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Fragrances of Ireland – Perfumes & Scents Imported from Ireland.

One of our most trusted suppliers, Fragrances of Ireland,  is responsible for the creation and distribution of the famous brand “Inis Energy of the Sea”. 

For over thirty years, they have been creating perfumes and toiletries in Ireland, inspired by the magic, beauty and nature of Ireland.  Independent and passionate, they operate from a converted farmhouse in County Wicklow.

Inis Fragrance of IrelandTheir signature scent – Inis the Energy of the Sea – was inspired by Roundstone Beach on the western coast of Ireland.  Inis is the Irish word for ‘island’.   A truly unique, discovery fragrance – people say the scent of Inis makes them feel close to the sea, no matter where they are.

However they do not put all their eggs in one basket.   They supply several other hugely popular Irish fragrances.  From “Patrick for Men” to the legendary “Connemara” and “Innisfree” there is something for everyone.    And this year they released “Irish Rose”.  All of these wonderful fragrances are available on our website.

Irish Rose:Irish Rose Eau de Parfum

We are delighted to introduce Irish Rose, a re-branded collection of the beloved Inis Arose.  With the same fresh fragrance that captures the carefree floral abundance of summertime in Ireland, Irish Rose layers five varieties of roses with lily of the valley, patchouli, palest pink geraniums and apple blossom to create a light, joyful blossom fresh scent.

Innisfree:Innisfree Perfume Spray for Women

Inspired by WB Yeats’ poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree, which speaks of the beauty of nature and the romance of Ireland. Innisfree is an eau de parfum of rich florals including lily of the valley, lavender, jasmine, rose and iris.

Connemara:Connemara Perfume Spray for Women

This perfume is based almost exclusively on florals; rose, jasmine, ylang ylang and lily of the valley. Connemara is inspired by the beauty and majesty of the Connemara countryside on Ireland’s west coast.

Patrick:Patrick Cologne for Men

A classic men’s cologne – fresh, green and warmed with woody base notes of oakmoss and patchouli. Named in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Patrick is inspired by his travels throughout Ireland.

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A Perfect 10 for Thompson’s Teas!

Thompson’s Teas has experienced record-breaking success at this years’ Great Taste Awards.

Thompson's TeaThompson’s Family Teas has experienced record-breaking success at this years’ Great Taste Awards. Their Punjana brand, Northern Ireland’s favorite tea, has stretched its award-winning run to an unprecedented 10 years, a feat achieved by no other blended tea in this all-important category. Irish Tea Breakfast Blend

The news comes as the Guild of Fine Food, acknowledged as the benchmark for fine food and drink in the UK, has released its Great Taste Award Winners 2017.

Thompson’s Family Teas, which are today still blended by cousins Ross and David Thompson at their state of the art tea blending facility in Belfast, have picked up over 100 Great Taste Awards in the last 12 years.  Each blend is Taste-Tested by a Thompson to ensure that it meets the exacting standards set by the Thompson family which have been passionately adhered to for over 120 years.

Ross Thompson, said: ‘To win a Great Taste Award is very exciting, but for Punjana to be recognised by the Guild of Fine Foods every year for the past decade is something really special, and is an acknowledgement of our dedication to importing and blending the worlds’ finest teas. Only the best leaves, which are highly prized and command a greater price, find their way into our awarding-winning blends’.

‘It takes a certain amount of courage to choose what is best over what is most profitable’, Ross continues, ‘and we stay focused on sourcing leaves with superior taste and flavor, and simply can’t be persuaded to do it any other way’.

Titanic-TeaThe Thompson family’s love of tea was born in Belfast in 1896 when founder Robert S Thompson trained in the art of tea tasting and soon became known for his uncompromising devotion to quality.

In the first few years of the business, tea brands didn’t exist and indeed only began to emerge during the post-war years. In 1900, there were perhaps 25 tea companies in Belfast, selling their wares in beautiful tea chests around the numerous independent grocery shops up and down the country.

