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Aroma of the Week: Gin Aroma Kit: Juniper Notes

The characteristic scent of Juniper berry is the signature aroma and flavour of all Gins. Indeed, when we present a smelling strip “blind” with a variant of juniper it is commonly described as ‘Gin’ or a ‘Gin and Tonic’ - especially by those who are meeting this glorious aroma for the first time. If you are already a Gin lover or a Gin connoisseur - whether you know it or not - your love has been stimulated by the unmistakable bright and fresh aroma of juniper oil.


Given the chemical complexity of the aromatics in Juniper oil, we would expect, and indeed find, that the aroma spectrum of Juniper oils varies according to both source and, significantly, extraction techniques.

Since this is the key signature scent and aroma in all Gins, we devote more space to its seemingly infinite aromatic ways than for the other Gin Aromas in our Gin Aroma Kit – indeed we introduce four variants – briefly described below.

No 1 Juniper with the Pine Note Emphasised

In this variant you will recognise the familiar Juniper Gin aroma profile but, you will notice an easily detectable and delectable pine scent note, giving a feeling of great naturalness. There is also a lot of “energy” about this aroma.

No 2 Juniper with the Green Note Emphasised

A clear and cheerful green grassy/leafy aroma note emerges from this Juniper aroma. Green notes give a powerful unconscious association of naturalness and of the feeling of being in wild Nature. Hendricks Gin, as an example, highlights a “green” note. You will now understand that there are greenish Juniper oils which will readily blend with green aroma notes, in addition to Juniper, through appropriate botanicals such as cucumber.

No 3 Juniper with the Herbaceous-Waxy Note Emphasised

This Juniper variant has a definite but mild oily-waxy aroma note, along with a mélange of woodland herbs.  The pronounced herbal aspect of this oil makes it easy to blend with botanical herbs for a more sophisticated total aroma profile.

No 4 Juniper with the Woody Resinous Note Emphasised

The fourth Juniper variant has a complex but rich woody theme along with an oily-resinous nuance with hints, in the background, of dried leaves and some typical woodland earthiness which often accompanies woody smells in the wild. This is a good illustration of just how complex a familiar Gin Aroma can become. As with all woody themes, because woody odorants are amongst the heaviest known, you will need to allow a little time for this variant to come to equilibrium before the full richness of the woody theme is evident.

Exploring the variations in the spectrum of Juniper aroma, notwithstanding the myriad botanicals that are now included in the many Gin brands on the market, gives a valuable insight into the endless variations in Gin Aroma and flavours now available to the modern consumer.

See our Gin Aroma Kit for more information.

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