Fragrance Notes

Heliotrope Scent in Perfumery

What is Heliotrope?

Heliotrope is a flowering plant that is native to South America, also referred to as bloodflower, cherry pie, or turnsole. The heliotrope plant has clusters of small, fragrant flowers in shades of purple or white, with a sweet, almond-like scent.

Using a specialized, steam distillation process, heliotrope essential oil is extracted from the plant’s flowers and used in a variety of perfumes and other fragrance products (such as candles, soaps, and lotions).


Heliotrope, a natural ingredient with a sweet, floral, and slightly nutty aroma, was first utilized in perfumery during the 19th century after it was introduced by European explorers and botanists. Its popularity led to widespread use in various products such as perfumes, cosmetics, skin care and traditional medicines.


Because of its strong, long-lasting aroma, heliotrope is often used as a base note in perfumes. It can help anchor other scents in the fragrance, adding a floral, subtly-nutty element to complementary scents such as vanilla, caramel, and tonka bean.

Ingredient Type:

Heliotrope essential oil, extracted from the flowers of the heliotrope plant, is a natural raw material used in perfumery. Synthetic compounds that mimic the aroma of heliotrope may also be used to enhance or modify the scent of the essential oil in perfumes, which are created in a laboratory.

What Does Heliotrope Smell Like?

Heliotrope has a sweet and floral scent with a subtle touch of almond. Many people associate the fragrance with feelings of warmth and comfort, often noting its nutty, woody undertones.

Variations of Heliotrope in Perfumery:

There are three primary forms of heliotrope used in perfumes:

    1. Heliotrope essential oil: Extracted from heliotrope flowers via steam distillation, the essential oil is used for its fragrance. In many perfumes, heliotrope essential oil serves as a base note, supporting other scents and supporting the overall longevity of the fragrance.

    1. Heliotrope absolute: This concentrated extract of heliotrope is made using a solvent-based extraction process, offering the benefit of a more potent, long-lasting fragrance when compared to the essential oil form. Like heliotrope essential oil, heliotrope absolute is commonly used as a base note in perfumes.

  1. Synthetic heliotrope-scented compounds: These lab-formulated chemicals are used to enhance or modify the natural aroma of heliotrope, often combined with more natural forms of heliotrope to create a more intense fragrance effect overall.

What Fragrance Family is Heliotrope in?

Although heliotrope possesses some nutty and woody characteristics, it is generally considered to be a part of the floral fragrance family. Its complex, layered aroma pairs well with scents such as vanilla and caramel to create a pleasantly nuanced fragrance.

Phlur Perfumes Containing Heliotrope:

No PHLUR fragrances utilize Heliotrope materials at this time.

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