Today, June 7, 2014, the great and monumental Maya Angelou was laid to rest. I watched snippets of her funeral with my mother this morning. To call the impactful life Angelou had moving would be a gross understatement, so forgive me in saying I was moved. Deeply moved. She inspired women of all race, nationality, and age. As Oprah so eloquently put “she made me proud to spell my name w-o-m-a-n.” She didn’t just inspire the world to be better once they knew better, or raised the bar for the art of writing, but she created a legacy that will go on forever. We don’t only have her words, but thanks to Beyonce we even have a fragrance in her honor. Beyonce’s latest fragrance Rise, is inspired by Angelou’s poem Still I rise. This woodsy floral captures the essence of a survived woman and of a proud woman. One with elegance, (which can be felt through the jasmine notes) grace (thanks to the bergamot and orchid notes), and one with that sassy edge coming out through the basil and apricot notes. This fragrance is exciting, just like the poem:
Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
*thanks for reading,