Orris is one of perfume’s rarest and most valuable ingredients. Made from the dried, powdered and distilled roots of bearded iris, it is velvety, suede-like, with a hint of violet, something of milk and earth. It's deeply rooted in the soil in which it’s grown and intimately connected to the people who tend it. After three to four years of flowering, the roots are dug up by hand - scentless, they must now be matured for another several years. Once mature, the roots are powdered, mixed with water and distilled by steam to produce a semi-solid oil, sometimes known (delightfully) as orris butter. This oil has been used in fragrance for thousands of years, making appearances in iconic scents such as Chanel No. 5.