Welcome to our first Fragrance of the Week
with an ode to the Iris with Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger’s Rose Irisée.
This past week was the Iris’ turn to shine in the garden.
Iris essential oil (orris) is most often created from the species, Iris pallida, originally from Croatia, although it is also harvested in Morocco, China and Israel (as in Aedes de Venustas’ Iris Nazarena). The plant needs to flower for at least three years before it is considered optimal for harvesting the roots.
After it flowers, the stems are removed, and its roots, also called rhizomes, are harvested and cleaned. They are dried in the sun for three to ten days and then dry stored for three years. (Nothing fast about this!) Finally, the dried roots are crushed into a fine powder, which then undergoes steam or CO2 extraction to obtain the iris “butter” or “concrete.” One can now comprehend why iris, or orris root, is one of the most expensive raw perfume notes that exists!
Dried orris root (courtesy of FRAGments)
A description of Orris can range from earthy, rooty, velvety, rich and even to powdery. It has been traditionally used as a fixative to increase the scent’s longevity. Iris Gris, by Jacques Fath, the benchmark for vintage iris-based perfumes, immediately comes to mind.
I chose Au Pays’ salute to rose and iris because it reminded me of the vintage fragrances I grew up smelling. One sniff brings me back to the inside of my grandmother’s handbag, with its suede and scented lipstick. Rose Irisée starts off with bergamot, orange and wormwood, with the wormwood offering its unique herbal scent. Rose, almond and orris make up the main heart notes. The almond and orris outshine the rose on my skin, however. Its sillage and longevity are both excellent, no doubt due in part to the cedar, patchouli, vanilla, musk and sandalwood base.
Rose Irisée is arguably one of the most complex scents of Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger’s wonderful line.
Take advantage of the 15% off code, FOW RoseIrisee, through June 13th!