I’ll admit that it can sometimes get boring writing about perfumes. There are weeks and months when I go through dry-spells, smelling nothing that excites me, nothing that makes me crave the tap-tap-tap of the keys as I write a review.

     Luckily, today is not that case; The Soft Lawn by Imaginary Authors excites me for several reasons, but the main one is that one of its notes is ‘Fresh Tennis Balls’. I mean, Demeter Fragrance Library has done some pretty wacky scents (Earthworm, anyone?), and the 30 mL bottle of Lacoste’s Challenge came in a tennis ball, but to bottle that essence was truly an original idea of Josh Meyer, founder of Imaginary Authors.

Imaginary Authors The Soft Lawn sample

Imaginary Authors The Soft Lawn sample

     The Soft Lawn was released in 2012, and like Imaginary Authors’ other scents, has an imaginative story that goes with it. In the case of TSL, it’s ‘author’ was Claude LeCoq (say that out loud), a student of Princeton University who only wears seersucker suits. Of course, if you haven’t picked up by now, this character is a figment of Josh’s imagination, created to spin some elaborate story to go with the scent. Claude’s ‘novel’ (see: perfume) goes like this:

A controversial portrait of adolescent upper-class rebellion in New England, the coming-of-age story follows Hampton Perry, a charmingly snotty college tennis champ who, after years of having everything handed to him on a silver platter, finds himself handing it all back.

The question of what circumstances find Perry doing this charity work is one best saved for another day, because right now I can’t wait to smell some fresh tennis balls!

     The sample I was provided with has a round sticker with the name, with a faded, darker green background. I think there was a missed opportunity here to make the sticker like a tennis ball, but hey – that’s not relevant to the review (plus, you could comment on how dark my photo turned out, so I guess I haven’t got a leg to stand on here).

     *Spray, spray*

     Hmmm… okay, here’s the dealio: there’s definitely a sort of synthetic, plastic aroma in the top, with a hint of lemon. It doesn’t make me think of tennis balls so much as artificial turf, squishing under your feet. Or perhaps this is the smell of a new pair of running shoes. It’s a little herbal, green, almost fresh. I can see a person with a vivid imagination or good sense of humour wearing this to some sort of preppy college, or perhaps an average Joe could pull it off for an outdoors occasion (note: without a date).

     Like Yesterday Haze before it, The Soft Lawn breaks from the typical perfume mould. You would be hard-pressed to say this is pleasant, and I’ve seen several people scrunch up their noses when asked for their opinion. And yet, it’s not a bad smell in the way that Aramis is; just… Not what people might expect. Use this on yourself selectively, unless you want to really stand out in a crowd – in which case, I advise you to buy a bottle immediately.

     Verdict: The Soft Lawn is not exactly tennis balls, but it’s something along those lines. Pretty enough, I like it.

~ ~ ~

You can check out Imaginary Authors at or follow them on Twitter at


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