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  1. #1

    Default I love heliotrope

    I recently grabbed a bottle of Cuir Beluga which has quickly become a real favorite of mine. I couldn't really pick out what about it I loved so much other than this vague aroma of marzipan, almond, and vanilla which sort of reminds me of Italian pastries. Anyway, I checked out the notes and noticed heliotrope. Could a flower I have never heard of actually be the Italian pastries accord?

    So off to a plant nursery I went. I tracked down some Heliotropium arborescens and holy crap it is a dead ringer. I'm now obsessed with these friggin flowers. I bought more. I can't even keep weeds alive so I am pretty sure they'll die soon, but I'm going to try to keep them alive.

    Now that I discovered heliotrope I went out and grabbed Freddy Malle's L'eau d'hiver. Also, very awesome stuff. Nice and pillowy, but with great longevity on me (not as much as cuir beluga). Anyway, my question for the participants of this board is, has a fragrance ever willed you into pursuing something new; such as trying out gardening, herb foraging, or hyrax hunting?

  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoBaby View Post
    Anyway, my question for the participants of this board is, has a fragrance ever willed you into pursuing something new; such as trying out gardening, herb foraging, or hyrax hunting?
    Not over the past 45+ years that I have collected fragrances, but hey, I still have breath in me so anything is possible.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    I did plant tuberose twice. One summer in particular they really did thrive. In hot sticky summer nights one could smell them discreetly just sitting nearby. Magical! And yes, I have thought of heliotrope, too.
    Another topic is essential oils. Cistus oil was a revelation.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Like all kinds of ingredients, it's in all kinds of fragrances even though you can't necessarily smell it or it isn't in the pyramid, etc. Jacques Guerlain said it was one of the most important ingredients in perfumery. Ernest Beaux and Francois Coty supposedly used it in almost everything they made.

    Still used these days, but those sweet, powdery, cherry-almond fluffy-little-clouds are regulated by the IFRA, even more so because heliotropin is used as a precursor to manufacture the drug Ecstasy. Fortunately, most perfumers can get what they need for smaller batches of fragrances. Manuel (Rogue Perfumery) uses the good stuff to make his excellent Chypre Siam.

    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoBaby View Post
    .............. has a fragrance ever willed you into pursuing something new; such as trying out gardening, herb foraging, or hyrax hunting?
    Probably so. I have herbs all over my property, so me and my female companion do herb walks all the time looking for all kinds of interesting things. Having the heavenly heliotrope on the deck just inspires me even more to go find those things in the forest (tons of mushrooms), and for the two of us to have fun in the weeds. Nice.
    __________

    Heliotrope extrait by Guerlain, first created in the 1870s.

    helio small.jpg
    Last edited by pluran; 13th April 2019 at 07:35 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    I LOVE Heliotrope too. But be aware the perfume rules these days make it a watered down version in many fragrances. L'eau d'Hiver which I own an original is now going from a recent brand new sample a mere shadow of its self.

    L.Piver Heliotrope Blanc is a lovely and very cheap heliotrope and Etro Heliotrope is another but more expensive.

    Vintage Shalimar as Guerlainade the base Guerlain used in many of their fragrances is big on heliotrope as well.
    DONNA

  6. #6

    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    I keep pelargoniums/geranium plants in the bathroom, because of the scent of the leaves.
    Usually the other way round, that growing plants makes me wonder whether there is a similar fragrance available.
    Spring/early summer rotation : Guerlain Vetiver and Habit Rouge L'Eau; Etro Palais Jamais, Shaal Nur, Dianthus and Gomma; Penhaligon's Juniper Sling and Blenheim Bouquet; Comme des Garcons Zagorsk and Avignon; Dior Fahrenheit; and L.T. Piver Heliotrope
    Currently wearing: Yatagan by Caron

  7. #7

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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    l'm already a fairly keen gardener, & l'd love to grow gardenias, but l understand they're very fussy plants. l'm not sure they'd survive our winters either, but l'd like to try sometime.

    lf you love heliotrope, l recommend you try L'Heure Bleue & Alien Essence Absolue.
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    I enjoy perfumes and gardening, and often these hobbies influence each other.

