Who is Clara Feder ?
As promised with Michel Gutsatz’s portrait, from the Le Jardin Retrouvé, I suggest you follow me and meet Clara Feder, his wife, the creative director of the brand. So let’s discover who is Clara Feder, a pluridisplinary artist, inhabited with her imaginary world and always fueled with art and litterature.
Who is Clara Feder ?
Tell us about your career ?
I have a full career. After film making studies at The New York Film School University and an MBA in new technologies in France, I started working for the cinema, before writing about twenty books under the pen-name Virginie Michelet. In the end, it has been a life swinging between words and images such as books and paintings.
I have been surrounded by my mother who was an art expert, and a grand-father, a painter. So I grew up in a surrounding where aestethicism and visual art were very present. And even to the point that I realize that beyond the words, images do exist. These images that I wanted to explore in order to create others.
Today, I can say that my style of art is very much linked with litterature from which I draw my inspiration to create art performance, drawings, and also my work on photographs and videos. It is all this creative work that I dedicated to Le Jardin Retrouvé.
How did you come across the perfume world ?
I approached the perfume world, thanks to Yuri, along with his poetry and the whole Gutsatz family ! As far as I am concerned, perfume is the result of a wonderful encounter between a sophisticated odor, our own personality at a precise stage of life, so to form a conbination between 3 unique and miraculous elements.
Do tell us about the Jardin Retrouvé fragrances ?
I nearly like them all. Each one moves me in their way. I have been touched by Rose Trocadero, on the evening I wore it and cried. I adore Verveine d’Eté… It does me a lot of good and gives me energy. Citron Boboli surprises me and amuses me. And without forgetting that Cuir de Russie is my passion. It is just like Yuri, it is like Michel. A man, a woman. It is a fragrance full poetry and reality…. a true
When was your first encounter with Le Jardin Retrouvé ?
At first I went through a poetic and sad time with Le Jardin Retrouvé as Yuri was not there anymore. On the other hand, his wife Arlette loved him so much that when she talked about him, I could feel his presence. It is thank to her that I got to know this grand creator that was Yuri.
In fact, it is due to Arlette that I felt like giving life again to this wonderful human and historical adventure full of love.
Then, still thanks to her I had access to a whole corpus of drawings, poems, photographs and sound-tracks. So such Michel and I can refer to those fabulous records.
Can you tell us more about your complicity with Arlette Gutsatz ?
We got along well, straight away. As she was graduated from the Marseille Fine Art Institute Arlette had a good pen stroke, a very acute eye, and a real sense of organisation. It is with her brave and fighting character that she was able to manage the marketing and artistic section of the brand.
While Yuri was in charge of the creation. He also fonded with Jean Kerléo the Osmothèque located in Versailles today.
Is it a pure hasard or coincidence ? The Jardin Retrouvé is still managed by a married couple with the only difference that I am the artist and Michel is in charge of the business. Just the opposite of Yuri and Arlette !
In an other way, Le Jardin Retrouvé belongs to the history of the family and magnifies its meaning by a poetic dimension which goes well over the brand.
What was Yuri’s vision onto the Jardin Retrouvé for you ?
As you know Gilles Clement is a well-know gardener, a botanist and an entologist. More, I remember what he said in his book : A breaf history of the garden “The first garden starts with the one that a man has chosen in order to stop his wandering.” It is just what happen to Yuri, of russian origin exiled in Berlin, and then in Paris, who decided to stop wandering.
That is how he designed his Jardin Retrouvé as an oasis so to preserve his creativity. Then he decided to trust himself to trust his marriage and his life.
What is your vision of The Jardin Retrouvé today ?
Before even deciding to develop the brand, I dedicated myself to study during an entire year the family archives. Among all the writings, I felt just as I was guided by Yuri. As it was important to keep up the freshness, the poetry in order words all this romanticism attached to him.
His personal diary allowed me to know more about his life his inner world and his garden which represented for him the world of peace. So I started by restoring and recreating the garden to the collective memory.
For the new image of the Jardin Retrouvé, I invited our founder, Yuri Gutsatz, the perfumer to enter this imaginary garden, just there were he used to draw his inspiration. Today, this garden is full of colours and souvenirs.
As to illustrate the perfumes, I have included characters through digital collage into these imaginary gardens which are switching between a real garden and an urban one. As wink to The Petit Prince…. It represents an entire work of the memory by immersion through synthetic images. Which this imaginary and mysterious garden, the visitor leaves an experience into a space that provides him protection and wonder. More it gives him the opportunity to recover and refocuse himself.
Everyone has his own garden, what is yours ?
It’s absolutely write, we all have a secret garden, which is either real or imaginary. As far as I am concerned, I have two. One is full of raspberry bushes, gooseberry bushes…. But it has also all the various fruit trees surrounded by roses.
The other one would bring together all the aromatic herbs… In fact, my grandfather use to take me to water and look after all those aromatic plants. More to have being able to touch and smell these eucalyptus, thsese romaary bushes, these pine trees are fabulous souvenirs… This garden was located in the south of France. It smelt so good the odor fig tree, the one of almond trees and the mimosa. A sheer delight.