The Egyptians cherished irises as a symbol of majestic power while the Ancient Greeks and Romans bottled it as an essential oil. Today, iris is still an incredibly well-loved ingredient. The dried roots of the plant are ground up, distilled and extracted into either a resin, an absolute or a butter. They have a buttery-soft, smooth and skin-like scent. Its powdery aroma is undeniable and can also be reminiscent of suede or even freshly-baked bread.
Worth The Wait
Iris is a beautiful flower with origins in Italy and Morocco. It takes on all the colours of the rainbow but is most commonly known for it’s purple and blue petals. The flower itself actually carries little scent. It is the roots (orris) that hold the scented magic but only one species is used in fragrance – Iris pallida. When the iris is picked, it is left to dry for up to 6 years! In our opinion, it’s well worth the wait. Like a fine wine, the scent of iris gets better with age.
The Perfect Combination
During the drying process, the roots naturally develop a soft, powdery, clean smell that is amplified once they are ground into a powder. ‘Irone’ is a molecule found in iris and belongs in the ionone family. Ionones are also found in violets so its no wonder the powdery aroma or irises are often associated to parma violets.
Violets have been used since the Victorian era as a scent additive to cosmetics and powders. This explains why people think of makeup powder when they first smell iris. It’s an aroma that evokes a certain kind of comfort.
AMBER / IRIS
An amber wrapped in powdery notes; dark yet soft.
The Perfumer’s Inspiration
A power play of ingredients, a scent of juxtapositions. A smoky, smooth incense pierces through rich, resinous myrrh. The subtle, hushed powderiness of orris contrasted with the warm, balsamic facets of labdanum. Syrupy vanilla is poured over patchouli for a chocolatey accord that soothes in the background. A blanket of ambroxan and ambrette seed makes everything soft – a downiness you can almost feel.
/ With ambrette seed absolute, Somalian incense oil, labdanum absolute, myrrh absolute, Indonesian patchouli, vanilla absolute, Italian orris, ambroxan.