Orris Absolute (1% Irones)

Adam Michael has this to say “This orris absolute is a deeply fascinating and very time consuming material to produce. The main producers today are located in China, France and Morocco and the species that count for the bulk of production are Iris.pallida, Iris.germanica and Iris.florentina. The Orris process starts with the rhizomes/roots that are known as orris roots. These are collected, washed, surface layer removed, cured and stored, the longer the better. The length of time the orris root is stored is largely responsible for the percentage of the prized constituents – irones, the aroma of irones are a lush green violet accord with excellent tenacity. Most material commercially offered will have a 1%, 8% and 15% content of irones.

For the extraction process to begin the rhizomes are taken out of storage, blitzed, resulting in material that resembles a starchy pulp. This is then steam distilled to produce essential oil and due to the chemistry containing mystric acid we find the material hardens up very quickly – resembling a waxy concrete and this is the reason so many people refer to the essential oil as orris butter. The process to produce Orris Absolute is even more interesting because our starting material is actually the orris butter/essential oil. This material is alcohol washed to remove the myristic acid and the oil left is vacuum distilled to provide us with the absolute. Orris absolute with a 70% irones content and upwards is still produced but comes with a big price tag of in excess of 50’000 Euros per kilo.

This orris absolute contains 1% irones and really is a very beautiful material, the aroma is slightly sweet, earthy, gourmand chocolate, floral and violets aplenty. In perfumery this material is a must for building floral, orris floral and fruity accords, blends very well with rose materials, pear liquid, raspberry leaf and fruity aldehydes, and injects floral love and sweet violet warmth into oriental bases.”

Botanical Name: Iris pallida

Origin: Morocco