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Botanicals 101: Orris

An Enchanting Ingredient

Orris is the nickname given to the rhizome of the bearded iris, whose knobby ginger-like fingers can be seen peeking out of the ground year-round.

Historically, perfumers have used orris in perfumes and potpourris as a “fixative,” an ingredient that extends the longevity of the other ingredients used alongside it. This is why it sometimes shows up in gin recipes: distillers have learned that if they add a little orris root to their formulas, the other botanical flavors stay on the palate longer, leading to a more substantial impression.

We include it in Lustre for this reason – to ground its bright citrus and floral profile – but also because we can’t get enough of its beguiling and bizarre aroma, reminiscent of violets, hay, white chocolate, and even tobacco. 

-Seth O'Malley, Founding Distiller