Where it all began
The use of Rose oil dates back to many ancient civilisations and has always held the romantic reputation of being the internationally recognised symbol of love and beauty.
The medicinal and spiritual significance of Rose Oil led to its widespread cultural and religious use in healing rituals, celebrations and festivities.
Traditionally it has been used as an uplifting oil because of its anti-depressant qualities and also to treat problems associated with the female reproduction system such as menstrual and menopausal difficulties and discomfort as it was said to tone the womb.
The 17th century physician Nicholas Culpepper noted its circulative qualities for strengthening the heart and bringing relief to headache and tired eyes. The aphrodisiac qualities of the rose have also been well documented – Cleopatra was said to have used the oil of roses to tempt her lovers.
Sadly the price of this precious oil was unaffordable for most and was used by the elite to impress their wealth upon others. However, the pure essential Oil of Rose is very intense and a very little goes a long way.
Where it is today
Known as the finest Rose Oil or “rose otto” in the world, the Bulgarian Rose Oil has been distilled for over three centuries from hand picked roses of the Damask Rose.
This particular rose found optimum growing conditions in the Rose Valley of Bulgaria – sitting pretty between the Balkan range and the Sredna Gora mountains. The Bulgarian culture is steeped in the tradition of rose cultivating, harvesting and distilling and Bulgaria now produces nearly 70% of the world’s rose oil.
We travelled into the Rose Valley of Kazanlak to source Bulgaria’s finest and genuine Rose Oil and personally visit the supplier and see for ourselves where and how the product was grown, harvested and distilled. We are therefore entirely sure of the quality and authenticity of the organic certification claims and the purity of the oil.
Rose Adore Rose essential oil is ethically sourced – supporting the people of Bulgaria. Nothing is added and nothing is taken away. This is the genuine article.
Harvesting and Extracting
Bulgaria has earned its reputation as the “land of roses” because of three main factors
– its favourable February temperatures for forming the rosebud in time for flowering in May
– humidity required for the rose-picking season in May and June, and
– optimum soil conditions for growing the best quality roses.
The harvesting of the roses for oil production is very labour intensive. During the picking season which usually runs from the 15th of May to the 15th of June, the harvesters get up early to hand pick the roses before sunrise.
This is when the oil yield of the flower is at its highest and needs to be completed by late morning before the dew has had a chance to dry off.
Baskets are gently filled with the freshly picked flowers and transferred to sacks for their immediate delivery to the distillery. The essential oil distillation takes place on the same day as harvest.
As soon as the roses arrive at the distillery, they undergo a double distillation extraction process. In the traditional manner, a 120kg copper still is filled with 15kg of rose blossoms and 60 litres of pure water. Direct fire heats the still so that the mixture boils for three hours, producing two bottle of rose water.
The rose water bottles obtained from 10 stills are boiled for a second time, resulting in a single bottle of concentrated rose water over which the light Rose essential oil floats. The oil is then separated from the rose water with special pipettes.
This precise process requires 5,000kg of rose flowers to produce one kilogram of rose essential oil.