Raw Materials Sunshine Fragrances

Sunshine Fragrances

06/25/16 03:11:53 (7 comments)

by: Matvey Yudov

The summer officially started a few days ago in the Northern Hemisphere. Our sun is so important for all of us, we glorify it in myths, poems, paintings and music. Perfumes have also been made in its honor, as well as synthetic fragrant materials.

Amouage Sunshine

You most probably have already used seasonal novelties by different brands. Many “sunny”, ”sunrise”, “sunshine” flankers appear every time summer starts. There is even an American brand named Solstice Scents. I could continue the endless list of sunny scents, but I'd like to remind you of a beautiful pair: Amouage Sunshine. In Sunshine for women, the leading note belongs to osmanthus with almond and tobacco in the background; in the masculine version, the classic fougere structure is accentuated by immortelle and brandy.

Solstice Scents

Usually we consider citrus as a sunny aroma. For example, a juicy cocktail of grapefruit, mandarin and bergamot in Cacharel Amor Amor Sunshine, or tropical flowers and fruits (Jil Sander Sunrise, Nautica Sunset Voyage). Marine fragrances also contribute to the summer mood. For example, Salvador Dali Silver Sun created by Dominique Ropion in 2013, and aromatic herbs heated in the sun (like in Lush Sun). Gourmand scents can also be sunny and summery, especially if you take into consideration coconut fragrances (Comptoir Sud Pacifique Caramel Sunset, Bath and Body Works Oahu Coconut Sunset).

Sun Fragrances


As I mentioned, some chemical ingredients have names in honor of the Sun. One of them is Heliotropin. Along with Vanilin and Coumarin, Heliotropin, which was synthesized at the end of the 19th century, is considered as one of the first synthetic materials used in perfumery. Heliotropin recalls the scent of heliotrope (lat. Heliotropium from the borage family). The plant's name derives from Greek ἥλιος, hēlios (sun) and τρὀπειν, tropein (turning), because its flowers turn to the sun during the day.


Heliotropin, also known as Piperonal, combines smells of vanilla, almond and cinnamon. You smell heliotropin in classic perfumes of the 20th century, especially from floral and oriental families. Heliotropin is an important part of Guerlain L'Heure Bleue and Apres l’Ondee, Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps, Madame Rochas, Coty L 'Origan, Oscar de la Renta, Dior Poison, Estée Lauder Knowing, Calvin Klein Eternity, Lancôme Trésor and many other popular scents.

Sun Light

Heliotropin has been included in the list of substances whose usage is restricted as a precursor for amphetamine synthesis. Substances containing over 15% of heliotropin are forbidden for sale, and perfumers who need it for their creations meet certain difficulties buying it. Besides that, the usage of heliotropin in perfumery is restricted to 8% for a perfume concentrate, that is why producing Après l’Ondée in the perfume extrait is quite problematic. Currently, replacements are used such as Coumarin, the substance patented by IFF called Dulcinyl (from a chemical point of view, Dulcinyl is somewhere between raspberry ketone and heliotropin), Aubepine (anisic aldehyde), Vanilin and its analogs, and substances which smell watery floral, reminiscent of lily-of-the-valley, like Hydroxycitronellal.


Another "sunny" compound is Helional, also known as heliobouquet, heliolan, helionix, heliopropanal, neohelial. It can be obtained through aldol condensation between Heliotropin and Propanal (hence the name Heliopropanal) following hydrogenation of the intermediate alkene. Helional smells fresh and watery with noticeable aspects of freshly cut grass, ozone, melon and cyclamen. It was one of the first watery floral aromas in the perfumer's palette. Helional is a part of many legendary perfumes: Dior Diorella and Eau Sauvage (both contain about 5% of helional, Edmond Roudnitska loved this material very much), Paco Rabanne Calandre (~1%), Calvin Klein Obsession and Escape, and in an endless row of aquatic scents.


I wrote this during the shortest night of the year up here in Russia but now the sun will shine a little less every day. I hope you'll enjoy the summer sun together with your favorite or new summer fragrance!

Mat Yudov

Mat Yudov is a chemist, perfumer, and musician. Mat is a researcher and specialist in the chemistry of aromatic materials. He graduated from Moscow State University "Lomonosov" in 1999. He writes for the popular perfume blog leopoldray.blogspot.com (in Russian).


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Rochas Soleil - thats a sunshine fragrance!


originaldeftom: yes, you are absolutely right, there are about 9% of heliotropin in Jaipur Homme and it's really a lot!


My favourite peoduct featuring Heliotrop(in) is Boucheron's 'Jaipour' for men. It is very close to the actual plant, that I always love to stick my nose in when I can.

It's addictive.


It's easy to see why Heliotropin has been loved by so many. I smelled it for the first time this year and it's a glorious scent! It is indeed sweet - sort of like a vanilla/flower/with just the slightest bit of sourness to it. It's a real beauty. In huge quantities I think it would bend more to vanilla, but in small doses it surely is a sunny addition.
Great article, keep them coming!


Super informative. I never knew that heliotropin was restricted as a precursor to (illegal?) amphetamine synthesis. Hard to picture a meth smurf going into Nordstrom's and cleaning out their stock of Apres L'Ondee.

Some people dislike Elizabeth Arden's Sunflowers, but it does have a sunny quality to it.


Add Lauder's Azuree--called the sunshine fragrance!


Hello, fun article. I always smile when I see the world sunshine in a perfumes name or description. I don't have many but I would not mind owning Amouage Sunshine women if someone would give it to me. I know Smell Bent also has one called Sunshine which I smelled. It's kind of happy I guess. Enjoy the summer.


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