This Natural Perfume Line Bottles My Favorite Poem

...and a whole bunch of amazing songs and stories, too.
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Kate F.
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...and a whole bunch of amazing songs and stories, too.

Fragrance is unceasingly personal. With each passing whiff of Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, I’m reminded of the guy I dated for three years--the guy I thought was the one. The cheap, heavy scent of Design by Paul Sebastian instantly brings my grandmother to mind, even though I haven’t smelled it on her since I was five. And, recently, when I went in to hug a friend, he said with a grin, “You smell like Kate.” I was wearing my signature Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede.

Usually our memories associated with fragrance are subtle, but STILLLIFE, the perfume side project of all-natural, vegan skin care company Meow Meow Tweet, puts it all out there. 

Created by MMT co-founder Tara Pelletier, the five scents in the line are each inspired by and named for some of Pelletier’s favorite songs, stories, and poems.

meow meow tweet stilllife natural perfume

The five perfumes of STILLIFE among their literary sistren.

Though I was intrigued by the fact that every bottle is hand-blended in small batches, I knew I had to get my paws on them when I found out the Green Cockatoo scent was named for my favorite poem, Wallace Stevens’ “Sunday Morning.” Here, a play-by-play of all five inspiring scents.

Green Cockatoo

Inspired By: The poem “Sunday Morning” by Wallace Stevens

stilllife natural perfume green cockatoo

"But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields Return no more, where, then, is paradise?”

This gorgeous poem, with its imagined paradise, has long been near and dear to my heart. The cockatoo serves as a representation of the bliss in freedom, and I have to say, the perfume brings to mind a kind of wild freedom, too. It’s warm and sweet with just a hit of smoke, thanks to jasmine, vanilla, and tobacco. There’s a truly green dimension to it as well, reminding us of the creature for whom the scent is named.

Argonaut

Inspired By: The poetry of Patti Smith

stilllife natural perfume argonaut

"There is no sea but the sea Except for one who seizes possibilities"

Though the sea is the last thing on my mind when I think of the ever-moody Patti Smith, with Argonaut the juxtaposition works. Inspired especially by the song “Land,” the scent opens brightly with some quite herbaceous florals, before delving deeply into violet, clary sage, and of course, patchouli. Now, there’s the punky Patti I know.

Dreamtiger

Inspired By: The short story “Dreamtigers” by Jorge Luis Borges

stilllife natural perfume dreamtiger

"Then I think: this is a dream, a pure diversion of my will; and now that I have unlimited power, I am going to cause a tiger.”

Because of its distinct, woody undertones, this scent was the first one in the line I fell in love with. Wearing it makes me feel strong, as if I can conquer anything--much like a tiger. Blood orange drifts into your nostrils first, as well as a few floral tinges such as ylang ylang. Strong, earthy vetiver swiftly brings you back to earth, though, a reminder that strength is multidimensional, soft as well as hard.

Macondo

Inspired By: The novel One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

stilllife natural perfume macondo

"But the stubborn descendants of the twenty-one intrepid people who plowed through the mountains in search of the sea to the west avoided the reefs of the melodic mixup and the dancing went on until dawn.”

If you’ve read this novel, you know that there’s a very magical aspect to it. Fortunately, a similar kind of charm lies within a bottle of Macondo, which evokes the grasses of South America. Wild sage, balsam, and fir combine to create a scent that is nature, perfected. And just as I thought the perfume smelled a tad too Christmasy, a bit of bergamot changed my tune, stat.

Wild Heart

Inspired By: The song “Wild Heart” by Stevie Nicks

stilllife natural perfume wild heart

“I run around like a spirit in flight Fearlessness is fearlessness I will not forget this night Dare my wild heart”

God, I love Stevie Nicks. What more can I say? I’m so glad I finally have a scent to wear alongside my floral kimonos, ideal for when I feel like channeling her. Wild Heart is floral at its maximum, too. Thanks to rose and geranium, it’s like running through a field, but jasmine and wood keep the vibe from going overly frou-frou. Someone should seriously send a vial over to Stevie--I think she’d adore it.

STILLLIFE’s motto sums the line up brilliantly: “STILLLIFE is a story told in a certain place and time with a particular sound and mood.”

  • Tell me about some of your most-loved perfume memories.
  • What songs, books, and poems would you like to see bottled in a fragrance?
  • Any other “Sunday Morning” devotees out there?