Monday 18 July 2022


L T Piver Héliotrope Blanc Lotion Perfume Bottle
With the weather getting hotter, and people making the most of the sunshine, many are looking at ways to cool down while still smelling fantastic. Now, those living in France, Germany and Spain know exactly how to achieve this, but their traditional approach is still not really embraced by fragrance fans outside of those countries. I’m talking about the wonderfully inexpensive option of liberally splashing on a cologne. Colognes are one of the most cost-effective ways to scent, at the same time as beating the heat, and one of my favourites has always been the legendary Héliotrope Blanc Lotion by L.T. Piver.

The tradition of applying a palmful of cologne onto the face and body has been superseded these days by the more recognised spritz, but it wasn’t always like this. Colognes, also known as lotions, were liberally splashed after shaving or used as a frictionate after bathing. The idea was that the action of rubbing it vigorously onto the body would awaken the senses and, as the alcohol evaporated, produce a feeling of cool freshness. Perfume companies have regularly played with the cologne form, but L.T. Piver always had it as part of their collection.

The company was launched in 1774 by Michel Adam but, at that time, they were called A la Reine des Fleurs. Based in Paris, they originally produced exquisite floral waters along with fashionably scented gloves. It wasn’t long before their reputation for excellence spread and they became an official supplier to the court of Louis XVI and opened a store in London. Various changes of ownership, some within the family and finally externally to Eric Amouyal in 1988, saw the lustre dim slightly on this historic house, but it has always managed to retain its loyal followers and continues to attract new converts.

L T Piver A l'Héliotrope Triple Extrait Vintage Perfume Bottle
L.T. Piver’s tradition of floral waters led perfectly on to a cologne collection, which seem to have started appearing around the 1920s as diluted versions of their bestsellers. Héliotrope Blanc was first released in 1895 as a traditional perfume, but this wasn’t the first time that the company had played with this ingredient. They had previously released it as part of their Triple Extrait collection, which would also return later in the company’s history, and may be where Héliotrope Blanc’s often misquoted date of 1850 comes from. It’s been reformulated over the years, but has time been kind to this diamond in the crown of L.T. Piver?

Héliotrope Blanc owes its existence to the synthetic heliotropin, which was discovered in 1885 and recreated the scent of the flower in an affordable way. Now, there are many different colours of heliotrope flower, but taking white as inspiration gave it an almost ethereal quality. The fragrance opens with an immediate pairing of ylang and jasmine, but this is alongside an edgy note of bergamot and green dewy foliage. There’s a touch of clove that comes through but, very quickly, the heliotrope arrives in the form of a cherry pie aroma. The simple development of the scent then sees the appearance of tonka bean and musk, but it seamlessly completes a deliciously vintage and unisex summer cooler.

Héliotrope Blanc Lotion can be found online from numerous sellers in its 423ml and 100ml sizes, and also often appears in TKMaxx. There’s also an eau de toilette version if you’re looking for a slightly longer lasting scent. You can also read my previous L.T Piver reviews of Rêve d’Or and Ciel d'Eté by clicking on the images below. [Bottles were purchased]

L T Piver Reve d'Or Perfume BottleL T Piver Ciel d'Ete Perfume Bottle

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