Orris root
Dried orris roots

Orris root is a term used for the roots Iris germanica, Iris florentina, and Iris pallida. Once important in western herbal medicine, it is now used mainly as a fixative and base note in perfumery, as well as an ingredient in many brands of gin.

Fabienne Pavia, in her book L'univers des Parfums (1995, ed. Solar), states that in the manufacturing of perfumes using orris, the scent of the iris root differs from that of the flower. After preparation the scent is reminiscent of the smell of violets.

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. One ton of iris root produces two kilos of essential oil, also referred to as orris root butter, making it a highly prized substance, and its fragrance has been described as tenaciously flowery, heavy and woody (Paraphrasing Pavia, Dutch translation, page 40). Typical iris-perfumes (where the compound of the ingredient prevails over the other components) are: "Infusion d'iris"(Prada*); "Tumulte"(Christian Lacroix*); "Aqua di Parma"* and "Iris nobile"(Aqua di Parma*); "Irisia"(Creed*); "Y"(Yves Saint Laurent*) and "Vol de nuit"(Guerlain*).

Orris root is often included as one of the many ingredients of Ras el hanout, a blend of herbs and spices used across the Middle East and North Africa, primarily associated with Moroccan cuisine.

Orris root has been used in tinctures to flavour syrups; its taste is said to be indistinguishable from raspberry.[1]

References

  1. ^ Chase, Alvin Wood (1888). "Saloon Department: Syrups". Dr. Chase's recipes: or, Information for everybody (23 ed.). R. A. Beal. p. 44. http://books.google.ca/books?id=LVMYAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA44#v=onepage&q=&f=false. 

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  • Orris Root — is the root of some species of iris, grown principally in southern Europe: Iris germanica , Iris florentina , and Iris pallida . Once important in western herbal medicine, it is now used mainly as a fixative and base note in perfumery, as well as …   Wikipedia

  • Orris root — Orris Or ris, n. [Prob. corrupted from It. ireos iris. See {Iris}.] (Bot.) A plant of the genus {Iris} ({Iris Florentina}); a kind of flower de luce. Its rootstock has an odor resembling that of violets. [1913 Webster] {Orris pea} (Med.), an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • orris-root — florencinis vilkdalgis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Vilkdalginių šeimos dekoratyvinis, prieskoninis, vaistinis nuodingas kultūrinis augalas (Iris ×florentina). Naudojamas maisto priedams (kvėpikliams), džinui gaminti. atitikmenys: lot.… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • orris-root iris — florencinis vilkdalgis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Vilkdalginių šeimos dekoratyvinis, prieskoninis, vaistinis nuodingas kultūrinis augalas (Iris ×florentina). Naudojamas maisto priedams (kvėpikliams), džinui gaminti. atitikmenys: lot.… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Orris — Or ris, n. [Prob. corrupted from It. ireos iris. See {Iris}.] (Bot.) A plant of the genus {Iris} ({Iris Florentina}); a kind of flower de luce. Its rootstock has an odor resembling that of violets. [1913 Webster] {Orris pea} (Med.), an issue pea… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Orris pea — Orris Or ris, n. [Prob. corrupted from It. ireos iris. See {Iris}.] (Bot.) A plant of the genus {Iris} ({Iris Florentina}); a kind of flower de luce. Its rootstock has an odor resembling that of violets. [1913 Webster] {Orris pea} (Med.), an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • orris — florencinis vilkdalgis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Vilkdalginių šeimos dekoratyvinis, prieskoninis, vaistinis nuodingas kultūrinis augalas (Iris ×florentina). Naudojamas maisto priedams (kvėpikliams), džinui gaminti. atitikmenys: lot.… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • orris — [ ɒrɪs] (also orris root) noun a preparation of the fragrant rootstock of an iris, used in perfumery and formerly in medicine. Origin C16: appar. an unexplained alt. of iris …   English new terms dictionary

  • orris — blyškusis vilkdalgis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Vilkdalginių šeimos dekoratyvinis, vaistinis augalas (Iris pallida), paplitęs pietų Europoje. Iš jo gaunamas eterinis aliejus. atitikmenys: lot. Iris junonia; Iris pallida angl. Dalmatian …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • orris — noun a) any of several irises that have a fragrant root, especially Iris germanica (variety florentina) b) the fragrant root of such an iris; the orrisroot …   Wiktionary

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