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Photo by Shoog McDaniel

It's hard to tell if Milagros is everywhere or if the energy of their work is so exuberant that it radiates beyond their projects into the city itself. I first encountered Milagros through their work in textiles and have since discovered that only scratches the surface of all they do, from public spaces to small objects, their style is both iconic and spontaneously ever-evolving. Above all, I'm inspired by their approach, founded in the belief that trust, respect, and collaboration are integral to creative freedom.

I am honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with Milagros. Our new Eau de Parfum caps are the product of a dialogue in color. I have always loved the natural colors that botanical ingredients produce, and Milagros helped me to celebrate in a way that feels fresh, playful, and right.

1. Tell us a little bit about Milagros, your work, and where we can find you?

We are an art duo most well known for our murals and installations. We frequently collaborate with other artists, institutions, musicians, etc. Our artistic practice is rooted in drawing and painting, but we often experiment with translating that into a myriad of forms and surfaces. Our work is kind of all over the place, but mainly in The South. You can find it on the exterior of the New Orleans Public
Library's main branch, and we are currently one of the artists in residence at Canal Place in the French Quarter until the end of October. We're also on the social channels search for @milagrosyall

2. How do you stay creatively motivated and true to your artistic values while growing a business?
We like to view everything holistically, and the business element is just another way for us to flex our creativity in a different way. We do an unglamorous amount of paper work, but we always work time in to make something, or draw, or make sketches, or experiment. It's all kind of an extension of the same core. We've been working really hard to push ourselves to put our work out to new audiences, seek out new opportunities, new collaborators, and different projects to work on. We just want to do as many things and go as many places as we can.

3. What is an early or favorite scent memory you have? What comes to mind when you imagine your favorite scent?
Joey: My earliest scent memory is really liking the smell of the freezers at the grocery store. I would inhale the frozen air as deeply as I could until my nose burned and I couldn't stand it anymore.
Felici: My favorite scent memory is a giant honeysuckle bush that was in my childhood house. It was so big that we made a fort inside of it.

4. Tell us about your self-care practice and how you maintain a work life balance? What is one non-negotiable self-care ritual that you try to regularly attend to?
Self-care for us is kind of different than most folks think of; we stay home and say no to things when we are feeling tired or need to get a little more work done. We also spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Our work life balance is kind of intense because sometimes we are gone painting murals for months, and other times we're home filling out applications and hustling. We walk our dog Pepe every day and taking care of him  is a big part of our self-care.

5. Where do you derive inspiration?
A lot of our inspiration comes from people, conversations, and collaborations. We're always watching people, especially here in New Orleans because so many people have really interesting personal fashion or stories or vibes. We also get a lot of inspiration from experimenting with new materials and processes. We find that learning how a new material works, or finding alternative ways to use a material we understand opens our minds to the new possibilities and concepts.

6. What excites you most about this project and collaboration with Smoke?
It's been really awesome to collaborate with Kathleen and have a dialog about color. Figuring out a new process and doing something different is always really impactful on our creative process.