Iris Flower Orris Root

Iris is the largest genus of the family Iridaceae with up to 300 species. It takes its name from the Greek goddess of rainbow, Iris. As well as being the scientific name, iris is also very widely used as a common name for all Iris species, as well as some belonging to other closely related genera.

In perfumery the root of Iris also referred to as Orris root is used as one of the most important fragrance materials. Odore Mio perfumers use butters and oils from Iris Germanica and Iris Pallida plants. Preparation is an expensive and time consuming process. After an initial drying period, which can take five years or more depending on the use, the root is ground, dissolved in water and then distilled. It becomes a highly scented, yellow-brown crystalline form. One ton of iris root produces two kilos of essential oil, also referred to as ‘orris root butter’ or ‘butter of iris’, making it a highly prized substance. The following perfumes use Orris root butter and oils: Amore Attis by Odore Mio OM 44, Silver Wood by Odore Mio OM 9, Chelsea Leather by Odore Mio OM 48.