Coniferyl aldehyde (1) is previously reported as a potent inducer of heat shock factor 1 (HSF1). Here, we further examined the active pharmacophore of 1 for activation of HSF1 using the derivatives coniferyl alcohol (2), 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylpropanal (3), and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylpropanol (4). Both 1 and 2 resulted in increased survival days after a lethal radiation (IR) dose. The decrease in bone marrow (BM) cellularity and Ki67-positive BM cells by IR was also significantly restored by 1 or 2 in mice. These results suggested that the vinyl moiety of 1 and 2 is necessary for inducing HSF1, which may be useful for developing small molecules for cytoprotection of normal cells against damage by cytotoxic drugs and radiation.