    I enjoy heliotrope notes in perfumes, and I grew some heliotrope in my garden for the first time last summer, and I just loved it--it smelled just like L'Heure Bleue. (A must-try for a heliotrope lover; Insolence EDP is a modern Guerlain with lovely heliotrope as well.)

    Are you growing your heliotrope outdoors or indoors, Psychobaby? I put mine outdoors and it bloomed strongly all season and into the fall. I'm in Zone 7 so it will be an annual for me, but I will just plant some more this year.

    I love smelling the roses, iris, herbs (sage, lavender, rosemary, thyme, tarragon) in my garden. The lily of the valley and daffodil and narcissus that I grow do not have much of a scent--just an elusive scent when they first bloom.

    @Teardrop- I also wish I could grow gardenias outdoors but I am in the wrong climate. Our cat nibbles on our house plants, and gardenia is toxic, so an indoor gardenia plant is a no-go for me, but I would try one otherwise.
    Currently wearing: Muse by Coty

  9. #9
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    I love the fragrance of heliotrope too. As well as the excellent examples already mentioned, my favorite perfumes with a heliotrope note include Kenzo Amour, Cacharel Loulou, and Esprit d’Oscar.
    "I felt something so intense, I could only express it in a perfume." - Jacques Guerlain

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    I agree with what was stated before me. I love heliotrope, but heliotrope is such a highly regulated ingredient, so diluted that I don’t look for it in fragrance anymore. Vintage Guerlain L’Heure Bleue + Caron Farnesiana were the best examples. Apres L’Ondee was another...... (My edt is still pretty, but it’s lacking in feeling.)

    pluran, I didn’t know that “heliotrope is used as a precursor to manufacture the drug, Ecstasy.” How odd! Anyway, I am loving your Guerlain Heliotrope pic!!!! THAT is my idea of ecstasy!!!!!!
    Last edited by Shemelimelle; 13th April 2019 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Guerlain Heliotrope 1870s.
    “You are the bait. The bait is you.” ~Trick or Treat (1986)
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Quote Originally Posted by teardrop View Post
    l'm already a fairly keen gardener, & l'd love to grow gardenias, but l understand they're very fussy plants. l'm not sure they'd survive our winters either, but l'd like to try sometime.

    lf you love heliotrope, l recommend you try L'Heure Bleue & Alien Essence Absolue.
    L'Heure Bleue was my introduction to the heliotrope note. It took me some time to appreciate the note.
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Glad you found something you like so much. It is indeed a lovely note. $$$ Jarling is a heliotrope bomb.

    I don't have a garden, so I never really grew anything for the smell. I'm curious for humble helichrysum, though.

    As for gardenias, I see how UK or Northern US would be difficult for the plant. They seem to grow pretty well at my mom's house, and they are indeed intoxicating. But it doesn't freeze where she lives, and the summers are warm.

    cacio

  13. #13

    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    I'm coming to the conclusion that the reason I like so many of Etro's offerings is their use of various artemisias in several of their frags - plants with aromatic leaves, like sagebrush, artemisia, wormwood, and also geranium.
    If only there were a frag that used yarrow, tansy, rue, or juniper leaf. Rosemary also underused.

    OP : I recommend Boucheron Jaipur Pour homme EdT, for another excellent take on heliotrope.
    Last edited by incense+heliotrope; 15th April 2019 at 04:59 PM.
    Spring/early summer rotation : Guerlain Vetiver and Habit Rouge L'Eau; Etro Palais Jamais, Shaal Nur, Dianthus and Gomma; Penhaligon's Juniper Sling and Blenheim Bouquet; Comme des Garcons Zagorsk and Avignon; Dior Fahrenheit; and L.T. Piver Heliotrope
    Currently wearing: Yatagan by Caron

  14. #14
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Quote Originally Posted by incense+heliotrope View Post
    I'm coming to the conclusion that the reason I like so many of Etro's offerings is their use of various artemisias in several of their frags - plants with scented leaves, like sagebrush, artemisia, wormwood, and also geranium. Aromatics, but not the usual lavender (flowers).
    If only there were a frag that used yarrow, tansy, rue, or juniper leaf. Rosemary also underused.

