracing, slightly medicinal flush with a bouquet garnet of fresh, leafy herbs. It has the feeling of being out on Scottish heathland with the wind blowing a hooley under a rapidly changing sky. It’s aromatic with a breath of aniseed; the antithesis to Swarovski-studded nouveau niche. While Carduus may not be to everyone’s taste, it rewards the wearer with the sense of windswept wellbeing you get from braving the wilds of nature. In short, it’ll put colour in your cheeks.
Passion Fruit, Rhubarb, Mulberry, Nasturtium, Honeysuckle, Blaeberry, Camellia, Oysterplant, Meadowsweet, Gorse, Ambrette, Sesame, Amyris, Tonka Bean Absolute
Phloem is not one of those candied berry bombs we are used to encountering across the high street, but I find the combination of curry spices and boiled fruit challenging in its own way. It’s pungent and plummy, with a lot of depth. Phloem feels well-rounded but never thick and cloying. In the drydown there is nice salty skin effect which works well as a counterpoint to the spiced compote effect.
The next three fragrances are in the Botany category and are more traditional in style.
Carrot Seed, Bergamot, Nectarine, Thyme, Cicely, Pink Pepper, Juniper, Cloudberry, Angelica Root, Orris Butter, Kombucha, Centaury, Suede, Oud, Musk, Ambergris, Styrax, Vanilla, Incense
This iris perfume was the one I was most eager to get on better terms with. Trimerous is one of those lovely, innocent irises which forms a fluffy cloud. Rather than being grey and rooty, it feels white and powder-soft. It has a gentle presence with a musky, vanilla sweetness. I found it the most easy to wear of the six though I prefer my irises a little less naive. Good for those that usually find iris too austere and unapproachable.
Fig-leaf, Cardamom, Olive, Juniper, Frankincense, Orris Butter, Rose Absolute, Pomegranate, Myrrh, Vetiver, Guaicwood, Papyrus, Hay, Birch, Cedarwood, Castoreum, Valerian, Sandalwood Oil
Medullary-ray are the lines that radiate out from the centre of a tree, cutting across the rings. While this collection is linked to botany and the flora of Scotland in particular, this fragrance is inspired by the woods and fruits of Tuscany. What I get is fig teamed with smoke. This combination really surprised me and I had to check that it’s not one of the experimental fragrances. The milky fig against the bone dry smoke (not the tarry kind) with accents of ripe pomegranate and herbal valerian, is unlike anything I’ve tried before.
Bramble, Cranberry, Peach, Rose Absolute, Oud, Ambergris, Roseroot, Olibanum, Selfheal, Castoreum, Civet, Labdanum Absolute, Musk
The name says it all: this is a lush nectar filled with golden light. I have issues with sugary perfumes but this has a natural sweetness that makes me swoon. To my nose, it is chiefly a peachy rose with the dreamy quality of a lazy summer’s day. It’s filled out by white musk which I find a little heady but I hugely enjoy the overall melting feeling Nectary gives me. I don’t get anything as animalic as castoreum or civet.
I found all the above Eau de Parfums have moderate throw and very good longevity.
When sampling these handmade fragrances what really stood out to me was the clarity and quality. The materials smell top-notch and the compositions are distinctive. I can see what all the fuss has been about. Jorum Studio have carved out a niche that is all their own.
Have you tried anything from Jorum Studio? If not, do any of the above appeal?
20 responses to “Jorum Studio – Mini Reviews”
I was looking at this few months ago and they made me really curious, so I‘m especially thankful for your reviews, dear T.. They all sound interesting to me, however in some I‘m scared by the honey, which is my nemesis note… What do you think ?
Sending love and strictly virtual hugs,
I know the kind of honey note you mean M and I found no evidence of that here. I really wouldn’t let it put you off trying them. I think you’d find them really interesting.
These do sound interesting, especially the last three in the Botany collection. Looking at the ingredients in Trimerous, I would have imagined more sharp edges. Fig and smoke must be an intriguing combination, so I’d give Medullary-ray a try.
There were no sharp edges to Trimerous to my nose. They were all fun to experience but Medullary-ray is particularly intriguing. It’s good to come across something novel for once.
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The only one I’ve tried is Trimerous, which I found pleasant but not compelling enough to buy. Nectary sounds great except for the white musk. The others don’t speak to me from the notes & description, but I know that’s not necessarily indicative of what I would smell (I’ve been fooled by those sooo many times).
I am extremely sensitive to some white musks so you might be fine. Nectary is really dreamy.
I love them all and happily wear them all. Although not all at the same time. Having said that they do layer delightfully. The Psychoterratica trio are also worth investigating!
Ah you have me curious at the idea of layering them now. I’m thinking of combinations…
They sound very interesting, and I must admit that I have never heard of Jorum before. Are they naturals? The ingredients list somehow make me think natural perfumery, although a fluffy iris doesn’t:-)
As always you create lemmings with your beautiful words.
They are very popular on Instagram and worth a follow. Not all natural no, but can see how you might think that as very I inspired by nature.
What fantastic names! I do like a naive iris, so I reckon that one, which my new phone kept auto correcting to Thimerosal, but which is really Timerous, would appeal, ditto Nectary. (Must Google Thimerosal now…) The others sounded highly original if not my obvious cup of tea. But big props for the line’s originality.
The names are fantastic V even if I had to quadruple check the spellings 🙂
Yes, Trimerous and Nectary are both your style.
I love Jorum Studio, you’re right about the website and the aesthetic it’s right up my street, so appealing. I had a sample set of the last three and love Trimerous the most but Nectary and Medullary Ray were good. I also like the fact they have small size affordable bottles.
I can see why Trimerous is such a fan favourite. The fact they do smaller bottles is such a win.
WOW! Rave reviews from you and Val. Colour me VERY interested.
They really are fascinating olfactory landscapes.
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The last three seem to speak the most to me, but with so many contrasting notes it is hard to tell which ones I would find pleasant. Thank you for describing the kind of smoke in Medullary-ray (if there’s no trace of tar, perhaps I would like the perfume).
Medullary-ray foxed me for ages until it clicked as to what was going on. To me it’s all about the contrast of milky fig and dry smoke but maybe others will interpret it differently. It’s very clever.
It’s funny: I saw this brand mentioned several times before, but in my mind I always thought it was the same brand as Jeroboam – not that I ever tried it, but at least I knew how those bottles looked.
After riding this post, I realized that you were talking about completely different brand. I haven’t tried any of these perfumes yet. I will whenever I get chance, but I will be very surprised if it works for me: they sound like those natural compositions that I don’t recognize as perfumes (I know they are not all-natural, I saw your response to Asali, but this is the vibe I get. I’ll be glad to be proven wrong – especially since they produce quite reasonably-sized bottles 🙂
I do understand what you mean, they are very Indie in nature. I wouldn’t say they are your usual style but you may well like Nectary.