Sometimes you just need to stick to what you know best. On occasion, the output of the revived Grossmith has been dismissed as mere 'heritage perfumery', but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with adopting a retro approach if the job's done well. Sylvan Song is a gorgeous case in point. Structurally, it's a familiar musky floral, with a citrusy top and a balsamic base. But the quality of the Robertet ingredients and the elegance of the composition make it impossible to dismiss. The metallic edge of the rose evokes YSL's Rive Gauche. The prettiness of the sweet peas echoes the lush optimism of Lauder's Beautiful. The seamlessness of the transition from fruit to petals to powderiness calls to mind Guerlain's Chamade. There isn't anything especially forest-like about the whole, but of course, 'sylvan' can also mean 'pastoral', which is pretty much spot on. Deep inside a wood, a glade is brought to life by a beam of sunshine. Flowers unfurl and blades of grass reach up towards the sky. And as the flora and fauna bask in the warmth, the sound of a lute strumming a Medieval tune weaves its way into the clearing, casting a gentle enchantment upon all who hear it. Delightful work.
[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Grossmith in 2014; Sylvan Song is exclusive to Fortnum & Mason.]