Today, Thompson’s Family Teas is the only mainstream tea company that remains.

However, it was in 1955 that the Thompson’s hero brand, Punjana, was born. Launched on television on UTV’s first night of transmission with the now iconic “Pick Punjana Tea” jingle.

The ‘Punjana’ name was inspired by 2nd generation James Thompson who, whilst on a shopping trip to Comber, spied an inscription on the Gillespie monument which read, ‘Punjab’. Conscious of India’s reputation for producing some of the world’s finest tea and thinking that this could be the basis for a great brand name, he consulted with his wife, Lillias, and together they arrived at the name “Punjana”. Agreement was then sought from his brother, Tony, and the rest as they say, is history!

Today, the business continues under the leadership of 3rd generation Thompsons, who share in its founder’s passion for selecting only the best quality and select teas from the very finest gardens in Assam, Kenya and beyond.

Recently, Punjana was also officially crowned Northern Ireland’s favourite product in The People’s Choice Award 2017 as voted for by the public at this year’s prestigious Northern Ireland Food & Drink Awards.

Thompson’s range of exotic loose leaf teas have been chosen to be served in some of Northern Ireland’s most iconic locations including the Titanic Ballroom, National Trust properties and Hastings luxury hotels.

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Irish Rose Perfume – Made In Ireland

Irish Rose Eau de ParfumIrish Rose Eau de Parfum  is a soft and lovely floral fragrance that takes the freshness of a sea breeze and delicately adds the fragrance of rose and spring blossoms.  The scent blends five varieties of roses: Lily of the Valley, patchouli, palest pink geranium, and apple blossom to create a floral fragrance that has the energy of the sea and the freshness and vitality of a garden in full bloom.  Another wonderful addition to our Fragrances of Ireland collection.

Over the past few years we have added several new Irish perfumes that women would appreciate, and I think we really hit a home run with this one.   I recently stopped a woman in the store as we passed each other several times and asked her what she was wearing.  Well, this is one of those scents.  It is a scent that leaves a positive impression.

Perfume Product Care:
Did you know that perfume should always be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat.  A dresser drawer is a good choice. Do not keep fragrances in the bathroom, where fluctuating temperatures and high humidity can lead to their deterioration. Keep perfume bottles tightly closed, to prevent evaporation, which can change the balance of a scent’s composition. This is one item you will use daily and always feel confident and fresh wearing it.

 

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Irish Tweed Caps – Traditional Craft meets Modern Fashion

Hanna Hats Family

History of the Irish Tweed Flat Cap – A Traditional Craft:

Irish Tweed Caps get their distinctive colors and patterns from the landscape of Ireland’s most northerly county, Donegal.   It is the beauty and quality of the fabric that makes Donegal Tweed special, and so sought after internationally. The colors match the patterns seen from the cottage window: of turf and hill and fuschia, of sea and cloud and sky.

