Etro Heliotrope is one of my ultimate comfort scents. To me, it is the olfactory equivalent of my favorite blanket and a bowl of pumpkin soup. Fortunately, it doesn’t smell like the pumpkin soup, but it is still soothing and as warm as my blanket. It’s the kind of fragrance I find myself craving when it is cold and grey outside, or when I feel mentally and physically exhausted. It just relaxes me and puts me into sleeping mode.
As the name already says, it is a heliotrope scent, and this note is notorious for its “play-doh” vibe. If this is why you avoid heliotrope, you will probably dislike Etro Heliotrope. Personally, I think that heliotrope smells like almonds and cherries, plus I don’t think play-doh has an unpleasant smell, anyway.
Etro Heliotrope notes include: orange blossom, almond, petit grain, bergamot, iris, jasmine, heliotrope, ylang-ylang, rose, tolu balsam, tonka bean, musk, vanilla and peru balsam. It is definitely sweet, as one can imagine with this list of notes, but I wouldn’t jump and call it an “edible” gourmand. Even though it smells very foody in the beginning, you would better wait for the drydown before you judge it.
In the first minutes upon application, it is boozy and very sweet, with the almonds and the vanilla dominating the scene. At this point, it looks like the sweetness will keep on gaining momentum until it becomes unbearable, but fortunately (at least for me), this is not what happens here.
As it starts to dry down, it gets noticeable that most of its sweetness really comes from the heliotrope which, despite its sweet scent, is still a flower. The almond gets tamer, as if there is some sort of marzipan filled pastry being baked somewhere nearby. Among all the gourmand notes here, the vanilla is the last to recede, being gradually replaced by the heliotrope powderiness.
In the late drydown, it smells like a cool vanilla, with very subtle powdery undertones. I don’t detect any other floral, except for the heliotrope, but there is something very non-distinctively floral in the background, I just can’t pinpoint what it is.
The lasting power is very good for an Eau de Toilette and the projection is moderate. It may be a little cloying in higher temperatures, but it is a great cold weather unisex scent.