Technically, heliotropin – the synthetic ingredient which recreates the heliotrope flower – is a member of the ‘aldehyde’ family of chemicals, and was first discovered in 1885.

Here’s the science bit:  1,3-Benzodioxole-5-carbaldehyde, piperonyl aldehyde, 3,4-methylenedioxybenzaldehyde and piperonal are all names for heliotropin.  Here’s the non-scientific bit:  this synthetic brilliantly copies the powdery, almondy or vanilla-y nuanaces of the beautiful purple, butterfly-magnet heliotrope flower (read about that here).

Like quite a few ingredients, though, heliotrope/heliotropin’s use has been reduced and restricted lately by the International Fragrance Association’s regulations (IFRA for short), and some iconic, heavy-on-the-heliotrope fragrances – including L’Artisan Parfumeur’s glorious Jour de Fête – have sadly been discontinued, as a result.

Smell heliotrope in:

Dior Dolce Vita
Emporio Armani Lei
Guerlain Après l’Ondée
Guerlain Cuir Beluga
Guerlain L’Heure Bleu
Paul Smith London Paul Smith Women
Penhaligon’s Cornubia

Recommended Posts