After 5 years of making perfumes out of a home apothecary, this Oconomowoc woman is taking her products national

Posted by Jodi Schwefel on

As first published by jsonline. Click here to read the full article.

In fall 2014, Jodi Schwefel of Oconomowoc taught herself how to make a fragrance out of her favorite scents.

"I've always loved perfumes and fragrances ... It has such a distinct ability to recall memories," she said.

She would stay up until 1:30 a.m., researching online and blending essential oils and "skin-safe" ingredients together.

When she was happy with her creation, which had notes of coastal woods, amber and jasmine, she started wearing it in public.

"I'd have multiple people stop me every day and ask what perfume I had on," Schwefel said. She started saying Pure Love (Boho).

After selling it at Roost Mercantile in Pewaukee in 2016, she said it "started to really take off."

Schwefel and her husband, Pete, built an apothecary in the upstairs of their home, where she mixed, bottled and labeled her products.

Within six months, Schwefel developed two more fragrances, Pure Love (Moroccan), which she said has a sultry coconut scent, and Rebel for men, which she described as "woodsy" and "earthy."

"I knew that in order to take it to a much bigger scale, I was not going to be able to make it myself," she said.

In spring, she started working with a fragrance manufacturer in Pennsylvania to recreate her products to be ultra-clean, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free and vegan, and to mass produce them.

"What goes on your skin goes in your skin and into your bloodstream ... If I can create a fragrance that makes people so happy and is a clean option, how awesome is that," she said.

Pure Love (Boho) launched at the end of October and is available at six boutiques in Wisconsin and Tennessee, and online at The other two scents are currently being reformulated.

'I need to get this in'

Fray Boutique in Oconomowoc has been carrying Schwefel's signature scent since January 2019.

"As soon as I smelled it and tried it on, I had people stopping me in stores, and I'm like, 'I need to get this in,'" said Morgan Krueger, owner of Fray.

"The most rewarding part about this is how it makes people feel and the joy it brings to them," Schwefel said.

Pure Love (Boho) comes in a sheer essence mist for $79 and a pure essence oil for $52.

"The perfume itself is such a great product with great ingredients," Krueger said. "I love the packaging, and it goes with our boho look in Fray. It just fits perfectly with us."

Schwefel said she is in talks with about 30 more boutiques and a handful of larger retailers.

"To see this come to life is extremely exciting, and the goal is to put the words Pure Love to work in helping other people," she said.

Giving back

Schwefel said that when she started her own business, allurESSENCES, she wanted to make sure she used it to give back.

"Part of this mission is to ensure that wherever this goes that you're somehow making an impact other than selling perfume," she said.

Schwefel volunteers with the Lord's Cupboard food pantry, Shorehaven, a senior living community, and is on the board of directors for the Gals Institute's Gals on the Go Project.

The Gals Institute provides therapy services, resiliency building workshops, one-day events and support groups in Lake Country, according to its website.

Schwefel will use perfume sales to send 25 children to the Gals Institute's Beauty Inside and Out event, which helps girls build confidence and healthy relationships with themselves and embrace what makes them unique, instead of measuring their self-worth by outside influences.

Prior to perfume

After graduating from Oconomowoc High School in 1995, Schwefel went to Waukesha County Technical College where she earned an associate's degree in business, with an emphasis in marketing.

At 19, she started working as a multimedia specialist at Fiserv, and continued her education at Carroll College, now Carroll University, to get her bachelor's degree in business administration, with a marketing minor.

Schwefel became the director of marketing for First Bank Financial Centre in Oconomowoc in 2005, then a brand manager after getting married and having two daughters.

In 2014, Schwefel started her own marketing consulting business, VisionShare Consulting. Her husband owns his own business, too, T&D Lawn Service.

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