Noble Iris

Noble iris. Divine messenger of the Gods, you were the personification of the rainbow for the ancient Greeks. The ephemeral beauty and the magical hues of the celestial arch were found in the depth of our eyes and the delicate flowers bearing your name. You are the flower of the Renaissance, born in Florence and emblem of the city, then symbolized in the fleur-de-lis of the french Court. Your powdery fragrance, so sweet and sensual, let us dream about the delicious curves of some rich concubine in the boudoir.

Flags of Florence with the red iris - Photo by Rebecca Wheeler
Flags of Florence with the red iris – Photo by Rebecca Wheeler

Iris flowers have a very subtle fragrance yet rather faint and difficult to extract. Iris roots were once used as a sedative in the traditional herbal medicine. Today, the dried rhizomes also known as orris root, are left to  mature for five years or more, before to be ground and distilled into a thick and beautifully fragrant essential oil, also called orris butter.

Iris root called Orris
Iris root called Orris

Orris butter is commonly used in perfumery since it is also a natural fixative, a substance that preserves the most volatile essences and adds longevity to the fragrance. Some perfumers have placed the iris note at the forefront of their creation: “Dior Homme”  of Christian Dior is a classic iris-based fragrance for classy gentlemen. The iris heart note can truly be feminine, like in the mythical “Shalimar” created by Jacques Guerlain himself. The Italians are perhaps the true lovers of the iris note, obvious in the Prada line, the superb “Florentine Iris” of Zegna, the “Iris Nobile” of Aqua di Parma and in the most exclusive Italian house of Xerjoff with “Modoc”.

Iris nobile, amore mio, quanto ti amo!

Copyright: heikerau / 123RF Stock Photo

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