Ortigia is a small Italian soap and scent company founded in Sicily in 2006 by Sue Townsend. The luxurious range of soaps, scents, creams, candles and lotions are formulated using natural products indigenous to Sicily and inspired by the aesthetics, colours and scents of Italy’s most historic and tropical region.
The perfumes are distilled from the flowers of Sicily by master perfumer, Lorenzo Villoresi. The base of all the products is natural perfume and natural ingredients: olive oil, vegetable glycerine, and organic colours. Paraben-free,the range uses traditional products with modern ethics and integrity.
All Ortigia products are made by small family companies who pride themselves on the quality of their products. The highly decorative packaging is designed by Sue Townsend and draws on exotic Sicilian images and colours.
The name Ortigia comes from the small island that lies at the edge of the ancient fortified city of Siracusa, on Sicily’s southeastern coast. The streets of Ortigia are crumbling baroque façades of great splendour looking out on 3 sides to the sea. The Piazza del Duomo is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy. Situated on the southeastern side of Sicily, this part of the island is known as “la Sicilia Orientale” because of its proximity to Africa and almost tropical climate. In the rich volcanic soil of Mount Etna – Europe’s highest active volcano – there are hundreds of orange & lemon groves – the only place where blood oranges grow – also grapefruit trees, almonds, pistachios, saffron, vines, olives and cactus.
Sicily is enriched with a colourful history of conquest, invasion and assimilation. It has been fought over and colonised: Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Hohenstaufens, Angevins, Aragonese and Bourbons all left their mark. Examples are found throughout the island. The island’s history, reflected in the uniquely rich and layered culture that is found in Sicily today, has inspired the creation of the Ortigia range.