"the man who had ambushed him had smelled of orris-root"

 

Iris germanica
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeIris germanica - Credit: Bernd Haynold

 

Orris root has sometimes been used in herbal medicines, but its main uses are as a component of perfume and as an ingredient in gin.  Dried orris root has a pleasant fragrance, similar to violets, and is also sometimes used in potpourri.  Orris root comes from the plants Iris germanica, Iris florentina and Iris pallida.