Dublin, the Blarney Stone, and the Cliffs of Moher are all spots in Ireland that everyone knows they need to go to. However, one place you should add to your itinerary is the Burren Perfumery.

Located just forty-five minutes away from the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren Perfumery sits in a small forest in the middle of the Burren (an area in southwest Ireland mostly composed of bedrock).

Photo from the Burren Perfumery

Driving from the Cliffs to the perfumery is an adventure in and of itself. The roads seem to be even skinnier than the already narrow Irish roads. If a car comes from the opposite direction and needs to pass, get ready to almost scrape the rock walls along the sides of the road.

But luckily, the relaxation awaiting you at the perfumery is worth the tight drive. The scraggy road opens up and leads straight to the perfumery, nestled in a small forest. The buildings themselves look like quaint cottages from a Disney princess movie.

Stepping out of the car is like stepping into the coziest Garden of Eden imaginable. The sun peeks through the trees above as lavender, sandalwood, moss, and wildflower scents become apparent. The smells of the teas, soups, and breads from the Tea Room waft through the air and straight to your nose.

The Burren Perfumery makes perfumes, candles, teas, lotions, creams, and other cosmetics in their Blending Room. They are one of the few perfumeries that use only natural ingredients and no artificial chemicals. All their products are inspired by the Burren landscape around them, and most ingredients come from the area. They always make small batches, preferring to make their products only as needed.

In the summer, staff members will give short tours of the perfumery, describing the products they make and explaining how the creation process works.

On the tour, the staff member will also explain how the smells in perfume work. There are multiple layers of smells, and each layer dissipates after a certain amount of time. Because of this, you should wait at least 15 minutes after spraying perfume in a store. That way, the first layer will already have dissipated, and you can tell what the perfume would actually smell like throughout the day.

The staff member will do a small demonstration, letting visitors smell different scents and then mixing them to see how they work together. The science of perfumery may be so intriguing that you decide to move to the Burren to become a perfumer.

After the tour, take a stroll through the perfumery’s herb garden. Planted in 1999, it provides examples of the native plants and herbs found in the Burren and even gives information about their traditional uses.

There are also small areas in the herb garden where visitors can simply relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of the Burren while surrounded by greenery and colorful flowers.

After your stroll through the herb garden, cozy up in a corner of the Tea Room and sip some relaxing herbal tea. All the teas are made by the Burren Perfumery from Burren plants, and you are encouraged to smell each one to decide which speaks to you. The Tea Room also has delicious soups, breads, baked goods, and salads if you want to make a meal out of it. Different coffees from all over the world are also served.

Before leaving the perfumery, make sure to take a peek in the gift shop. You can try out some of their products and spend quite a while sampling all the scents. Decide what you like and order it online later if you don’t want to buy it then.

Leaving the perfumery will be like leaving heaven, but once you’ve experienced all the charm the Burren Perfumery has to offer, venture back out on those treacherous roads and find some other hidden gems of Ireland.

—Jessica Mitton