The History of Ortigia — Botanics to Boutiques

The idea for Ortigia first took root two decades ago in the lush grounds of the 800-year-old family estate belonging to the Marchesi di San Giuliano.

It was during a stay with the family that founder Sue Townsend spent time in its eclectic gardens, learning about the native and exotic plants that flourish in a Mediterranean climate.

The last Marchese spent a lifetime collecting tropical flora and cacti to transform his property into a botanical wonderland, where towering cacti and fronded palms stand sentry over flowerbeds punctuated by mosaic pathways and stone tanks. Bougainvilleas and capers cling to lava walls that surround plantings of agapanthus, juniper and narcissus. At the perimeter, gates open onto sprawling citrus groves with Mt Etna slumbering in the distance.

Captivated by its multifaceted beauty — for who couldn't be? — Sue began to distill scents from what she found, and sought help from Italian master perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi to blend them into fragrances that represent Sicily's innumerable charms.

It was in 2006 that Ortigia the brand would launch. Sue chose as its mascot il gattopardo, the leopard; an animal that has symbolised Sicilian culture for centuries — from the Middle Age mosaics at the Palazzo Dei Normanni to literary works of the 1900s. She incorporated it as a motif throughout the brand's packaging, all of which she designed herself with illustrations embossed onto lustrous metallic finishes.

Ortigia continues to give back to the communities that surround its namesake, relying on small family businesses to concoct each product it offers. Its evocative fragrances are cherished by nostalgic Italians and adored by those who fuel their wanderlust through scent — such as you.

Lusso Collective is fortunate to present you with four bestselling fragrances by Ortigia: Zagara, Ambra Nera, Florio and Fico D’India. Available in EDPs, roll-on oils, hand soaps, body cream and bath salts, the range transforms any suburban bathroom into an Italian spa experience.

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