Perfume Directory

Heliotrope (1989)
by Etro


Heliotrope information

Year of Launch1989
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 117 votes)

People and companies


About Heliotrope

Heliotrope is a shared / unisex perfume by Etro. The scent was launched in 1989

Heliotrope fragrance notes

Reviews of Heliotrope

Initial blast was frankly unpleasant to me; happily I couldn't get to a place to wash it off....and hung onlong enough to have a LOVELY surprise..but mellowed nicely and cozy scent with decent longevity. Definitely going for a second trial, putting it on a bit earlier so the first hit is over by the time I leave home.
25th September, 2020
Heliotrope might as well be a fictional plant for all I know. I donít know what it looks like and Iíve never smelled it but Iím drawn to scents known for prominent heliotrope notes. I may not know the scent of the plant but I know the infamous notes: marzipan, cherry pie, spiced vanilla meringue, coconut-almond custard. The same specific set of descriptors are repeated so consistently that I imagine the plantís scent must be very specific.

I can spot the descriptors. In monster perfumes like Loulou and Datura Noir but also in more delicate compositions like Ellena's l'Eau d'Hiver for Frťdťric Malle and Kiss Me Tender. I totally dig†Jour de Fete†and l'Heure Bleue makes me weep. Also, I'm American, so I suppose both cherry pie and a tendency to self-deception are part of my psyche. All this to say, over the years, in my head Iíve come to believe that I know what heliotrope smells like when in fact, I donít. Itís a false memory.

Actually, itís not heliotrope that I have in my mindís nose so much as heliotropin, the material used to create those gorgeous vintage orientals like Coty l'Origan and Guerlain Vol de Nuit †and classic carnations like Caron Bellodgia.†The first time I tried Etro Heliotrope it felt familiar, but just out of reach, like a misfiled memory. The recognition was instantaneous but understanding lagged with a drawn out, tip-of-my-tongue dissatisfaction. It was only when I re-spritzed a couple of hours later that I made the association between the perfume under my nose and the fantasy in my head. Is this the Proustian madeleine for this particular point in the 21st century? No transcendent moment, just a simple, satisfying connection? An itch scratched?

I suppose itís a bit small for Proust and itís not so much memory as a recognition of things imagined. Still it was informative to be confronted with the realization of what amounts to an olfactory hallucination. A little glimpse into how I make sense, or fiction, out of scent.

As for the perfume, it's all there---the pie, the meringue, the marzipan. But it has an unexpected confluence of textures and tones. Itís expansive and heady at the same time that it seems a little remote, like the scent is coming from further away than my wrist. The spiciness creates a bubbly quality as if the scent were carbonated but at the same time, there is a hint of play-doh and paste that creates a matte finish and an introverted impression.

I donít think of Etro as a line that veers too far into experiments in abstraction but Heliotrope is actually sort of wild. Itís built from a bizarre combination of scents. It balances the high-pitched insecticide sting of cyanide almonds and the scent of stones in dried clay soil. Like eating marzipan pastries in a musty basement or root cellar.

Avant garde, vanguard, avant courier? Ground-breaking, rule-bending? Listen up, groovy indie brands. This dandy fashion house has stolen your lunch with simple creativity.

02nd March, 2018
Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue has maintained its originality almost without competition since its inception in the early years of the 20th century. I have only encountered two attempts to give it a run for its money: the now sadly discontinued Caron's Farnesiana; and Etro's Heliotrope.

The impression for me of all three is that of a pastry shop in high gear with the scents of almond and vanilla creams and honeyed glazes, a mix of almond, heliotrope, vanilla, mimosa and honey itself. This is what you get with Etro's Heliotrope. It's delicious. It may not be as expertly blended as LHB, but it is a wonderful gourmand in and of itself, making use of high quality materials, and beautifully bottled and packaged.

A winner in my book from Etro, whose concentrations of oils more closely resemble those of an edp than the labels of edc and edt they advertise. In other words, a little goes a long way.
13th December, 2016
Imagine Caron Farnesiana or Guerlain Aprťs L'OndŤe after having undergone a serious slimming regime...
A lean, soft, elegant backbone of almond, heliotrope, vanilla and tonka bean, with just a powdery hint of fluffy flowers and that wonderful "doll skin" effect!
Heliotrope is a simple, yet very poetic fragrance, perfect, I guess, whenever one is seeking comfort and sweetness.
07th October, 2012
This opens up with a high dose of aromatic almond extract. Like one of those alomnd oil extracts you use for baking. Then it smoothes down to a powdery, almondy, slight floral vibe. It smells like the aroma of when you are baking almond cookies. This smells delicious. My only concern is that it doesn't project very much. It would have been nice to wear this during winter. However, it will just die down from the cold weather. Perhaps in the less colder days of autumn and spring. Highly recommend.
07th February, 2011
Reminds me a lot of Givenchy Pi, but less synthetic and a bit more floral. Just lovely gourmand scent!
01st February, 2011

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