Refers to a genus of flowering plants that feature showy leaves, which often come in extravagant colors. Commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant, the flowers of the Iris come in a wide range of shapes and forms. These plants are also widely used for their scenting properties, with the roots having been traded as luxury commodities even as far back as ancient Rome. Most often it is the root of the plant, otherwise known as the orris root, that is used in perfumery for its aromatic properties.
Mainly used as a base note or fixative in perfumery, the root of the Iris when prepared for fragrances, carries a scent that is often compared to that of violets. It is also a common fixative in potpourri blends.
The flowers are sometimes used in aromatherapy, and have also been historically used to scent, flavor, and color certain types of gin. The scent of the root and of the flower are alike in many ways, but noticeably different at the same time. The flowers are less pungent than the roots, and the roots can last many times longer if treated correctly.