Distintive , divinely exquisite heliotrope...the scent is derived from the flowers immediately after picking through maceration in oil ( historically , lard ) at a very low temperature , or traditionally through enfleurage . Each batch of blossoms is left in the oil or wax for 24 hours , then another batch introduced each day for one week . The oil/wax is then permeated with sufficient fragrance . There are over 80 species , but the heliotropum peruviatum is the species used in perfumery . Easily identifiable as the cherry pie note , it is both musky and sweet , related to borage , which has a cucumber - like aroma ..
Heliotrope is tropical , native to Peru , and was introduced into Europe about 1757 .
Synthetic heliotrope ( heliotropine ) was being produced over 1oo years ago ! As a by-product of camphor distillation , a large quantity of safrol is produced , and it is this from which synthetic heliotropine is derived . One source described it being derived from White Singapore pepper , piperine , then converted to potassium piperol using lime . It seems most fragrances today use the synthetic form .
Heliotrope fragrances :
Miller Harris Fleur Oriental
Serge Lutens Rahat Loukhoum
Guerlain Apres L'Ondee
Laura Mercier Marrons Glacees
Heliotrope does not seem to have any aromatherapeutic benefits , nor is it edible .
I love Miller Harris Fleur Oriental , but it can become too penetrating in the heat . Do you have a heliotrope fragrance ?