Lisa Howarth, Perfumer


This time last year I was on the cusp of launching a niche perfume house from right here in West Wales. I was spending my days finalising compositions, making decisions on packaging, building websites and was quite literally knee deep in aromatic crops.
To mark International Women's Day  2023 I wanted to share with you a piece published in honour of International Women's Day last year by Tyfu Cymru - an organisation who specifically support the Welsh horticultural sector:
Celebrating Women in Horticulture this International Women's Day!

For more than a century people around the world have been marking 8 March as a special day for women. International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. 

We feature some of the inspirational Women in Welsh Horticulture this International Women's Day!


Lisa Howarth is the founder of ORTIR APOTHECARI, a niche perfume house based in West Wales, where she grows and distils key ingredients for her unique fragrance compositions. Her approach to creating perfumes is rooted deep in the Welsh landscape where she has lived for almost a decade.

Every stage of production takes place on the farm, from managing the aromatic crop fields, harvesting of the plants, through to the process of distillation to extract the precious oils, which ultimately form the basis of the perfume.

Growing the aromatics here on the farm, I benefit from knowing the conditions they have experienced and can control the timing of the harvesting. This is really important because it affects how the distilled oils behave.”

Created with a strong sense of provenance, ORTIR perfumes are not single note but complex compositions where the original material is not instantly recognisable but sits at the heart of the perfume.

When I decided to grow the ingredients for my perfumes I was offered lots of well-meant advice. Mostly that I would never manage to get anything to grow here – the land around here is predominantly used for grazing and being right on the coast it can get really wild and windy.

Determined to prove them wrong I now look out of my window at acres of lavender and am so excited to be growing some amazing crops over in the terrace fields.

So, my advice is to trust in yourself, do your research, listen to local advice. But just because something hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean that it can’t be done.

Just expect to get your hands very dirty".


Back to blog