Anyone who has spent time in Donegal will know just how changeable the climate can be. Four seasons in one day are not uncommon, even in midsummer. Tweed Flat caps became the perfect headwear for those working outdoors,
trapping warmth head and waterproofing the wearer.
Irish Flat Cap, Extended PeakThe customary process of making it is unlike any other, resulting in a signature color-flecked weave. Woven from woolen spun yarns, it is characterized by its plain weave structure composed of uneven slub yarns contrasting with the ground color. Traditionally, the woman of the house spun the yarn from the family sheep’s wool and the husband then weaved the spun wool. The original patterns were a black and white herringbone when the colors were limited to the colors of the sheep’s wool. With blackface sheep, the weaver used whatever mixture they could make from that to make a black and white or grey and white pattern. And it is these colors, and the individual colored flecks, that give Irish Tweed Caps their characteristic classic design.
With the introduction of dyes the tweed took on a range of new and very distinctive colors. Children would gather the colors locally from the Irish landscape to dye the wool: purple blackberries, orange lichen, yellow gorse and the plentiful red fuschia that is such a Blue Irish Tweed Cap for Mendistinctive summer feature of the Donegal countryside. The dyes were brewed by heating the plants and lichens in a large cooking pot on the household turf fire. This was then allowed to cool before the pure new wool from the household sheep was steeped.
Come October, the farmers would come in from the fields to stretch the white yarn the length of the loom frame – known as warping the loom. Then fine-tune the shuttle that would weave a contrasting vertical yarn – the weft – across the warp.
Traditional wooden handlooms differ only slightly in design and operation from those used in biblical times. The loom is operated manually and the weaving may be described as passing the horizontal threads – the weft – through the warp by means of a shuttle. Thread by thread and row by row, the weft is eased into place. The complicated permutations of color and design are coordinated and interpreted as the weaver proceeds.
The warp is the first step in arranging the various colors to form a foundation upon which the weaver will, with almostTraditional Irish Tweed Cap magical skill, produce the pattern. It can take even the best weavers up to half a day to draw 1000 threads through the reed to form the warp to the age-old pattern. However, a good weaver – seated at a bench attached to a wood loom, coordinating hand and foot movements – could produce up to thirty yards of fabric a day.
Hand-weaving is a skill that has been passed down through generations. Many families lived by both the hand-spinning and hand-weaving of cloth in their homes, then selling their unique family product at the local tweed market.
In many parts of Donegal hand-weaving is still practiced in the very same way as it was over 200 years ago. In Donegal it is a hereditary skill that has passed from generation to generation over many centuries. It is one of the few survivors of the ancient craft, which now serves the modern world.  The tradition of making Irish Tweed Flat Caps is still carried on today by the Hanna family of Donegal Town who are world renowned for the quality of the Hanna Hats Irish Tweed Flat Caps.

Contributed by Joe Summer

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Irish Whiskey Truffles – Made in Ireland

Irish Whiskey TrufflesThere are those of us who love chocolate and those of us that love Whiskey. Our prayers have been answered and the two worlds have collided. Introducing Irish Whiskey Chocolate Truffles. Okay, so I had to taste test (a box) to be sure our customers receive the best quality products. The smell and taste of the rich chocolate was luxurious. You smell the lovely scent while opening the plastic wrap, the chocolates are neatly packed and make an impressive presentation. The taste as they say in Ireland “is gorgeous.” Want to impress someone… Irish Whiskey Truffles is a winner!

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Lemon Curd Jam

 

Lemon Curd JamWe recently started carrying Lemon Curd Jam from Ireland and of course I insist on tasting everything we sell before we offer to you, our faithful customers. I bought a warm fresh loaf of bread and spread the Lemon Curd Jam on it and it melted in my mouth. As a parent, I tend to stand when I eat as I am typically getting drinks and napkins etc.. for the kids, but honestly, I sat down with my hot cup of tea and truly enjoyed the pleasure of eating my warm bread with a dollop of Lemon Curd Jam. One jar will go along way and it really is a nice little gift for a person who appreciates fine tastes. I think I will give Lemon Curd Jam (buy it here) with a box of Barry’s Tea (available here) to the school aides, mail carrier, CCD teachers. I will get some fresh bread or scones and it will make the perfect gift. I had to share that…now I am hungry. I just saw this Lemon Curd Jam recipe, let me know how it tastes if you try it.

 

 

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Hanna Hats – Irish Tweed Hats from Donegal

To mark the release of our new Hanna Hats product range we have put up this video to give you a sense of context for these traditional Irish wool hats.  The video gives an insight into the inner workings of the manufacturing process and the traditions and inspiration behind traditional Irish craftsmanship.  We hope you enjoy this short video of traditional Irish craftsmanship.  Traditional Irish Hanna Hats are available now on our website.

Hanna Hats of Donegal.