Irish Shaving Soaps Review 1/5: The Burren Perfumery

May 25, 2012

A little bit about The Burren Perfumery:
Named after the awe-inspiring karst landscape in County Clare, this lovely perfumery (and herb garden and tea shop!) is currently run by the couple Sadie Chowen and Edward Biggs. All of their products are handmade using only natural ingredients most of which are herbs and flowers native to the area. They ship worldwide and offer a 10% discount of first orders.
Pretty as a picture and wrapped in handmade paper (some with tiny pressed flowers embedded in it) these soap blocks are 100grams in weight. The delicate and simple, clean presentation is lovely and each one feels like a small hand-wrapped gift. Inside of the outer paper is an inner lining of a light wax paper surrounding the opaque cream-coloured soap. The square shape means some pairing might have to be done to get it to fit into a shaving mug but the soap is easy to cut.

Saponified Olive, Palm and Coconut Oils, Calendula Oil, Irish Spring Water.
(Bonus points to this soap for being very natural with no hard-to-pronounce stuff!). Also it doesn't contain tallow so it is vegan-friendly.

This only comes in an unscented version so it's great for people with sensitive skin or allergies.

Lather & Shave:
Unfortunately this is where the product falls short. In brief, it lathers like a body soap, not a shaving soap. The clue to this is in the ingredients as it is so heavily oil-based. A foamy, bubbly lather can be produced but it has very little staying power and no thickness or cushion to it. Only a tiny amount of water is needed to get a lather on this (wet brush, gently squeeze brush, and rub on soap). The brush does not really "load" with product and lather is formed straight away.
With all that having been said, if you don't mind lathering your face bit by bit, there is a decent shave to be had provided you don't have very coarse hair. This lather does not soften the hair so thick beards won't have enough cushion, but it is very moisturising and your skin feels wonderful and soft afterwards. 

€6.50 per bar from

I love the ingredients and the look of this, but I think I would much prefer their standard body soaps and I imagine this soap could double as one quite easily. If you have a light beard and want a nice one-for-everything soap (maybe for travelling) then this could be a real winner, and those who are sensitive to fragrances will be attracted to this also.

- BE

Click Here For Part Two: Crobally Irish Soaps


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