Heliotrope (1989) Eau de Toilette

Heliotrope (Eau de Toilette) by Etro
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Heliotrope (Eau de Toilette) is a perfume by Etro for women and men and was released in 1989. The scent is sweet-gourmand. It is still in production.

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Perfumer

Robertet

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBergamot, Petitgrain, Almond
Heart Notes Heart NotesIris, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang-ylang
Base Notes Base NotesMusk, Peru balsam, Tolu balm, Tonka bean, Vanilla

Ratings

Scent

7.1 (288 Ratings)

Longevity

7.5 (212 Ratings)

Sillage

6.4 (182 Ratings)

Bottle

7.4 (180 Ratings)
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 23.09.2019
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Reviews

jtd

484 Reviews
jtd
jtd
Greatly helpful Review    7
fantasy
Heliotrope might as well be a fictional plant for all I know. I don’t know what it looks like and I’ve never smelled it but I’m 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 plant’s 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 Frédéric 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 I’ve come to believe that I know what heliotrope smells like when in fact, I don’t. It’s a false memory.

Actually, it’s not heliotrope that I have in my mind’s 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 it’s a bit small for Proust and it’s 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. It’s 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 don’t think of Etro as a line that veers too far into experiments in abstraction but Heliotrope is actually sort of wild. It’s 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.
1 Replies
7.5 7.5 10.0 9.0/10
PBullFriend

299 Reviews
PBullFriend
PBullFriend
Helpful Review    6
a beautiful mystery
I'm surprised that I even tried Etro Heliotrope. I generally don't like powdery scents that much, and I really dislike orange blossom in most scents.

But this is SO beautiful. It's a gentle vanilla-almond-floral that has just enough powder to bring to mind dusting powder WITHOUT making me think that it should be worn only by babies or elderly women. It has some similarity to Guerlain's Iris Ganache but without its penetrating sweetness.

It's suiting me just perfectly today, as I get ready to enjoy the last tomatoes of summer and welcome the cool breezes of fall. Wish I had bought a bottle when it was cheap and plentiful.
5 Replies
5.0 7.5 4.0/10
Sherapop

1239 Reviews
Sherapop
Sherapop
Helpful Review    4
Suspiciously Green Marzipan...
I like almonds, and I like heliotrope, but I'm not sure that I like them mixed together. I base this bold conjecture on Etro HELIOTROPE, which does just that. My feeling is that the flowers smell sort of sweet and marzipany, but the marzipan smells sort of green and weird, as though there might be mold implicated in the dessert. I definitely do not think that HELIOTROPE smells gross, but on the other hand, it's not that appealing on me.

Other reviewers appear to swoon over this composition, which is fine with me--I won't be depleting the supply of these bottles currently in existence, so everyone wins! When in doubt, I'm always happy to write perfumic failure off to skin chemistry. (-:
5 Replies
2.5 8.0/10
Awesomeness

247 Reviews
Awesomeness
Awesomeness
Helpful Review    4
Powdery Almond
I have a small decant of Heliotrope that is not contemporary but otherwise of unknown vintage. Given the creation date of this fragrance, it could be over 20 years old. And given the uneven reviews for Heliotrope, it seems that vintage & formulation just might have a lot to do with how this fragrance develops on skin.

I adore this powdery almond & vanilla scent, which is more almond & vanilla than heliotrope. It does not show a green character with any force that I can recognize. Quite lovely and just what it says it is -- Heliotrope supported by vanilla and several other accords to round out the wear.

The scent is perfect for sweater weather - Fall & Winter - and for bedtime after a warm bath. Unfortunately, the longevity is dismal ... a few hours tops. Otherwise, Etro Heliotrope would be full bottle worthy for me. Pity.

UPDATE: Don't know what took me so long to sample Dior Hypnotic Poison, but it's an Etro Heliotrope smell-alike, although a wee bit syntethic by comparison. I used up my decant of Etro Heliotrope & replaced it with Dior Hypnotic Poison but would have preferred to get the Etro had I been able to find it at a good price.

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