People In Perfumeland – Carrie Meredith Of Eyeliner On A Cat

Carrie of the beauty and perfume blog Eyeliner On a Cat was one of the first people in Perfumeland I had contact with when I started out and she was so welcoming and such a warm person I felt I had come to the right place.

Carrie is from Chicago, loves cats, punk and Mandy Aftel.

She has recently drawn back a little from perfume blogging, so I am glad to feature her here to let us all have a glimpse at the lovely person behind that eyeliner…

eyeliner carrie

A good day starts with…

Coffee! Preferably Ethiopian Yergacheffe in a French press, along with some good music to get the gears of my brain moving, like Stevie Nicks or Frank Ocean.

I’d never leave the house without…

A notebook and a pen, lip options (balms galore, nude lipstick, fuchsia, merlot and something kinda crazy like brownish-gray metallic lip gloss), Tatcha blotting papers, hand sanitizer and aromatherapy wet wipes, two or three fragrances, usually in small size bottles or decants. One of the most important things is an all-purpose moisturizer, like an oil or a balm. I like Dr. Alkaitis Treatment Oil or Shea Terra’s Nilotica Eastern Ugandan shea butter, which is soft and smooth yet pretty much unaffected by heat or cold, so it won’t melt all over the place or freeze and take forever to spread. It’s never grainy. Grainy drives me crazy.

I always feel good when…

I have no loose ends, or at least very few of them. Also, I feel good when money is not occupying my thoughts, and I’m free to think about other things and enjoy the blessings I have unencumbered.

My favorite thing in the world is…

The feeling of helping someone deserving or in need, or a charitable organization. The act of giving back in creative ways as opposed to monetarily, because I’ve not had any kind of real material abundance in my life yet. That doesn’t stop me from giving away my last dollar if I’m able to.

The next thing I want to buy is…

I’m dreaming of one of those new Valentino fringed leather totes- in black or brown.


The place I always come back to is…

The place of trusting my authentic creative self. I do stray sometimes, though.

My personal style is…

Studded leather and motorcycle boots meets American Indian meets The United Nations.

My favorite perfume…

…is like a horse with no name. I have a small but very exciting stable of favorites that never fall out of favor with me, from Le Labo, Mandy Aftel, Neela Vermeire, Comme des Garcons, Guerlain, Liz Zorn and Serge Lutens. My favorite perfume is the one I haven’t met yet, it’s still a dream in the aether.

When I travel I always …

…make sure I’m as prepared as I possibly can be. I hate unpleasant surprises. I much prefer the pleasant ones, but either way, I want to make sure I’ve planned well so that I can maximize mobility and time. The planning part of travel is rather thrilling to me.

To relax I need…

Incense, and lots of it. I love Shoyeido or Nippon Kodo for Japanese incense and several types of Nag Champa and others from India. If I’m feeling anxious, I will usually smudge my entire apartment and myself with a bundle of white sage, sweetgrass, lavender, cedar or mugwort- or Palo Santo if I’m really feeling some bad vibes or am severely crabby. I’ve got something for whatever is ailing my psyche, or those of the people/pets that I love.

When I have a bad day…

There’s nothing in the world that can happen to me that copious amounts of rap music, kitty love, beauty products and perfume can’t fix. Luckily, I have regular, fairly unlimited access to all of those things. Bad days happen, but they will happen whether we handle them well or not, so we might as well treat them as fixable problems instead of infecting the other beings in our environment with poisonous mojo. Nobody deserves that.

I like to gift people with…

Oh, gifts! I love sending them so much. Lately, I’ve had TERRIBLE luck sending care packages to a certain dear friend/perfume creator in Paris. We’ve both had packages to each other vanish somewhere around customs, probably. Expensive packages that are expensive to ship. It’s got both of us down in the dumps for sure, but I was going to tell you what I like to send people: If I’m sending a package to a friend in another country, I like to include stuff they won’t be able to find where they are. Local US micro beauty and skin care brands, favorite edible treats, delightful oddities and various beautiful cards and drawings. Preparing care packages is an art that I’m always looking to improve upon. One successful package I’ve sent recently just before Christmas was also for a housewarming gift for my soul sister in California. It was really good. Vintage Sgt. Peppers record, cool, quirky t-shirt, couple pairs of fuzzy socks, skin care products, organic laundry detergent packettes– stuff for she and her sweetheart to enjoy together. It got the reaction I was hoping for: Pure delight!

