The beautiful iris flower holds another beautiful secret. Its root – when dried and ground down produces the finely scented orris root. This rare spice is sourced from the root of the iris pallida and iris germanica plants. Once the plant has matured over three years, its roots are harvested, peeled by skilled hands and then allowed to dry in the air until hard and then milled to create orris root powder. With its scent and flavour reminiscent of parma violets, one of its key applications is in gin production, but it also has multiple cosmetic uses.
Dried orris root has a sweet, floral scent which has been used far and wide in the manufacturing of perfumes for many years. It is valued within the industry not just for its scent – a fine floral – but also for its ability to enhance other scents and bind fragrances.
It can take many years for the alluring scent to develop – at first the roots don’t have much in the way of fragrance, but over several years the compounds in the root metabolise to give it its woody, violet-toned fragrance.
When distilled, orris root’s floral notes are complemented by an earthy sweetness that can add depth and texture to gin. However, few gin drinkers would be able to recognise the orris root in a gin because it is rarely included to enhance the taste. As with its use in perfumes, orris root is used in gin as a base note to help ‘fix’ other botanical ingredients. Along with juniper (link), coriander (link), lemon, orange and angelica root (link), orris root is one of the most commonly used botanicals in gin – and it’s used in small quantities in many different brands.
In North Africa, orris root powder is frequently used in the premium spice mix known as Ras el Hanout. It is a source of pride amongst Moroccan spice traders to have only the very best spices for their unique blends – which is why orris root deserves its reputation as a premium ingredient. The name of the blend Ras el Hanout translates to ‘top of the shop’, and it’s a blend of as many as 30 different finest spices.
At Joseph Flach & Sons we stock over 600 different dried botanicals, herbs and spices and only source our ingredients from high quality, trusted suppliers across the globe. As the leading orris root supplier, you can be confident in the quality of our product. We’ve been sourcing dried botanicals and other plant materials since 1882 and over the years have established an exceptional network of suppliers. If we don’t currently stock the ingredient you need, speak to us about how we can locate and source new products for you as and when your requirements dictate.
Our orris root offers reliability and traceability and is backed by the exceptional knowledge of our customer care team who can advise on our botanical’s provenance and usage.
Orris Root Powder
Orris Root Whole
Please note that many botanicals come in different forms and grades which may determine or improve their suitability for certain applications. At Joseph Flach & Sons we carry a large range of products in various forms and grades. Please do check with our experts if you require a specific grade or form and they will be delighted to help you.
All of our content is researched and reviewed by our experts. While we, Joseph Flach & Sons Ltd, do not make use of our products for health, beauty or other recreations such as brewing or distilling; our clients do. Please ensure that any products you buy from us are suitable and safe to use in your stock. We do not accept liability around the suitability of our products in any end-use.
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