Last summer, I was on the hunt for a new fragrance to replace the one I had just finished, and I couldn’t help but wonder if Ireland – with its many luxuriant gardens – would have their own perfumeries…
Well, it didn’t take long for the name “The Burren Perfumery” to pop up. Hurray! Hold on, Google Maps says it would be a two hour and a half drive… Oh no… Wouldn’t that be a little excessive just to get a perfume?
Hmm… I needed stronger arguments to back up the trip. Little did I know, The Burren Perfumery would have the answers to my prayers.
Founded back in 1972, The Burren Perfumery is a family company which creates high quality cosmetic products inspired by its unique environment.
The Irish House is located at the heart of the Burren (or Boíreann a.k.a “rocky place” in Irish) in County Clare, a limestone region which hosts 70% of Ireland’s species of flowers.
Marveled by the landscapes when visiting a friend, it was then Sadie Chowen, who in 2001, took over the business. She was later joined by her husband whom she had met during his year off hiking in the Burren.
Besides perfumes, The Burren Perfumery’ local team creates handmade products such as soaps and candles. Other items include matching shower gels and body creams for each fragrance, organic skincare, tea mixes and essential oils.
Their most recent launch is the scent Wild Rose certified both natural and organic.
Discover which fragrance I fell for further down.
THE GARDEN AND TEA ROOMS
Planted in 1999, the Herb Garden gathers quite a good variety of scented flowers, medicinal plants and aromatic herbs for its human-scale size. The garden is divided in different themed areas according to the type of plants and their use – each one mentioned on a small sign.
It is possible to come all year round for a visit – the best time being from May to September as recommended on the website – and relax in the few secluded sitting spaces to enjoy the peace of nature.
For further relaxation, near the Herb Garden are the Tea Rooms where guests can enjoy a herbal tea from…the garden! And for the gourmands, may I suggest a delicious piece of moist carrot cake and its citrus cream cheese icing – the best I’ve tasted so far.
The Tea Rooms open every day from 10.30am to 5.00pm and serve lunch which includes salads made from organic Irish vegetables, homemade soups, freshly baked bread and a selection of local cheeses.
THE CHOSEN ONE
The Burren Perfumery has created a total of eight fragrances: Ilaun, Frond, Spring/Summer/Autumn Harvest, Winter Woods, Aran and lastly Wild Rose.
Inspired by the Burren, each scent evokes its nature and its different olfactory experiences: whether an autumnal walk in the Dromore Woods or a hair-raising hike along the renowned Cliffs of Moher or simply an afternoon stroll among the flowers after the rain.
So, which one did I choose?
Sophisticated and feminine. Floral yet with a spike of green grass. Adding to that notes of violet. Frond was simply the one.
The fragrance could be described as both discreet – because of its softness – and powerful – because of its comforting presence all day long. You’re not always aware of wearing a scent and yet sometimes it will manifest its presence hugging you in a brief whiff. Simply lovely.
Another lovely touch is the poetic artwork on both the perfume box and bottle by Irish botanical artist Cliona Doyle – which was of course inspired by the Burren flora.
You don’t live near the area or in Ireland? Don’t worry, The Burren Perfumery has got you covered: orders can be put directly from their website from wherever you live as they ship their Irish gems all over the world.