Fragrance Notes

Heliotropin Scent in Perfumery

What is Heliotropin?

Heliotropin, also called piperonal or heliotropine, is a synthetic chemical used to add a sweet, floral, and slightly nutty aroma to perfumes. It is a colorless liquid that is produced in a lab, the result of a chemical reaction between other chemicals.

Oftentimes, it is used in combination with the natural heliotrope aroma, helping to enhance or modify its scent.


Heliotropin was first synthesized in the late 19th century through the reduction of isosafrole, a chemical found in certain plant-based oils. Initially, it was primarily utilized as a precursor in the production of other compounds, such as dyes and pharmaceuticals.


Heliotropin has a dual role in perfumery. It imparts a sweet, vanilla-like aroma that enhances the fragrance when paired with scents such as rose, lavender, and jasmine, and it also acts as a fixative, prolonging the longevity of the perfume's fragrance.

Ingredient Type:

Because it is produced in a laboratory, heliotropin is labeled as a safe synthetic chemical compound.

What Does Heliotropin Smell Like?

Heliotropin has a sweet, floral and nutty scent, akin to vanilla or almond. It has a strong aroma with balsamic undertones and a hint of spice and woodiness.

Variations in Perfumery:

There are several forms of heliotropin that are used in perfumery, including heliotropin isolate and pure heliotropin compound. The desired scent and intended application of the final product will determine the specific concentration and form that is best suited to a formula.

In perfumes, the variations of heliotropin most often used are chemical derivatives or analogs of the molecule, meaning that the chemical structure is slightly different than its original form. For example:

  • Heliotropyl acetate is a combination of heliotropin and acetic acid, and can help strengthen the aroma of heliotrope in perfumes
  • Iso heliotropinboasts a more fruity, less floral scent profile when compared to the original
  • Ethyl vanillinhighlights notes of vanilla in perfumes

All of the variations of heliotropin makes it possible to create a broad range of nuanced scents, resulting in a beautifully balanced end result.

What Fragrance Family is Heliotropin in?

Heliotropin belongs to the floral fragrance family and more specifically to the subgroup of floral-almond fragrances. It has a unique powdery and sweet character, similar to the heliotrope flower. It may also be classified as a gourmand fragrance, known for its sweet scent reminiscent of dessert.

Phlur Perfumes Containing Heliotropin:

No Phlur fragrances utilize heliotropin materials at this time.

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