The Essence Of Dublin

A Local Perfumer Explores Her City's Sensory Pleasures
Marija Aslimoska in front of her Dublin boutique, Parfumarija.
Marija Aslimoska
Perfumer & Entrepreneur

You could call Marija Aslimoska nostalgic. A classically trained perfumer and graduate of the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in the south east of France, she is fascinated by the way certain scents trigger our memories. She also considers herself a bit of a storyteller, sharing the anecdotes and histories behind the scents distilled and bottled for her boutique, Parfumarija, an independent purveyor of rare and exclusive fragrances in Dublin’s Westbury Mall, where she serves as founder and creative director.

She loves the way the hint of a perfume can transport us to different times and places. A note of honeysuckle for example, takes Aslimoska back to her childhood in Macedonia; Emporio Armani ‘White,’ reminds her of her first love as a teenager.

Marija Aslimoska's boutique, Parfumarija, is part shop, part science lab in Dublin's Westbury Mall.
The Scent Of Nostalgia
Discovering A Passion For Perfume

Aslimoska's passion for fragrance was ignited at a young age when she discovered a drawer of full of decorative soaps from around the world at her childhood friend’s home in Macedonia. During each visit to the house, Aslimoska and her friend would open the drawer and inhale the sweet aroma of the heart and butterfly-shaped soaps.

Decades later, Parfumarija captures the same whimsy and sense of discovery that originally drew Aslimoska to perfumery, and it’s bright white showroom in the heart of Dublin, feels like an art gallery, redolent with the world’s finest fragrances.

Patrons of Parfumarija may also choose to create custom scents to suit their individual palates and preferences.
A World Of Fragrances
Step In To Parfumarija

Entering the boutique promises visitors an olfactory journey through a suite of uncommon, imaginative scent compositions crafted by some of the world’s most talented artisans. As Aslimoska and her team walk guests through the contents of each bottle, they reveal the key methods, recipes, and stories behind each perfume to help patrons select a fragrance that stirs their soul. Many Parfumarija patrons love the citrus-forward Aqua Viva, by Profumum Roma, which Aslimoska lovingly refers to as “a bottle of sunshine.” The lemon oil lingers long after the person wearing it has left the room, and it channels the fragrances of the Amalfi Coast in summer.

Tiny bottles of rare and vintage scents adorn the Parfumarija boutique.
The Alchemy Of Scent
A Bottle For Every Occasion

Marija believes perfumes should be treated like one’s wardrobe, with certain scents for day and night, and others for special occasions, seasons, and cities. She even recommends different perfumes to match different moods.

More complex perfumes diffuse so strongly they can hypnotize an audience for hours. Frédéric Malle’s Portrait of a Lady is one such perfume. With top notes of rose and blackcurrant combined with a base of sandalwood and white musk, it will make passersby stop and say, “What are you wearing?”

Local Recommendations

Explore Dublin With Perfumer, Marija Aslimoska

From the intersection of Dublin's past and present, to creative fusion cooking near St. Stephen's Green, and not-to-be-missed art experiences at the newly renovated National Gallery, embark on a tour of the Fair City to stimulate all five senses with resident insider, Marija Aslimoska.

Sensory Pleasures

Some Of Dublin's Most Notable Sights Are A Feast For All The Senses

The Old Library (College Green; +353-1-896-1000), at Trinity College, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, is filled with more than six million rare books. The smell of ancient tomes and hand-carved wood, matched with the reverent, academic atmosphere of the library captivate Marija every time she meanders through the Long Room’s towering stacks.

The library’s extensive holdings reflect centuries-worth of academic thought, but the crown jewel of the collection is definitely the Book of Kells, a medieval illuminated manuscript dating back to 800 CE. Each day, the library displays a different page from the book’s 340 folios in the Long Room, along with 200,000 of the library’s oldest books.

After breathing in centuries of history, get some fresh air outdoors. Emerge from the library and walk 10 minutes south to the 22-acre St. Stephen’s Green park to take in the scent of flowers and freshly-cut grass, and appreciate visual pleasures like brilliant red, pink, and yellow tulips, or fuzzy taupe cygnets gliding along the Green’s man-made lake.

Art News

Experience The Newly Renovated National Gallery Of Ireland

After a six year, 32 million USD renovation, the National Gallery of Ireland (Merrion Sq. W.; +353-1-661-5133) is set to reopen in June, 2017 with a noteworthy international exhibition, Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting, developed in consort with Louvre and Washington D.C.’s National Gallery of Art.

Despite the museum’s renovation, our perfumer, Marija Aslimoska, often finds herself wandering through the open rooms of the National Gallery in search of inspiration among the exquisite canvases on display throughout the museum. Particularly inspiring is a canvas painted in 1670 by Dutch master, Johannes Vermeer himself entitled, Woman Writing A Letter, With Her Maid. The tableau is illuminated by a soft glow emanating from an imperceptible light source shining through windows, transforming an ordinary, everyday setting into a mesmerizing event.

Dining Out

Prepare For Your Taste Buds To Be Amuse’d

For a romantic evening, or to celebrate special occasions, indulge in the fresh, seasonal fare at Amuse (22 Dawson St.; +353-1-639-4889). The cozy, 40-seat restaurant owned by husband and wife duo, Conor and Joanna Dempsey, is a chic culinary theatre of the unexpected, weaving delicate Franco-Asian fusion flavors into artfully composed dishes.

The three- and five-course tasting menus combine painstaking technique with innovative culinary arrangements: organic goat’s curd with white asparagus, pata negra ham, and pickled enoki mushrooms; blue fin tuna carpaccio smothered with razor-thin radishes; and savory squid ramen in a delicate dashi broth.

For a wine pairing to enhance the flavors of your meal, consult the Amuse sommeliers, Jean Baptist Letenois and Lena Duhamel; together they have created an approachable and wide-ranging wine list to compliment the menu’s nuanced dishes.

Spirits Are High

Step Back In Time At The Speakeasy-Style Liquor Rooms

For a glass of single malt Irish whiskey on the rocks, or elaborate cocktails mixed with scientific precision, head to The Liquor Rooms (6-8 Wellington Quay; +353-87-339-3688) a subterranean den of iniquity channeling the roaring 1920’s. Located in the Temple Bar district, the speakeasy-style establishment is known for its high-quality craft cocktails conceived by Fergus O’Leary and a team of expert mixologists, as well as its Dark Pearl burlesque show in the Black Rabbit room on the weekends, and swinging Boom Room dance floor. Explore the cocktails and tasty gastronomic thrills by browsing the highly stylized menu, which visually explains the flavors of each drink through playful illustrations. The Liberty Sour, made with Teeling small-batch whiskey, house-made spiced syrup, Angostura bitters and lemon, is a house favorite among the bar’s revelrous clientele.