A word about the 10% dilution. I have tested both the undiluted Orris Root CO2 extract and this 10% dilution on my wrist. In all honesty, when first dabbed on, I did not like the 10%, it had a strange note. I loved the undiluted. But within less than a minute the 10% dilution had warmed to my body temperature and the two were indistinguishable. In my experience, the Orris Root CO2, like Lilac CO2 and Sandalwood essential oil, need the warmth of the human body. The exciting news is that I put a single drop of each on different wrists, perhaps four hours ago. After two hours, I could still still smell the faint scent of violets as I typed at my desk.. The aroma was light, but definitive, nice subtle sillage. Now, four hours later, it does not fill the space where I am working but when I smell either wrists, it is definitely still there. Sweet, soft, and reminiscent of violets. I love it.
You will immediately sense something familiar about the aroma of Orris Root. This root/rhizome of the Iris flower is a major component in many commercial Violet Leaf perfumes and is also used for flavoring and to scent soap.
Nature’s Gift is physically located in the state of Tennessee where the Iris (Iris germanica) happens to be the state flower, as these beauties are abundant here. Purple flowers emerge each Spring. The various shades of purple boast of vertical, visible, bright yellow and/or white portions. It is a regal flower of natural beauty standing proud and tall. Sometimes its appearance is compared to that of an orchid. Interestingly, Orris originated in Europe but now grows all over the United States in various eco -systems. (Rainy Oregon, the South West, Louisiana)
This new-to-us CO2 Select Orris Root is literally extracted from the rhizome (root) of the flower. It hails from the Iridaceae family and Liliales order, which includes Tulips and Lilies. The oil is a yellow to light brownish color and aromatically reminiscent of Violet, although less intense, slightly woody, and softly floral overall.
Orris Root is said to be antioxidant and antimutagenic. Our Orris Root CO2 Select contains 3% Irones (stabilized with MCT oil), high content of myristic acid, and the essential oil, waxes, and fatty acids. It is thick and solid in glass but warms fairly quickly to pour. (Marge held a sample vial in her warm hands and the solidity disappeared within a few minutes.) If you’ve heard of or used Orris Butter, you will understand about the viscosity and it will require warming to liquefy. As it warms up the aroma will intensify.
It best and traditional use is in perfumery, to add a a subtle violet note to a blend, and as a fixative to increase longevity.
Author and Educator Madeleine Kerkhof describes Orris Root Co2 as, “relaxing, calming, and comforting,” and says it is best used for perfumery and cosmetics, although she notes that some make a connection between Orris Root and femininity, as well as for spiritual use. Her research indicates an awareness and use of the rhizome in herbal healing practices for hundreds of years. (Some would say ancient peoples had an awe and reverence for the Iris.) Madeleine recommends usage for adults at from 0.5 to 2%, with up to 3% for small localized areas (ie, pulse points.)
Essential Oil safety consultant, educator, and author Robert Tisserand describes both the Absolute and the Essential Oil as, “no known hazards and contraindications.”
(Marge’s note: for 20 years I have resisted offering Orris Root because I was taught it was a strong sensitizer. I can not find my references for that, but I would still be cautious about using, for example, on broken or irritated skin.)