My dear friend and associate Jasna Brown joined me in taking Vert Mont Perfumery from a vision on a dream-board to a reality. Our creative partnership was amazingly productive. Jasna has now ventured on a new path traveling the globe in search of more discoveries. Although I will miss her deeply, she has promised to share her exotic finds with Vert Mont Perfumery. Lots of love, safe travel, and Happy Hunting Jasna!
Read on to see how we began…
Everyone has a story or two. Here is what brought Donna and Jasna together.
Donna’s Perfume Journey
My scent story has humble beginnings. My earliest memories were my mother’s huge bottle of Jean Naté After Bath Splash and my dad’s Old Spice. These aromas were distinctive, the scent of my mom and dad. A few years later, when I was six or maybe seven years old, I saw a beautiful circular perfume bottle with a glass cone shaped stopper on my mother’s bureau. I was told not to touch it. The prism of light on the bottle the scent within was a magnet to me. I remember being mesmerized by this special bottle.
Miraculously one day this same mysterious bottle appeared on the bathroom vanity within my reach. Noticing the bottle was not completely full, I thought I would surprise Mommy and fill it with water so she could have a full bottle once again. As I filled the bottle its’ intoxicating scent permeated every room in the house. When my mother discovered “my surprise” for her, needless to say, she was not pleased. I had diluted my mother’s precious Shalimar and consequently her disapproval over the incident was forever etched in my memory.
Fast-forward to early teen years when my glamorous aunt from New York City summered with us in New Hampshire and her signature scent of Youth Dew by Estée Lauder poured through our home. My aunt gave me a birthday present of Youth Dew Bath Oil and exclaimed, “The oil lasts so much longer than a perfume because it doesn’t evaporate on your skin!” Although the fragrance was not my favorite, it was my first memory of my very own perfume.
At about sixteen, I found my way to men’s cologne and often wore these more than perfume. To this day Prada Infusion d’ Iris for men still makes me smile. My aroma tastes evolved with exposure and time. I remember each phase of my life being marked by its’ unique scent. Chanel 19 made me feel so grown up. YSL’s Rive Gauche was the scent of my college years. Gianfranco Ferré for men was a favorite after that. Over time my nose became more responsive, as I became more sensitive to synthetics in commercial fragrances. I started getting headaches from commercial perfumes. I made a conscious decision to move away from traditional perfume. I was drawn to natural and pure essences. They make me feel good, which in my opinion is the primary purpose of fragrance.
After years of dreaming of my own perfumery, Jasna Brown and I crossed paths. Whenever we’d see each other we would admire each others’ scent. We both enjoyed deconstructing the fragrance the other one was wearing, recognizing that we have very different yet characteristic tastes. A common thread was that we both used pure essential oil blends and neither of us could stand synthetics. At Holidays and Birthdays we’d gift each other with home-made bath soaks, scented candles, soaps and even spices, always appreciating the scents that matched our individual personalities. Out of this exploration of scent and friendship Vert Mont Perfumery∞ was born. Take a look in our Products section to discover your all natural, vegan friendly perfume or aromatic oils. With a mutual interest in fragrance and knowledge of aromatherapy, a concept was born. Vert Mont Perfumery∞ is the culmination of a vision, which is to create scents without impurity, first personally, and then for others.
Jasna’s Perfume Journey
My earliest memory of scent sends me back to my grandmothers’ dresser where she kept her bottle of the ubiquitous Chanel N°5. One of the first things I would do upon my arrival would be to open the white and black box that held this exquisitely elegant scent and indulge. That fragrance would send me off to another world, world where everything was beautiful and graceful. Back at home in our humble studio apartment where my mom, dad, brother, and I lived, there was another dresser that also held precious bottles of perfumes. Even in those humble surroundings, there was room for beauty and elegance. My mom’s favorite for as long as I can remember was Ysatis by Givenchy. She wore it for years, and so did I unbeknownst to her. Growing up in Tito’s Yugoslavia in a working family, we pinched pennies and lived from pay check to paycheck, but no matter what, my mom always had that one bottle of Ysatis on her dresser. It made her feel good and it made me feel grown up. Later as our life got a bit easier she fell in love with other perfumes and through her I developed a passion for perfume.
The first bottle of perfume of my own was Anaïs Anaïs by Cacharel. It was my trademark, what my friends would recognize me by and what they would cherish at every embrace. Even today when I see a bottle of it at an airport Duty Free Store, I have vivid memories of my teenage years. Anaïs Anaïs and I were faithful to each other until Lou Lou Blue by Cacharel came around and swept me away. I have grown more mature, more “blue” and we had a perfect understanding that we will be together for a while. After I graduated college, I remember the day when I was at the perfumery contemplating if I was ready for my first bottle of Ysatis, I felt like I finally reached that level of maturity. Then, Kenzo’s Parfum d’Ete caught my nose and I decided I wasn’t quite ready to be like my mom. As I matured so did my nose and more and more I found myself enjoying and wearing perfume for men. Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent made me feel invincible, sexy and mysterious and it stayed with me through my “femme fatale” years.
Some years later I found that I slowly lost interest in commercial perfume and was beginning to develop a nose for pure essential oils. As I embraced a more back to earth life style, my interest in herbals, natural beauty products and essential oils grew. I began to make my own lotions, mix my own oils and scents.
When I became a massage therapist, I studied aroma therapy and after experiencing the pure essence there was no going back to commercial perfumes. Whenever nostalgia forced me to put my nose to perfumes I used to love, I would practically gag at the overpowering smell of synthetics. As I learned more about essential oils and aromatherapy I realized that the love I had for fragrance and healing can blend into a gift for others. This realization led me to cross paths with Donna Cristen, a fellow thespian, and lover of fragrance.