Real Talk With Donna Karan’s Aromatherapist
If you noticed a mind-easing aroma emanating from the runway yesterday at Donna Karan, it wasn’t just your subconscious trying to lull you into a more relaxed headspace as day four of fashion week kicked into high gear. “I put it on so everyone can feel good,” said Karan’s long-time aromatherapist Ruth Pontvianne—”I’m the world’s healer but I’ve worked with Donna for 15 years,” Pontvianne interjected—as she layered essential oils onto the calves and inner forearms of models like Lindsey Wixson and Constance Jablonski before the show. (It should be noted that we happened upon Pontvianne and a handful of catwalk superstars in the ladies’ room—where all great conversations occur). “I love Young Living,” Wixson exclaimed, examining Pontvianne’s bottles of Highest Potential, a blend of jasmine to enhance self-confidence and ylang-ylang to soothe, as well as Thieves, a cleansing cloves and rosemary tincture that helps boost the immune system. The door swung open and Karan herself entered the tiny space, with plenty of praise for Pontvianne’s special brand of integrative therapy. “Ruth started it when she was caring for my husband,” Karan explained, alluding to her own well-being journey, which ultimately led her to found the Urban Zen Foundation. As Pontvianne and her oils followed the flurry of models to their racks, we asked if she had a website, to which she shook her head and smiled. “I am a jungle woman; you find me in the trees,” she replied. Occasionally, though, she appears as a beacon of calm in the chaos of fashion week.