Melissa Unger is an artist, writer and creative director whose projects have been featured around the world in ELLE Magazine, Marie Claire, New York Magazine, EL PAIS and Die Zeit, to name but a few. She is the founder of the unique Seymour + in Paris, a place where the general public used to disconnect from the “technology-tether” of modern life: a spa for the mind. Now she lives in Brooklyn, working on developing Seymour Projects. Melissa was the perfect choice to talk to us about inner gardens and the feeling of sanctuary.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word garden?
For me what comes to mind when I hear the word garden is community. I love being in gardens because it’s a non-verbal way of communing so what I love about gardens is that there’s a couple of the senses that we use to engage in everyday life that are not there, so there’s no language, there’s no energy from another person to navigate. There’s just a really calming aspect of it for me. I also love to see all the different plants and all the different flowers cohabiting peacefully.
What is the secret garden that helps you recharge your batteries?
The way that I really recharge the most and connect to myself is through my watercolours which I do every morning. I started doing it two years ago and they’re really a way of me being able to connect with my feeling states rather than my thinking states, so it gets me out of my head and I get into this beautiful playful flow space with them.
Why does everyone need a secret garden?
You don’t know your own north when you’re around people or other circumstances. Things can easily get pulled in different directions and I think there’s something really beautiful about knowing you have an inner space that belongs to you and that you can visualise that. So inner gardens, when we talk about creating havens and spaces that we go to when we’re outside of ourselves like monasteries or churches or whatever, you can totally create that visual in your imagination and place that space within yourself, in your heart and your stomach.
What is your favourite Le Jardin Retrouvé fragrance?
I love Rose Trocadéro. I’ve had a love affair with roses for six or seven years now. I don’t know why I have such an affinity for this flower but it’s really been softening me and it’s really very healing. So, a fragrance like Rose Trocadéro I’m completely drawn to and I also like its other notes. I just feel like it’s perfect. It’s not just sweet, it reminds me of imagination and creativity.