I find my inspiration…

…in the faces of the people and sentient beings who love me, and the often hilarious things they do and say. Humor. I’m hugely inspired by comedians and humor. The people who have devoted their lives to comedy are the most interesting people in the world to me. Zach Galifianakis, Maria Bamford, Peter Serafinowicz, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, Neil Hamburger, Patton Oswalt, Mitchell and Webb, Sarah Silverman, Michael Ian Black, Dave Foley– all the way back to George Carlin, Lenny Bruce and Redd Foxx- the great so-called “alternative” comedians, the ones who never saw any real benefit to following the status quo– what they do is what I love the most and it sets my mind spinning in interesting directions.

Something I would never want to miss…

With the addition of my new kitty, Computer Blue, to the family, I feel like I have another chance to develop a true soul-mate type relationship with a cat. The pain from losing other kitties in the past 4 years hasn’t faded, but CB has breathed new life into me, and I know it’s partially because I got her when she was really little. I don’t ever want to miss a single moment of our time together unless totally necessary. I have no regrets about the past and all of my memories of my BFFs from the past (Maggie and Troutie) are wonderful, but it’s the loss of them that makes the highs and lows of life with CB more intense, and more meaningful to me.


Carrie’s new kitty Computer Blue

My last mistake was…

Sometimes I feel like I’m living out a series of mistakes, without beginnings or endings– which in reality, is not as dramatic as it sounds. There are places and times in my life when I went left instead of right, etc, and as it goes with those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books from my childhood, you have to wait until you travel to the end of that path to find out what’s going to happen. At that point, I’ll dig my way out somehow and find my next English garden maze.

In my fridge there is always…

A case of Ayala’s Herbal Water- usually Lavender Mint or Lemongrass Mint Vanilla. As long as I have that and coffee, food is kind of secondary. But I do enjoy my Greek yogurt a lot.

On my nightstand I keep…

Cinq Mondes Eau Egyptienne Pyto-Aromatic Mist for body, hair and linens (perfumer: Olivia Giacobetti), an array of lip balms by HURRAW! Balms, my face care kit which contains products from Aurelia and Shea Terra, a variety of body oils and a few bottles of my most-used perfume. Currently, those are: Ramon Monegal Cuirelle, Neela Vermeire Trayee and Ashoka, Le Labo Oud 27 and Aftelier Oud Luban and Tango. Nothing super-new, but they are my go-to scents that I think suit me always.

The perfect weekend starts with…

Usually a “home-spa” evening with some combination of facial, hair treatment and a manicure. This is also my favorite prescription for chasing the blues away. To me it’s like music- you can try all you want to be crabby, but it’s going to do its magic on you whether you like it or not.

My role model is…

I’m not sure I would use he term “role model” for any person, but one of my heroes– I guess that’s a better word–is Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, as he later wished to be known). As an American, learning our black history is very important in school, but I have done extensive reading and research about Malcolm X’s life– what he taught, what he gave us, and how he wasn’t afraid to admit it when he had a change of heart. There hasn’t been anyone in the United States who has been able to fill his shoes since his passing, to be there to inspire people with action and compassion. Since Trayvon Martin was murdered and his killer went free, it’s created a brand new fire in people that we haven’t seen since Rodney King. I believe that every adult has the responsibility to learn the truth and to stand up for human rights, and be willing to do what we can for justice. There are a lot of lazy, apathetic people in this country, and I hope that changes, little by little or all at once– it doesn’t matter. We need change, badly.

Malcolm X in London

Malcolm X in London

Something I always want to be asked in questionnaires like this is…

Um, how about this: If you could be any animal, what would you be? And my answer would be a spider. I want to know what it’s like to create a web and to move on eight legs; to have the power of stealth. I’ve always felt connected to spiders, and I’ve never killed one. I’m the annoying girl at parties that clears the screaming people from the room while I collect the spider and place it somewhere safe outside. Nobody kills spiders in my presence. That’s a serious faux-pas.

