Iris, Wisdom Brought from Heaven
Updated: May 4
If there existed somewhere in the world a tapestry into which were woven all the stories, legends, beliefs, symbols and facts concerning the Iris - it would be a very long tapestry indeed; and the end of it would not be visible, for the weavers are still at work. With striking uniqueness and beauty, irises have rich meanings, and when given as gifts, they can convey deep sentiments.
We owe the name of our flower to the Greeks. In Ancient Greece, Iris was the messenger of the Gods and considered an embodiment of the rainbow. She was the special messenger of Hera, the Queen Goddess. Her winged form was a popular subject in art and the flower was named after her. When Iris carried special messages from Heaven to Earth, she used the rainbows as her pathway. The ancient Greeks soon began the practice of planting purple iris flowers on the graves of women, believing they would entice the Goddess Iris to lead their loved ones in their journey to heaven.
These stately flowers, as evidenced by their depiction in Egyptian palaces, also enamoured Egyptian Kings. The Egyptians were likely influenced by Greek mythology and used the iris to symbolise their connections to heaven.
By the middle ages, France took up the gauntlet and began to use iris flowers to symbolise royalty and power. In fact, it is the iris that inspired the fleur-de-lis, the National symbol for France; the three inner petals represent faith, wisdom, and valour.
Iris florentina is a large genus of about 300 species found in Northern temperate regions. It is native to the eastern Mediterranean. It bears grey-white flowers with yellow inner beards and its underground rhizomes are the source of valued Iris powder and absolute.
Iris 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.
The leaves, flowers and rhizomes of Iris florentina contain beneficial isoflavones, which offer relief from skin irritation and inflammation. It is also a sublime deep cleanser leaving your skin smooth, silky while keeping its natural moisture. In the form of iris florentina extract root, it has long been used in anti-ageing products too due to natural isoflavones which are said to stimulate the skin and help to limit the breakdown of structural proteins. It is primarily - but not exclusively - used as an anti-ageing active ingredient.
Find Iris florentina in our Facial Floral Cleanser a deep cleaner to help you renew your skin and get a new and radiant glow. We also use Iris extract in our new Bridal Beauty Blend and the exclusive Aqua Serum Elixir.