    OP : I recommend Boucheron Jaipur Pour homme EdT, for another excellent take on heliotrope.
    Jaipur Homme is a great one. I love the heliotrope in Prada's Infusions d'Amande too.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Quote Originally Posted by donna255 View Post
    L.Piver Heliotrope Blanc is a lovely and very cheap heliotrope and Etro Heliotrope is another but more expensive.
    How do you find the performance of the Piver, please? I saw this in TK Maxx for a steal yesterday and I'm guessing that's where you found it too!

  16. #16

    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Okay, it is not a powerhouse but I get a good 5-6 hours where I can clearly smell it whether others can smell it by then I doubt.

    Yes, really a great steal in TKMaxx
    DONNA

  17. #17
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Quote Originally Posted by donna255 View Post
    Okay, it is not a powerhouse but I get a good 5-6 hours where I can clearly smell it whether others can smell it by then I doubt.

    Yes, really a great steal in TKMaxx
    Cheers! I'll pick this up next time I'm in there.

  18. #18

    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    While having little to no experience with heliotrope so far, still being personally more than eager to always try more and/or in a hopefully more, increasingly diverse way

    (including but not limited to indeed home gardening of both fragrance related and regarding plants apparently not used in cosmetics/medicine/perfumery ans so on, but also additional sampling/testing etc.)

  19. #19
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_Russell View Post
    While having little to no experience with heliotrope so far, still being personally more than eager to always try more and/or in a hopefully more, increasingly diverse way

    (including but not limited to indeed home gardening of both fragrance related and regarding plants apparently not used in cosmetics/medicine/perfumery ans so on, but also additional sampling/testing etc.)
    Currently wearing: No. 5 by Chanel

  20. #20

    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Quote Originally Posted by grayspoole View Post
    I enjoy perfumes and gardening, and often these hobbies influence each other.

    I enjoy heliotrope notes in perfumes, and I grew some heliotrope in my garden for the first time last summer, and I just loved it--it smelled just like L'Heure Bleue. (A must-try for a heliotrope lover; Insolence EDP is a modern Guerlain with lovely heliotrope as well.)

    Are you growing your heliotrope outdoors or indoors, Psychobaby? I put mine outdoors and it bloomed strongly all season and into the fall. I'm in Zone 7 so it will be an annual for me, but I will just plant some more this year.

    I love smelling the roses, iris, herbs (sage, lavender, rosemary, thyme, tarragon) in my garden. The lily of the valley and daffodil and narcissus that I grow do not have much of a scent--just an elusive scent when they first bloom.

    @Teardrop- I also wish I could grow gardenias outdoors but I am in the wrong climate. Our cat nibbles on our house plants, and gardenia is toxic, so an indoor gardenia plant is a no-go for me, but I would try one otherwise.
    Grayspoole, I am growing the heliotrope outdoors, but I live in the Bay area of California. My city is apparently zone 10a, so it should be a perennial in these parts. We shall see. I am thinking about tracking down some Helichrysum italicum (immortelle) for my next fragrance inspired plantings.

    Regarding heliotropin, a confusing bit of information I came across on wikipedia suggested that heliotrope doesn't actually contain heliotropin. If this were true, then either no one uses heliotrope oil in fragrances OR only heliotropin synthetic has ever been used for a heliotrope accord. Can anyone with more knowledge than me confirm or deny this?

  21. #21

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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    I don't know whether the flower contains heliotropin or not. But if I am not mistaken, the widespread use of heliotropin in old perfumes was due exactly to the fact that it was one of the first synthesized aromachemicals, so it was cheap and abundant (a little bit like violet, which was also synthetic and widely used around the turn of the century). So the heliotropin used in perfumes was synthetic, not coming from the flower.

  22. #22

    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Quote Originally Posted by donna255 View Post
    I LOVE Heliotrope too. But be aware the perfume rules these days make it a watered down version in many fragrances. L'eau d'Hiver which I own an original is now going from a recent brand new sample a mere shadow of its self.
    That's too bad, tho I own and enjoy the recent stuff. Longevity is pretty good in my opinion , it just doesn't project very much or very long.