A drawing of Carrie by her friend Niko

A drawing of Carrie by her friend Niko

Whenever I read anything by or about Carrie, I thought to myself: What an interesting woman! I think it is clear that her interview confirmed my opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her better through her answers and I hope you did too!



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30 Responses to People In Perfumeland – Carrie Meredith Of Eyeliner On A Cat

  1. cookie queen says:

    Fabulous interview. I loved it.

  2. Aww, thank you for saying such nice things, Birgit! I was really happy to be interviewed by you, and it’s the quality of your questions that brought out the “Me-ness” of my answers. It’s honestly the most personal interview I’ve ever done. Thank you again!

  3. Wow this woman sure knows her skin care…

  4. Vanessa says:

    Like Ginzaintherain, I was impressed by Carrie’s armoury of beauty and bodycare products. My unguent and potion collection is pretty small by comparison, though I am a person who carries several lipsticks around in my handbag. Not sure why really, as I only actually tend to use the one I start the day with.

    Carrie is one of the bloggers from my ‘wave’ or roundabouts (2009), and her catlike eyes and love of cats have always endeared her to me, not to mention the big role music plays in her life, even if our tastes diverge in that sphere. And Nag Champa incense is the biz! Sorts a lot of the ills of the world out, and makes the house smell great. 😉

  5. Sabine says:

    Carrie sounds absolutely lovely.

    I love the kitten’s name and do sympathise about the loss of furry friends. Losing mine was one of the hardest things I had to go through.

  6. poodle says:

    Carrie is fabulous. Another thing, she knows her pizza. The place she recommended my hubby go to when he was in Chicago was such a hit with him that he now orders it frozen online and has it delivered.

  7. Tara says:

    I knew Carrie’s answers would be interesting because as you say B, she is such an intresting person, but she completely surpassed herself.

    I particularly love the things she uses to relax. I’m going to try and incorporate burning incense into my life too. I like Carrie’s practical attitude to mistakes and Her personal style is also clearly awesome.

  8. Sandra says:

    Thanks For interviewing Carrie. She sounds like a lovely person who would be great to meet.

  9. Amy says:

    Lovely, inspirational interview! And we were delighted to read that Ayala’s Herbal Water is a permanent feature in Carrie’s fridge. Honored!

  10. WOW!! That is a wonderful interview.
    Carrie, you probably won’t like Australia where the spiders are set to kill. When a room clears in Oz it’s because there’s a Funnel Web or White Tail.
    Portia xx

    • Olfactoria says:

      Brrrr, that would be just the place for me… *shudders*

    • 🙂 This made me smile. I like to look at big hairy scary spiders, but wouldn’t want to be assaulted by one.

      • It is less than desirable. We regularly get non toxic huntsmen in the house but also the nasty redbacks and less frequently white tails. Early in the summer we had a funnel web in the house but it’s the first I’ve seen in years, I was in the bath and it was coming for me. Jin had no idea how poisonous they are and we got it out together with the help of a broom. Me naked and dripping water, looking like a pink walrus.
        Portia xx

  11. Valerie says:

    This was absolutely the BEST interview ever not only because Carrie expresses herself in such an acutely unique and intelligent way with regard to beauty, life and humanity, but because she is such a cool person! I’m an Eyeliner fan and a Crazy Cat Lady as well!
    Thank you Birgit and Carrie for a great Wednesday!
    xxxx V

  12. Fabulous interview! I really love the stable metaphor… I totally understand that. I’m also one of those people who catches spiders (and other insects including flies) and place them somewhere safe.
    She really sounds awesome! Thanks for the lovely interview. 🙂

  13. Thank you EVERYBODY for your incredibly kind comments. You’ve made my day!

  14. Lyubov says:

    So many amazing and exciting details Carrie shares in a sentence, that I feel like I almost know her for some time! Thank you, Carrie! Thank you, B.! The best was the answer when she feels good – I can say exactly the same thing for myself!
    I do follow Eyeliner On A Cat and I always enjoy the frank and distinguishing point of view of Carrie!

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