Iris florentina is native to the eastern Mediterranean. It bears grey-white flowers with yellow inner beards and its underground rhizomes are the source of valued orris powder and absolute.
Orris absolute (the oldest and most expensive perfumery material) is steam distilled from the dried and powdered rhizomes, which have to be stored for several years to develop their violet-like fragrance. Iris flowers are sometimes used to flavour gin.
Used in the fleur-de-lys symbol, the three inner petals of the iris flower represent faith, wisdom and valour. In Ancient Greek mythology, Iris was the messenger of the Gods and considered an embodiment of the rainbow. Her winged form was a popular subject in art and the flower was named after her.
We make our fresh iris extract by steeping the whole fresh flower heads in water. The leaves, flowers and rhizomes of Iris florentina contain beneficial isoflavones, which may offer relief from skin irritation and inflammation. We use fresh iris flower extract for its skin-soothing properties and beautiful fragrance.