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Style - Beauty & Wellness - Sustainability - Food & Beverage

Sicily gift-box, bring Sicily to the world

By Sara Stefanovic
6 min read

Sometimes we spend a lot of time looking for the perfect gift or souvenir and then inevitably fail to fall into banality. What if we could give an experience that touches multiple senses? Sicily gift-box was born to transport and export the island’s smells and flavors. We met the mind that created it: Rosa Donato who, as her surname suggests, gave a little bit of Sicilianity to those who decided to buy her creations.

How did the idea of Sicily gift-box come about?

The idea was born by chance, I worked as a graphic designer and I wanted to develop an e-commerce different from the other ones. In the meantime, my best friend moved to Milan and began to feel a very strong nostalgia for Sicilian smells and flavors… instinctively it occurred to me to prepare her a box that could convey some of the Sicilianity she so longed for.

Rosa Donato
Sicily gift-box

This is how the idea of the first box was born, but it took her some time to develop it.

For a year, I looked for the perfect formula to create a candle, once the ice broke, composing the other boxes was easier.

Rosa Donato

The first box: candle, chocolate and #siciliansays

These are sensorial boxes, when you open them you live an experience that involves multiple senses, in order to transform a gift into a happening. The sensorial boxes are made up of a chocolate bar, a candle both flavored and available in various flavors (rosemary, basil, wild fennel and mint) and a deck of cards. But they are not just any cards, these are #siciliansays cards. This deck is meant to explain words in the Sicilian dialect in English.

The chocolate is flavored in a particular way: she leaves it on a bed of spices to rest until it has absorbed its aroma. As for candles, however, the same smells are naturally trapped in soy wax thanks to organic essential oils.

In candles I wanted to create a sort of small ecosystem, because inside them I put salt crystals… I brought crystal therapy to Sicily, in order to transport some sea out of the island. The most mental part was born in collaboration with the #siciliansays community. They explain Sicilian sayings and Sicilianity in a fun way. I decided to create cards to emphasize the playfulness of the thing.

Rosa Donato

The box with the Moro heads

What’s more typical of this legend?

The story of the young Moro and the beautiful girl starts in Palermo, precisely in the Arab quarter of Al Hàlisah, around the year 1000. The young girl spent her days caring for the plants on her balcony. One day a Moro, walking through the streets of the neighborhood, noticed the girl and, dazzled by the beauty of the young woman, he declared her love to her. The young woman, so impressed by the declaration, returned with passion…

Il Moro, however, was already married with children and would soon return to the East. Once the girl had discovered it she decided to take revenge brutally, the next night she killed him and cut off his head. Using his head she created a vase and placed a basil sprout inside, exposing it on the balcony. The basil grew luxuriantly and the neighbors had clay pots similar to the one she had made.

Sicily gift-box

I let myself be inspired by this story and I created the box with two dark brown heads made with typical Trapani ceramic and a basil-flavored candle.

Rosa Donato

Nice also the edition composed on the occasion of the feast of lovers, a suggestion not to betray your partner if you do not want to incur unpleasant consequences…

Sicily gift-box

Sicily gift-box with herbal tea, the union of multiple contexts

In this box several contexts come together, with a ceramic mug with typical decorations and a placemat made by Elena Scarlata, which prints Sicilian textures. The herbal tea was created specifically for this box, with orange zest, lemon and orange blossom, a particular type of Sicilian tea. The honey, however, comes from a small production in the area. A Sicilian honey made by a company very attentive to the well-being of bees… then, of course, there is the infuser and the spoon for honey, perfect for a five o’clock tea in the name of Sicilianity. The box is also available in a more minimal version with only the herbal tea with honey or with only the placemat and the cup.

Beauty

The beauty routine is certainly a fundamental aspect. My goal is to create moments of relaxation in the name of Sicily. Taking care of ourselves is very important.

Rosa Donato

Always picking natural products from Trapani companies that are socially committed. Like Farmaflo, a Trapani-based company that produces cosmetics based on olive oil (but that’s not all). In the box, born under the sign of extra virgin olive oil, we find: soap, nourishing hand and body cream, an active oil, a face cream and sponge.

Sicily gift-box

The latest cosmetic novelty is Fico Beauty, which has a ceramic shovel that acts as a soap dish or object holder. In this box there is prickly pear oil, a bar of soap, a cotton sachet and a water-repellent cotton sponge. The prickly pear is obviously the protagonist of this box, we find it both as an ingredient and on the prints.

Sicily gift-box

Fantastic creatures

The latest novelty of Sicily gift-box is Fantastic Creatures of Sicily. Given Rosa’s passion for art, why not create an artistic and a little mysterious box? This box was created around a book: Creature fantastiche di Sicilia (Fantastic creatures of Sicily) by Rosario Battiato and Chiara Nott, who tells us about a nocturnal island made up of ghosts and ancient legends… Inside, in fact, there is white sage that purifies the rooms and a bookmark designed by Elena Scarlata. The little fish gives off a strong lavender smell to perfume our readings with drawings inspired by Sicily.

Sicily gift-box

My plan is to transform a Sicily gift-box into an artist collector, but it is being tested. I want to show Sicilian aesthetic, which is not for everyone.

Rosa Donato

Clearly, all this does not lead to neglect the culinary and beauty themed boxes. There are many projects, all with the aim of creating a moment, a small Sicilian event. In Sicily there are many realities that should be deepened and developed, the mission is to bring Sicily gift-boxes all over the world.

Abroad it is, paradoxically, easier. They already have the right mentality to give an experience as a present, something that is detached from physicality. In Italy we need to work a little more on this concept.

Rosa donato

6 min read

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