what is orris root
Orris Root - Photo: Soapy Oaks Farm-Patrick on YouTube

Orris roots are the roots of two different species of iris, Iris pallida, and Iris germanica. It is sometimes converted into an herb and used to make medicine or fragrances.

Orris root (apparently a corruption of “iris root”) is composed of rhizomes of the German Iris (I. germanica) or Sweet Iris (I. pallida) and was popularly used in ancient times in perfumes and medicines.

Today, gin brands such as Bombay Sapphire and Magellan Gin use orris root and sometimes iris flowers for flavor and color. After harvesting, it takes approximately 5 years to age the dried rhizomes. During the process of aging, oxidation occurs producing a scent similar to violets. After the aged rhizomes are steam-distilled, the end product is a thick oil compound, known in the perfume industry as “iris butter.” Reputedly, orris is very effective in treating some skin problems and known to possess antibacterial, antimicrobial and germicidal properties. Due to these properties, the herb helps to treat numerous skin problems and make your skin fresh, glowing, spotless and smooth.

Making Orris Root Powder - How to make fragrance fixative with Iris Roots