Celebrated in legend as the blood of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, Rose is the exquisite embodiment of perfume itself.
Gloriously intense, its stirring aroma is assigned to the heart - opening the doors to love, friendship and empathy.
Whether enjoyed as pure fragrance, an aromatherapy treatment, or for its many wonderful skin healing and beautifying qualities, Rose is, and probably always will be, the most revered flower the plant world has ever produced.
A Short History of the Rose
Since antiquity, people have been drawn to the rose more than any other species in the plant kingdom.
Described as the "Queen of Flowers" by 6th century poet, Sappho, fossilized evidence has indicated the rose existed much earlier, pre-historic times in fact, and petrified rose wreaths have also been found in ancient Egyptian tombs.
The controlled cultivation and use of roses is believed to have begun in Persia over 3000 years ago. They were once eaten as food and often used during ancient Roman and Greek festivities - scattered on the floors on occasions of great feasts and floated in beverages as it was believed they were greatly aphrodisiac.
Rose water, a product of rose petal distillation, was first prepared by the 10th century Persian physician, Anicenna, and is still today in cooking and skin care.
The rose is as popular today as it was those many thousands of years ago - both for individuals interested in cultivating it for the mere pleasure, and for those interested in pursuing alternative health benefits from its extracts.
Modern Day Use of the Rose
Though rarely seen scattered on anyone's floors these days (except perhaps at weddings!) and while it is not currently used widely, if at all, in official herbal medicine, the ageless rose still has many current applications.
We gift roses as a symbol of our love; we use extracts from rose petals and oil extracted from the seeds, or hips, to help heal and protect the skin, or as a vitamin-C rich tea; we use rose oil ("attar of rose" or "rose absolute") to produce exquisite perfume or in skin care products to promote regeneration and healing of the skin.
Rose Essential Oil
With its unsurpassable fragrance, Rose essential oil is one of the most loved, and most expensive, essential oils in the world.
The high price of rose essential oil can be attributed to it requiring the tender petals of between 30-60 roses to produce a single drop of essential oil.
Essential oil of rose has one of the most complex chemical compositions of all of the plant oils, consisting of at least 300 known compounds. Its main components are aromatic chemicals known as geraniol, nerol, farnesol, citronellol, geranic acid and stearpoten. Other aromatic components, such as eugenol, linalool, citral and rose oxide, are also found in trace quantities.
One of the largest exporters of rose essential oil is Bulgaria, with the main species being the Kazanlik rose, grown there for over 150 years. The Kazanlik rose is a deep pink color that produces one of the most exquisitely fragranced rose essential oils available.
Attar of Roses (or Rose Otto), is the most expensive form of rose essential oil. It is produced through careful steam distillation of rose petals that are picked in the early morning. Solvent extraction produces a more concentrated form of rose essential oil known as an 'Absolute'. This extraction method is rather complex in comparison to steam distillation, but in summary involves using alcohol to draw out the aromatic compounds from a waxy substance known as a 'concrete'. In a high quality rose absolute essential oil, there should be minimal to no amount of residual processing aid detected in the completed product.
Rose in Skin Care
Rose is considered non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing to the skin. It is a healing herb that promotes tissue regeneration and is suited to all skin types, especially mature, dry, inflamed or sensitive skin.
Whether it is in the form of essential oil, rose water, rose hip oil or rose petal extract, the rose can be extremely beneficial to the skin. It is highly nourishing and regenerative for dry and mature skin types and is gentle enough, and soothing, on sensitive skin.
Skin Care Benefits:
Regenerating, Moisturizing, Healing, Soothing, Antidepressant, Comforting, Nurturing
Alchemilla Products Containing this Herb:
- Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
- Organic Rosewater & Glycerin Facial Toner
- Rehydrating Day Care Cream
- Rehydrating Day Care Lotion
Bath and Body
- Organic Pregnancy Belly Oil
- Rose Essential Oil