Below are just a few of my favourites, all made for giving this Christmas - all very beautiful, authentic and the clever folk behind them continue to be as passionate about what they are doing as they are about our precious environment - for me that’s reason enough to buy and return, time and time again. I hope you find something here that will work for a loved one, friend or even yourself…after all you deserve a little gift too!
Always on my list as regular readers know (review here). Only 2 products in the range - Unisex Oil and Deodorant - both essential staples natural, sustainable, effective and beautiful - and perfect for under the tree. After first trialling their new deodorant earlier this year, I wouldn’t use or recommend another - my husband and older children love it too! It’s natural (we know we shouldn’t use anything else) and it works.
Modern Botany: West Cork, Ireland: €50 for the set (free postage Ireland wide for on-line orders)
Cloon Keen Atelier
Margaret Mangan’s divine perfume boutique in the heart of Galway is my favourite hideaway. When I’m home in the West you will invariably find me there talking skincare, perfume and more with Margaret, after the Saturday market.
Her Castana perfume. which she describes as 'her childhood memory of street-roasted chestnuts in Andalusia’, is the first Irish fragrance to be awarded the coveted ‘5 star Masterpiece’ by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez in Perfumes The Guide 2018, - the Oscars of perfumery - well almost!
In her latest creation Róisín Dubh, she worked with a Co Clare native, award-winning trainee perfumer in Paris, Meabh Mc Curtin who describes the perfume as a ‘uniquely Irish perfume, inspired by the spirit of some of our most famous writers - a scent with a time and place, the cool earthiness of patchouli and lightly leather rose makes it so evocative and elegant.’ Always a great selection of candles availavle for every occasion.
Cloon Keen Atelier Perfumes available at Brown Thomas, Dublin & Les Senteurs, London amongst other outlets. Castana €150.00/100ml Róisín Dubh €150.00/100ml
The Burren Perfumery
Last week I was fortunate enough to spend a precious couple of hours with Sadie Chowen of the Burren Perfumery. What an amazingly passionate woman and what a story! Chowen took over The Burren Perfumery, the country’s first perfume house, and now includes organic skincare, cold-process soaps, candles, herbal teas and essential oils in the range. She formulates all her own fragrances, using scents that reflect the Burren, such as organic green leaf, meadowsweet, wild fragrant orchid, nettle, fennel, mint and the subtleness of wild rose.
The seasonal gift sets are the perfect gift for every occasion (especially Christmas!) combining the best organic skincare with perfume but, being a little biased, Winter Woods depicting the woodlands during the colder months with pockets of herbs, like rosemary, marjoram, lavender and powered iris root (for softness) - is a winner for me!
The Burren Perfumery Prices start from about €10 Winter Woods Eau de Toilette €48.00 / 100ml
Rachel Kelly: Singing in the Rain
Described as an 'alchemist for the spirit' Rachel Kelly is the bestselling author of a number of books, including one of my favourite cookbooks, Happy Kitchen (review here). Singing in the Rain: 52 Practical Steps to Happiness is her latest offering and the perfect antidote to our frenetic switched-on lifestyle.
We know that thinking often makes us sad but Singing in the Rain is a book about doing, full of inventive and accessible activities, one for each week of the year and perfect for anyone who wants to be that little bit happier - don’t we all? Kelly has learnt the hard way having suffered depression for many years - she is now a mental health advocate and ambassador.
While the book is not officially launched until early January - why not pre order and leave under the tree?
Preorder here Price: £9.99
I love this boutique brand founded by Alice Asquith and it continues to grow organically and sustainably. All of their clothing is ethically made with top quality, sustainable eco performance fabrics – bamboo and their trademarked fabric Bambor® - so they are naturally better for the planet and most importantly for me - they always feel great on as my skin can breathe and both the bra top and harem pants are fast becoming my yoga and chilling staple - they are just so comfy - and they last!
Buy directly from Asquith here
Another beautiful new find from the Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Western coastline. This niche organic skincare brand was founded by Joanne Reilly on her return to Ireland after years working with endangered elephants and rhinos in Sumatra and Mauritius. I’m currently trialling a few products from her growing range and so far so very good. A standout so far has to be the 24hr Rosehip Face Serum
The Christmas gift collections starts at €10 for gift card. Avail of their online Christmas discount Code: 12DAYS
Wild landscape that is Ireland’s UNESCO-protected Burren