The Nose Knows

Urthy Scents Opens in Lakewood Ranch's Shoppes at Market Square

Ali East and Jen Rotondo believe in the power of scent.

By Heather Dunhill February 6, 2023

Urthy Scents' range of products.

Urthy Scents' range of products.

Urthy Scents began as a Covid project for sisters Ali East and Jen Rotondo. It quickly became a farmer’s market success, which turned into an online presence. Now, in just two short years, the entrepreneurial duo have opened a retail store with a "scent bar" in the Shoppes at Market Square in Lakewood Ranch.

A key to the popularity of Urthy Scents is that the fragrances are crafted from high-quality ingredients and natural scents that don’t aggravate most allergies. This was the result of a East and Rotondo's year of testing and re-testing before launching their brand, which includes everything from bath salts to perfume oils to candles to diffusers.

Each of the 39 phthalate-free fragrance oils were developed to inspire a scent journey, whether a fond memory or a favorite place, with collections that capture the nuanced atmosphere of geographical regions.

Here, East and Rotondo share the details behind Urthy Scents.

Urthy Scents co-founders Ali East and Jen Rotondo.

How did Urthy Scents come about? 

Ali EAST: "Jen and I both have the beginnings of autoimmune disease. Unfortunately, some scented products cause headaches and adverse reactions, so we decided to make our own products using ingredients such as a clean-burning coconut wax blend, eco-friendly wood wicks, and high-quality scents."

How did you decide on the range of scents?

ALI EAST:  "We have a passion for filling our environments with engaging scents. A space can be easily transformed with an inviting scent, whether it’s a rainy forest or a crisp ocean breeze.

"We believe that every fragrance tells a story that can evoke emotions and feelings. With the right scent, your day can be altered with an aroma. For instance, a scented bath can take you on a journey."

Urthy Scents.

What inspires each scent?

JEN ROTONDO:  "First, our priority was to create phthalate-free products. We found that using scents without phthalates creates more natural smelling products.

"Because of that, our scents inherently capture the essence of nature that are reminiscent of a journey, memory, destination or even a daydream. That’s what inspired our 13 collections, from the earthy vibe of a forest to the exotic scents in a spice meadow."

What is your mission?

JEN ROTONDO: "Giving people with sensitivities to scents the freedom to choose not one but many different aromas. It’s empowering for them to be able to explore and define their own personal brand through scent.

"It’s special to us when a new customer walks in the shop and says, “Wow, I didn’t immediately get a headache from scent overload!' They can experience and explore our extensive scent bar.  That’s what we love!"

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