I've known Melanie Dufey for 15 years now, we met in high school in the middle of the desert, in Saudi. We have amazing and unique memories together, but then we moved and grew up in our separate ways. Life is full of surprises and brought us back together lately, and I am so very grateful for this unexpected twist. While I kept on traveling, she became an amazing naturopath. I had no idea what it meant: as much as I like to cook and I usually go for organic home-made stuff, I am no expert and never really looked into serious dietetics. My personal diet is common sense: a little bit of everything in human portions. So when she created her website: Chaudron Pastel, I started following out of curiosity. And I learned. So much. I learned about superfood, vitamins, trace elements, energies etc... Melanie is full of wisdom, humour and kindness, in a world that turns too fast, where we lose touch with our bodies and minds, she is a haven. Her website is in french but she is perfectly fluent in english so don't hesitate to contact her. She works on balancing bodies and minds, in Paris but she's so good she was asked to start skype consultations (yes she can!), so if, like me, you are curious about naturopathy, visit her Chaudron Pastel or Facebook Page.
HOB: If you could live in a painting, which one would it be?
M.D.: Mmmh. Excellent question.
I am not sure, it could be the painting of a natural landscape since I love these, or something a little bit more fantastic.
I choose both...
The first one is "Between dog and wolf" by Marie-Elise Larène: a woman, a huge soul who paints with such energy it becomes fascinating. She describes herself as a "skyist" since she paints skies, I describe her as an enchantress.
The second one is a painting by one of my favourite painters. A young American i met 6 years ago: Sara M. Butcher who paints fantastic creatures (angels, fairies, elves, humans, princesses...) with a lot of pastel colours. The painting is entitled "Sun and Moon".
These 2 paintings mean a lot to me: nothing is black or white. There is no good or bad. There is just Life. With it's cycle. A beginning, an ending... And a new beginning, a new ending.
Each thing, moment, and person you meet is a gift. All you need to do is change the way you look at things to see the beauty of all things.
HOB: If you could live in a different era, which one would you pick and why?
M.D.: I wouldn't change.
If I were born in this era, it's because my place is here.
HOB: What piece of clothing reminds you of your mother/father?
M.D.: Cashmere sweaters.
My mother initiated me 10 years ago.
She had plenty in different shades of red/burgundy (her favourite colours).
Since then, I'm unable to wear anything else in winter...
Mine are more pastel and in neutral tones (brownish, beige, black).
HOB: What scent takes you right back to your childhood?
M.D.: My nose is very sensitive.
Smells are a whole other world for me...
If I'm thinking about smells from my childhood, I think about: coffee and grass freshly cut.
Coffee because it was my father's usual in the morning. Despite his absorbing job, he always made time to be close to me, to watch me grow up, to spend time with me, everyday. Morning was one of these precious moments between father and daughter. I can still picture him with his suit and shirt neatly buttoned and his tie, ready to go... By then I was completely oblivious to the world of adults and didn't realise how much effort it was for him to coordinate his director's agenda with his little girl's timing... He only told me when I was 21 years old. I was very touched. And, I keep on thanking him for that every year, again and again.
Freshly cut grass reminds me of my summer holidays in France (since I used to live in the Middle East, the smell of cut grass was kind of rare for me).
HOB: When do you feel on holidays?
M.D.: On what?
I'm not very familiar with the concept.
My last holidays were in August 2010 (Yes, 3 whole years without holidays. You did read well).
HOB: What designer would you take with you on a camel ride?
M.D.: A designer who would create garments with ecological materials, something simple and suiting.
It might already exist but I don't know about it...!
HOB: Your favourite recipe to make?
M.D.: For myself it would be my Fairy breakfast. My breakfast in (very) sacred. For me it's a way of waking up gently to a new day and to get a lot of energy.
If we're talking about cooking for others, then it would be any vegan dish, something healthy. Just to show that you can actually combine both. I like to create unusual meals in order to avoid comparisons.
Also: there are so many people who will cook and eat vegan style without it being healthy (they will often use faux meat).
Opening up to healthy and gourmet cooking, it's also opening up to the richness of Life's possibilities.
HOB: Best piece of advice you were ever given?
M.D.: "Believe in Fairies. They do exist."
HOB: What book changed your life?
M.D.: Four books that had a big impact in my every day life.
Two of them helped me find my path in life.
"Harry Potter" and "The little Prince". I read both after I turned 19, they helped me realise I wasn't the only "grown-up" with a children's heart. Before that, I always felt different. These books made me realise I was far from an exception. We all, more or less, are children at heart. Some of us or just more reserved and tend to hide it.
"Happiness of being yourself" by Moussa Nabati helped me 10 years ago. It's the first book that really shook me up.
"Conversations with God" by Neale Donald Walsch I read 3 years ago is the second book that hugely influenced my life. The title is misleading because you can absolutely read it while being atheist or agnostic.
HOB: The movie you've watched already 30 times but might watch again tonight?
M.D.: Just one movie???
That is such a tricky questions!
I'd have to say "Enchanted".
HOB: Three favourite spots in Paris?
M.D.: When it comes to food: Sol Semilla is my favourite canteen. It is the only restaurant in France that offers a menu that complete: bio, seasonal, vegan and full of "super food".
Then there's also: Vegan Folie's, that's the only vegan pastry shop that's 100% organic in Paris.
When it comes to nature, I like the Georges Brassens Park a lot, or the Luxembourg Park.
As soon as I have a moment, I like to go there with a good book.
Sometimes I just like to watch people passing by, children playing, teenagers meeting.
And... sometimes... I like to lay in the grass. I watch clouds. I imagine, I create stories with the images that I see... Did you know clouds could tell amazing stories?
Once, one of them showed me that a dragon could turn into a little dog...
In real life too, dragons and other creatures we think of as evil might hide precious and kind creatures.