To wear The Soft Lawn is to spend a day in the bubble around a young (at any age) Crush on The Tennis Teacher. It smells like the sweat on your (and his) warm skin, like the moment when you open your racket bag and feel that strange aromatic blend of old and new, of artificial and animalistic smells that the sports world has. It smells like the deodorant and your nice flowery shampoo as your hair gets messier and messier. It smells like smiles and sweet attraction combined with performance adrenaline.
It smells of the tennis ball travelling fast from one side of the court to the other, just like the unarticulated thoughts that follow it do. From him to you, from you to him. It smells like the dust swirling and the smiles and the laughter and the fresh air and the feeling of sweet moist summer evening air waiting for magic to happen.
It smells like releasing the racket, the way the air between a sore palm and the warm sweaty overgrip smells. You wonder if you’ll have blisters tomorrow, you won’t but it feels like it. You wonder if it is time to change that wrap overgrip. You wonder if you look ok or just red and sweaty and hair like a tornado, you wonder how he can look this amazing after the entire day and if his smile means that you have improved your serve and he thinks you are kind of interesting. You are. He does. The drydown smells like getting on your bike to go somewhere together. Like the cool air on your calves and the warm air vibrating from your blushing cheeks. There are some sensations that love and sports have in common. For a brief moment this charming perfume smells like a secret shared cigarette and you wonder how that happened. Ooops. Then warm cantaloupe dripping between fingers down on asphalt. The candy-like innocence of an English lush park and textures of the carnal city on a date. Much like the contrast between fragility and darwinism in a kiss. Like sneakers and warm skin and fearless curiosity.
It is not easy to create a fragrance that is romantic, sporty, edgy, contemporary, classic and utterly charmingly mischievious.
There are moments with this perfume that remind me of Molecule O2 and L’Imperatrice (a Fragrantica search does not reveal that these would have anything officially in common) which are fragrances that I like because of their way of being light in a slightly weird way, breezy with integrity, sweet but in an unpleasing way. There is hommage to the most elegant way woody notes are used in classic fragrances that have been designated at men and beautifully stolen by women. You find those feelings here, but combined with that superweird and absolutely wonderful tennis ball smell that really is there. It is an uncomplicated complex perfume, a comfortable adventure you could say. And so much fun.
This perfume puts me in such a good mood that it’s almost bizarre. It makes me blush and laugh and send flirtatious text messages and feel like going out to fill my lungs with fresh air. It also makes me think of the summer I spent playing tennis on one of the loveliest outdoors tennis courts I have ever seen, in Hagaparken in Stockholm, and the exact feeling I had when looking up from the ball to enjoy the beauty of the place (lush trees and water) for a moment. One of those evenings I tore off a cruciate ligament and I haven’t played since. I have missed a feeling that this perfume gives me back again. For all the reflections above, but maybe particularly for this, I am grateful.
The Soft Lawn can be ordered from Imaginary Authors directly and it is also part of Olfactif’s brilliantly curated Vignettes of Spring selection. You’ll find a great interview with Josh Meyer, the creator of the perfume on Olfactif’s website.