Backstories for perfumes are sometimes interesting, often ostentatious and nearly always written by some more or less clever PR company. Having worked in advertising myself I usually waver between cynical disbelieve and appreciation when it's really well done. Imaginary Authors is an American perfume house which have apparently found someone to do that job very nicely, and even better, with a fun twist. Not only have they invented a backstory for their scents, they invented the authors as well, complete with his or her biography and a blurb of the novel which inspired the perfume. Pretty meta. On top of the written stories the line has quirky aesthetics, complete with washed out photography and cute illustrations. Despite all the lovingly done visual identity and the well written copy they have not forgotten the most important thing: The fragrances. There are 8 scents available in the UK, I have so far tested 5 and today I want to write about the two I liked the most, The Cobra and the Canary and The Soft Lawn.
The Cobra and the Canary is an orris/leather melange which starts with a citrus note that never entirely leaves the scene, just invites the other components to have a go when it's their time. The leather is somewhere between suede and butch, on my skin that depended on the outside temperature (it's been pretty warm this week in the UK). The usual softness of the orris is flanked with tobacco and dried grass which gives a nice smoky/dry texture. The whole feel of the scent is very summerly, a bit like an On the Road Again version of Cuir Ottoman, and it's pretty damn sexy. Projection was good enough to earn compliments from random people, something that doesn't happen all that often. As I said at the beginning, the freshness stays on until the dry down and TCATC is quite a linear affair, but not by any means simple. Lovely scent, makes me want to meet the young man who will wear this and break my heart. (Entirely imaginary)
The second fragrance did come as a bit of a surprise: Green perfumes and me, we have a problem. I often find them too harsh, too bitter, too medicinal, and even the harmless refreshing ones or the great classics of the genre do not work for me; and I have really tried. Consequently I am very reluctant to test a perfume called: The Soft Lawn, with the given notes of Linden blossom, Ivy, vetiver, oakmoss, tennis ball and clay court. Hm. Not sure. The tennis ball and the clay are probably just some gimmick, and the rest is green.
|My visual interpretation of The Soft Lawn by Imaginary Authors|
But, but... what a nice one! It really is super soft this lawn. One on which you can rest your head and aching body and it will give you comfort and peace. The opening is full of Linden blossom, a fresh and yet calming note, and ivy and vetiver following suit to add some weight to all the fluffyness. It stays pretty linear from there on until it disappears on me after about 4 hours. I can't detect any tennis balls, but it's been a while since I smelled one that wasn't drenched in dog drool. The tennis inspiration for this fragrance isn't so much Wimbledon with hints of sweat and glory, but playing a relaxed double with your friends at the end of a glorious British summer day. In your own court, at the back of the garden. If Brideshead Revisited ever needed a perfume, it would be this one. Understated, sophisticated and terribly lovely it soothes and wraps you in soft green blankets. There is a mild melancholy hidden there somewhere (all that ivy gives more shade than light) and may be that is what attracts me to it. I rarely seek refreshment from a perfume, that's what shower gels are for. An all green scent that manages to be soothing rather than refreshing is a rare find and this one goes straight on the full bottle wish list, despite the fact that I do not own a tennis court, a well trimmed hedge and a worn out teddy bear.
How and where to wear:
Grab a copy of Brideshead, in paper form, not as an e-book, and find yourself a nice spot in a park.