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  1. #1

    Default Orris / Iris Root

    Compiled from the Note Identification Project thread:

    Orris Butter, Eastern Europe, Eden Botanicals – Wow. This was such a surprise and such a pleasure. I highly recommend it. One of the most expensive ingredients in perfumery, I got a tiny smidgeon of orris root butter. It was almost opaque white and waxy. It didn’t smell much until I dissolved it in alcohol, and then it opened up and diffused. What does it smell like? I’ll tell you. It smells like—carrots. I love this note. Sweet, rooty, light and a bit powdery. Ethereal and beautiful. No trace of the “metallic” bite commonly associated with iris in perfumes. Two iris perfumes that smell true to the natural substance are Chanel 28, La Pausa and Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist. Frederic Malle Iris Poudre is more of a floral.

    Orris (CO2): little bit sweet, woody, buttery, tree stems, turnips
    Last edited by socalwoman; 27th November 2011 at 02:48 PM.

  2. #2

    Question Iris, Orris, & Orris Root?

    I was wondering what the difference between these is (if any)--particularly between orris and orris root. I've smelled orris that smells more like the flower. I was wondering if the root is a distinctive smell from the flower (I would suppose it earthy and powdery if it were).

  3. #3

    Default Re: Iris, Orris, & Orris Root?

    First of all, how do you know what's actually in the frag? They can list something like "iris" but that doesn't tell you what molecules are in there, and of course you don't know what the amount is either.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Iris, Orris, & Orris Root?

    I'm talking about samples from various fragrance ingredient suppliers labeled "Iris," "orris," and "orris root" respectively-- so at least the supplier is claiming it is one thing or another--or is this taxonomy meaningless?

  5. #5
    hednic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    McLean, NYC, & Búzios

    Default Re: Iris, Orris, & Orris Root?

    I've read doing a simple search on the internet that according to Fabienne Pavia, in her book L'univers des Parfums the scent of the iris root differs from that of the flower, but she doesn't explain nor do I have any inkling what that difference is.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Iris, Orris, & Orris Root?

    Most perfumes that say they contain Iris/Orris are talking about the root, which is a smell similar to that of violets, and used interchangably with violet in fragrances. There is one Iris perfume that is actually supposed to replicate the flower, Hermes Iris Ukioye. I can't think of any others. I haven't sampled that fragrance, just read about it. If you are unfamiliar with the smell of violet or iris root, I would describe it as a very cool, sweet fragrance. You may recognize it as a common fragrance for women's cosmetics. Off the top of my head, L'Oreal lipstick has a scent that is mainly iris (probably fake, but recognizable.) L'Occitane has higher-end cosmetics scented with iris - the line that comes in blue jars.

    The Iris flower fragrance is very different from Iris root fragrance. Irises are pretty common in the spring where I live, so I've had many opportunities to smell the flower. It is a lovely floral scent. Again, nothing like the scent of the root.

    ETA: re-reading your post, it sounds like you are familiar with the scent of iris root, sorry if I sound pedantic. I suppose you can wait until spring and smell one yourself. Are bulb flowers common in your area? If they are, I imagine they come up really early.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    South Florida

    Default Re: Iris, Orris, & Orris Root?

    this thread should prove invaluable:

  8. #8

    Default Re: Iris, Orris, & Orris Root?

    The natural orris root as a butter, concrete or absolute is more expensive than almost any other fragrance material on the market due to the fact that the yield is very low. The synthetic orris that is available is usually a replication of the material known as orris butter, orris concrete or orris absolute. The dried rhizome is itself quite affordable and is still a common fixative in potpourri. It was once a common ingredient in face powder, which is where the connotation of the smell of orris being that of "make up" came from. Even though cosmetics don't use orris powder as often as they used to, the fragrance is still added quite often since the consumer expects the scent.

    If you want to know the scent of true orris root, you can order the powdered or whole dried rhizome from quite a few herb suppliers. The fragrance is quite potent. Be careful though, as it is known as a potent allergen in large quantities.

    Guerlain still uses (and makes their own) orris butter when blending their famous base. This is one of the reasons their perfumes can be so costly and also so very satisfying to so many of us who enjoy them.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Iris, Orris, & Orris Root?

    Quote Originally Posted by dollars&scents View Post
    this thread should prove invaluable:
    Was also going to post this.

    Very detailed thread.

    for swap/sale:

  10. #10

    Default Re: Iris, Orris, & Orris Root?

    Guerlain still uses (and makes their own) orris butter when blending their famous base. This is one of the reasons their perfumes can be so costly and also so very satisfying to so many of us who enjoy them.
    It's for the same reason their Apres l'ondée no longer smells iris ?

    I have smelled the rhizoms and the nearest thing i have found is L'AP - Iris pallida 2007.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Orris / Iris Root

    I have (from Eden Botanicals) orris butter and it is simply amazing!!
    Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~Confucius

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Orris / Iris Root

    i did notice that every other perfume has some iris note in it,and always asked myself which one is real

    i so much like when orris is wet, earthy, vegetal (carroty) like in 28 La Pausa , and in a little bit more dense version Iris Silver Mist which are both for me best orris root reference scents....

    Infusion d Iris by Prada, i learnt recently, is beautiful cheap reference for good iris scent, its mixed with orange blossom and woods(cedarwood), but very elegant

    and i dont like that powdery type of iris note , which is very synthetic to my nose, be it in Chanels (no 22), or in Guerlain( insolence edp, Shalimar Initial)

    but one nice "make up" and a bit powdery-violet iris note i get is in Histories de Parfums Tuberose 1 Capriciose

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