Orris Tattoo pays tribute to one of perfumery’s most incredible raw materials ? orris root. While florists adore the delicate, arching flowers and tall green stems of the iris, perfumers are far more interested in the unprepossessing-looking root underneath. The process of making orris butter is a real labor of love. The iris roots, or rhizomes as they are known, are left to grow underground for three years, and then left to dry out in a cool storeroom for another three years. The result is the most expensive butter you will never find on any supermarket shelf ? a silvery substance that Chandler Burr once referred to as?liquid good taste??.
Like pure orris butter itself, Orris Tattoo smells like the ground and the sky all bound together in one smell. To wit, it smells like bread, violets, eau de vie, suede shoes, cold air, and silky earth. Rooty and somewhat fresh at fresh, the scent soon develops a putty-like texture that remains cool to the touch, like chilled butter taken from a florist’s fridge. The orris here feels very pure, but it won’t make you feel like you’re chomping on raw carrots ? its purity is gentle, wrapped in a cashmere blanket. This purity is sustained right through to the supple grey suede that develops in the lower registers of the scent. With a material as exquisite as orris root, we pleased to see that Orris Tattoo resists the temptation to add on too many bells and whistles ? apart from a touch of what feels like humid, coconutty sandalwood, cashmere woods, and a hint of violets or heliotrope, this fragrance never really deviates from the orris root hymn sheet. So, if you’re looking for the doughy but ethereal pleasures of pure orris, then put Orris Tattoo on your test list stat.