Monday, February 9, 2009

Forgotten Gems Part V: Etro Heliotrope

SUBTLE SUGAR RUSH. Heliotrope - a very nice, albeit understated, cologne from the Italian masters of eccentric paisley Etro, is often unfairly overlooked in the discussions about the great gourmands. This is the aroma of bitter sweet almonds on a bed of white flowers sprayed with caramel milk. Even though heliotrope notes have been quite widely used historically, this rendition adds beautiful layers of cherry and soft tobacco creating a sublime pastry like impression. This is not just pure marzipan.

As mentioned, sillage is not its forte, but this is hardly an issue as I suspect a strength increase would just make it overtly sweet and cloying. Also I was quite surprised to learn that this was released in 1989 as it comes across as much more contemporary and soft compared to what stuff generally smelled like then. A fact that further proves Heliotrope was ahead of the curve and probably has served as an inspiration for fragrances like Dior's Bois d'Argent, L'Artisan Parfumeur's Bois Farine and Cerutti Black.

Captivating, precious and gentle.

Overall Rating: 7/10


Bond No. 9 said...

Hey, could not find your email, but you'll be interested in this:

When we introduced our latest fragrance, Brooklyn, last month, its breakthrough street-art surface design brought praise and a barrage of responses. Well, we already knew that aficionados of the borough of Brooklyn can be opinionated. But so many strong opinions reached us about what a Brooklyn bottle could look like that we realized we’d better offer more options if we knew what was good for us.

So throughout March 2009, Bond No. 9 invites everyone—amateurs and artists alike—to join our Brooklyn Bottle Design Competition and create additional visuals for this contemporary male-oriented cardamom-cedarwood eau de parfum.

Ground Rules

→ Create your design to fit within the outline of the Bond No. 9 superstar flacon and to include our circular “token” logo. (See outline with logo at

→ Any style, figurative or abstract, is fine with us.

→ Inspiration can come from anywhere in Brooklyn—DUMBO, Park Slope, Flatbush, Canarsie, Midwood, Bay Ridge, et al.—or from the very idea of Brooklyn.

→ Any medium is okay: oil, acrylic, watercolor, house paint, pastel, crayon, Magic Marker, makeup—even a ballpoint pen or pencil will do.

→ Completed designs should be submitted to or Bond No. 9, 9 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012 by March 31, 2009.

After our two winners are chosen in early April, we’ll put the victorious designs into production, with the winner’s names displayed on the bottles. Each winner will also receive one bottle of Brooklyn per month for a year.

Jolita (Bond No.9)

Niklas, Sweden said...

Not really a comment, more of a question:

Can you give me any tips on where to shop for fragrances in Brussels? I am aware of the Senteurs d'Ailleurs in 94 Av Louise of course. Are there any other gems that recuire a visit?

I am going to Brussels in a few weeks time for brief stop.

オテモヤン said...


Perfume Shop said...

""Etro"" is the same as style. A way of life based upon quality and sophistication. 'Heliotrope' is so utterly superb! Like sweet almond candy and vanilla ice cream. Great Perfumes of great brand.