From the best candle of the year to a new body brand and award-winning natural skincare, here are three names to note this spring …
THE HOME SCENT
Just landed in store this week is Cloon Keen’s glorious new candle, Aesthetic Lily (€45). It’s simply one of the most beautiful candles I’ve ever smelled. Scented candles might have become something of a cliched gift idea – but Cloon Keen’s are different. Designed and handmade in Galway, Cloon Keen’s perfumes and candles have such style and sensbility. And the candles, in their wonderfully weighty silvered glass jars – which make the BEST make-up brush holders afterwards – make a statement both aesthetically and on an olfactory level. This creamy white lily scent, inspired by Oscar Wilde’s passion for the decadent flower, features Egyptian jasmine and bright hints of ginger – and it will fill your room with the most wonderfully luxurious smell that’s fresh and creamy without ever being cloying or overpowering. Head to the original Atelier in Galway, or the Dublin base in Powerscourt Townhouse – and don’t miss the candle refills, beautifully presented in green with a ribbon, avoiding waste packaging in a truly elegant way. Style, and substance. www.cloonkeen.com
FRESH FROM THE FARM
The Irish founders of Bánór (meaning “white gold” in Gaeilge) are pharmacist Nicola Lyons and farmer and dairy specialist Elaine Crosse, whose family run a farm in Cashel: “We want to connect people back to the land and support a new wave of Irish farming,” says Crosse. They’ve joined forces to dream up body care that features milk products sourced from the Cashel farm: sheep milk and lanolin, the natural oil from sheep’s wool traditionally used to condition and moisturise skin. Lyons emphasises that the products, made in the UK for Bánór – so far, a body scrub, cream wash, body oil and milk lotion – are all suitable for sensitive skin. Personally, I’d choose the light lotion, which feels gentle and soothing on the skin, or the oil (€30) a grapeseed, sunflower seed and avocado blend with a subtle scent of geranium and lavender, which sinks into dry skin.
There are various sets, which make great gifts, with the full range of four at €140. Try the Hand & Body Milk Collection (€70), featuring the Hand & Body Cream Wash plus Milk Lotion; and The Wool Collection (€68), with Body Butter Scrub plus Body Wool Oil. Packaging is attractive, in recyclable brown glass. Bánór’s overriding theme is “less is more” – so it’s a good homegrown option if you prefer uncomplicated “simple food for the skin” when it comes to bodycare. www.banor.ie
THE IRISH WINNER
One of our favourite Irish brands, Nunaïa, has just won the Green & Organic award at Cosmoprof, an industry event held in Bologna, beating nearly 700 other international brands. We admired the winning Ground & Glow Skin Ritual Set, presented in an 100 per cent compostable and biodegradable box made from mycelium technology, when it launched, and we’re delighted to see it recognised internationally. We love Nunaïa for many reasons – the skincare is beautiful to use, and the business holds itself to the highest of standards, including Leaping Bunny, Ecocert COSMOS, cruelty-free and vegan certifications. As founder Nicola Connolly says, her business model “goes much further than simply ‘doing less harm’.” Let’s hope that this kind of properly conscious approach and packaging will be taken up by bigger brands, too. www.nunaia.com