    Other than that the only thing on my buy-list is Etro's Heliotrope, I really like that one, it's very dry but sweet smelling.

    If I was a woman I'd get some Prada Infusion d'iris absolue, altho it doesn't have heliotrope listed as a note it very much reminded me of L'eau d'hiver, but a more dense and more honey-like version with the iris also much stronger.

  23. #23
    Dependent Shemelimelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Thank you, cacio. I learned something new.
    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    I don't know whether the flower contains heliotropin or not. But if I am not mistaken, the widespread use of heliotropin in old perfumes was due exactly to the fact that it was one of the first synthesized aromachemicals, so it was cheap and abundant (a little bit like violet, which was also synthetic and widely used around the turn of the century). So the heliotropin used in perfumes was synthetic, not coming from the flower.
    “You are the bait. The bait is you.” ~Trick or Treat (1986)
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Etro Heliotrope (the vintage bottle from the 90's) is still the best heliotrope I've tested on skin, a magic musky/almondy fragrance.
    Currently wearing: Lui by Mazzolari

  25. #25

    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    I was amazed the first time I smelt heliotrope. It really does smell like a vanilla-almond pastry, wow! I'd have liked to have some in my little garden on the balcony, but the climate where I live doesn't seem optimal for its growth. But I became obsessed with iris germanica, carnation and hyacinth after getting into the perfume hobby.
    Currently wearing: Pour Un Homme by Caron

  26. #26

    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    so do I -- it's a gorgeous smell

    Piver at TK Maxx? I need to pay a visit!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Quote Originally Posted by Heawns View Post
    If I was a woman I'd get some Prada Infusion d'iris absolue, altho it doesn't have heliotrope listed as a note it very much reminded me of L'eau d'hiver, but a more dense and more honey-like version with the iris also much stronger.
    I wear this and it's lovely. Like the regular Infusion d'Iris but with a strong benzoin note. I got mine from TK Maxx when it was discontinued.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    Piver at TK Maxx? I need to pay a visit!
    Yeah, seen a few there over the past year or so. Dirt cheap too when they're in stock, think you're looking at £12.99 for 100ml.

  28. #28

    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Quote Originally Posted by teardrop View Post
    l'm already a fairly keen gardener, & l'd love to grow gardenias, but l understand they're very fussy plants. l'm not sure they'd survive our winters either, but l'd like to try sometime.

    lf you love heliotrope, l recommend you try L'Heure Bleue & Alien Essence Absolue.
    i believe gardenias are hardy to zone 7 in the US, which is equilvalent to like -18 degrees Celsius at the coldest. If your winters get colder than that they wont survive outdoors.

  29. #29

    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    Quote Originally Posted by Heawns View Post
    Other than that the only thing on my buy-list is Etro's Heliotrope, I really like that one, it's very dry but sweet smelling.
    Etro Heliotrope is my favourite 'heliotrope' by a long way : cold, white and dry, barely sweet, almost industrial. There's nothing quite like it.

    The PIver Heliotrope could be found for under a tenner in TK Maxx recently, in Clearance. It's a single-note eau de cologne strength with heliotrope. I'd use it before a morning shower, wash with almond soap, and then apply the Etro.

    The Prada Id'I Absolue reminds me mostly of Xerjoff 17/17 Irisss. It is a gorgeous plush and rooty iris. I've not tried L'Eau d'Hiver, so can;t compare.
    Spring/early summer rotation : Guerlain Vetiver and Habit Rouge L'Eau; Etro Palais Jamais, Shaal Nur, Dianthus and Gomma; Penhaligon's Juniper Sling and Blenheim Bouquet; Comme des Garcons Zagorsk and Avignon; Dior Fahrenheit; and L.T. Piver Heliotrope
    Currently wearing: Yatagan by Caron

  30. #30

    Default Re: I love heliotrope

    I own the older Etro and for me, LTPiver is the closest I have found to it.

    Now, Crown Perfumery Heliotrope is wonderous but like hen's teeth to find. I had to get a load of samples which came to 20 mils in the end way back.

    I fancied trying SMN Heliotrope but it is also discontinued it seems.
    DONNA




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