The undiluted Select extract is a soft solid, as shown. A warm water bath will quickly melt it though.
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.)
We tested the undiluted CO2 compared to the 10% dilution, also offered. In the first few seconds there was a dramatic difference in aroma, but once both warmed to skin temperature it was hard to distinquish the undiluted from the 10% dilution. Both have extreme longevity on the skin, and should make a wonderful floral anchor in a perfume blend. Our experience? Like our Lilac CO2, Orris Root CO2 does beautifully in dilution, and needs the warmth of your skin to open up. I would not diffuse this gentle beauty, or wear it in a piece of aromatherapy jewelry. I would reserve it for topical use, with proper dilution.