Orris root provides a powerful green and woody floral aroma with violet-powdery undertones. But it remains one of the most expensive fragrance materials used in perfumery.
Xavier Brochet, Global Director of Natural Product Innovation at DSM-Firmenich, explains how the industry is working both with orris and around its limitations.
Orris is a majestic flower, elegant and noble; perfumers adore its powerful floral, green and woody odour with violet-powdery undertones.
The greatest painters, such as Van Gogh, have immortalised its blue and gold petals.
Orris has been used since antiquity. The Romans enriched wine with it and orris powder was essential in Chinese medicine to heal wounds.
But we are always dreaming of telling new scented stories with it.
We often imagine that the beautiful flowers are used in perfumery, when in fact it is the roots that reveal these powdery floral notes. Its absolute is obtained from the distillation of the powdered roots, and not only from an iris concrete or butter.