Monday, 16 June 2014

The Scents of Summer

My love of essential oils with their heady powerful aromas and beneficial properties, stems from my time as manager of the Brighton branch of Culpepers, an historic chain of herbalist shops now sadly gone.

I always have a stash of oils to hand and use them to perfume the air, to keep my kitchen bin smelling fragrant, for various minor first aid treatments and best of all to add to face and body creams. Frankincense and Myrrh not only the right present for a celestial being but terrific for mature skins too.

A few years ago my love of oils took me on a trip to County Clare in the West of Ireland, to visit Ireland's oldest working perfumery.


The Burren Perfumery is set in a UNESCO supported global Geopark, a unique upland of outstanding floral diversity. Where 70% of Ireland's wildflowers can be found. It is a place like no other.



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The perfumery is open to the public and is a complete joy. You can see the working mechanics of the place, sample and purchase the glorious products and have some afternoon tea. A perfect day.

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If any of you dear readers are travelling to that nook of the Irish woods, I can heartily recommend a fantastic country house hotel, Gregans Castle. Which is in fact not really a castle but a quiet 18th century manor house, serving some of the best local food on offer.

Closer to home I have a friend who is a plant grower, gatherer and distiller. A true Apothecary, she crafts the purest and most delicious smelling products and lately has moved on to producing aromatic waters and tea blends.  Amanda is based in Lewes, East Sussex, you can find details of her products and bespoke scent workshops here.

13 comments:

  1. Needless to say...As a Sicilian, l grew up with oils!
    Body rubbed as a baby with olive oil....(No! nothing
    to do with Popeye)...
    Before going to school, Mama, always gave me a
    teaspoon of olive oil..When l grew up, and started
    short/long distance running...Always rubbed it into
    my legs...HeHe! And, they say we Italians are greasy
    customers...! :). Olive oil and garlic, finest things in the
    world...Look at meeeeee! Picture of health....If you like
    abstract painting...! :).
    Seriously though, still use it to this day...In food of course,
    and anywhere else that needs it....! Seriously!
    I also use Ortigia....From Sicily...Won't bore you, but, Google
    it...It's a very interesting oil...Developed in 2006, by Sue Townsend.
    Worth a peek....

    Other oils l like to use are the ones in the diffuser bottles, with
    straw like sticks...The oil travels up the straws, and diffuse into
    the air...Much safer and cleaner than candles...
    Lovely in a bathroom...Especially a 'pink' one....! :>).

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    1. I just knew you'd be an oil lover Willie.

      Jean x

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  2. The archway is lovely and how cute are all those potion bottles it's like shabby chic meets Harry Potter lol x

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  3. I love oils, and incense too. They make the home more inviting I think. .

    What a gorgeous trip to Ireland. It certainly does sound perfect :)

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  4. I have been to the Burren but was completely unaware of the perfumery - I am just going to have a look at Amanda's site now.

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  5. Never realised that Culpepers was no more, what a shame, I used to go into their Covent garden shop when I worked there. So many individual shops have gone to the wall leaving us with the same ones that line every street in this country.

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    1. That's so true. Our high streets are losing their character.

      Jean x

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  6. Thanks for sharing your friends beautiful website. Oh my goodness, I need to go back to the burren, it is one of my favourite places and I don't live to far away!

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    1. If you do, stay at Gregans Castle if you can, it's such a special place.

      Jean x

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  7. I'd love to go to the Burren. I've tried a couple of their perfumes. I'm a huge fan of Amanda's products and love her exciting new website x

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  8. Ah, that place looks sublime. All the little brown bottles, lined up. Swoon. :)

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    1. Hello Kristen, thanks for popping by and leaving a comment, I've been following your lovely blog for a while now. We've both been knitting blankets. I'm hoping mine will be ready by the time the cooler weather comes back.

      Jean x

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  9. Well Jean, that is a new one on me! I shall have to pay me a visit. We have friends who hale from the banner county and we are threatening to go this summer.

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