Bulgarian Rose Oil - Rose Otto
/Rosa Damascena/

Known as the finest rose essence or "rose otto" in the world, the Bulgarian Rose Oil has been distilled for over 300 years.  The exact origin of the damask rose can not be traced however there are fossil records which show roses have existed for millions of years. It is the oldest cultivated European plant in the United States and has been called the Queen of Flowers all over the world.
 Uses of rose oils date back to the ancient civilizations of Persia, Asia, Greece, Rome and Egypt. Rose oil has always been and still is a symbol of love and beauty. The modern healing tradition of the extract of rose began in the 17th century with the writings of English physician Nicholas Culpeper.
 The herbalist described the use of red roses to strengthen the heart, its cooling and astringent actions, and its effect on headaches and tired eyes.

The Bulgarian Rose oil and Rose Water is distilled from the species - Rosa damascena Mill. , subfamily - Rosoideae, family - Rosaceae.

The cultivation of essential plants and especially of the oil-yielding Rosa Damascena in Bulgaria started around the end of the sixteenth century, beginning of the seventeenth century. During that period, Bulgaria was under Ottoman occupation. It is believed that Turkish merchants brought the Rosa Damascena to some Balkan countries for cultivation purposes. Bulgaria the first plantations appeared around the town of Kazanlak (in Turkish it means “the place of stills”). The climatic and soil condition of the Kazanlak area proved to be more favorable as compared to almost any other place. Gradually the number of rose plantations grew occupying a large area in central Bulgaria later called the Valley of Roses For more than 300 years, the Bulgarian Rose Valley is considered the world center for Rose Oil production due to its unique climatic and soil conditions.

The oil-yielding rose is very sensitive to different climatic and soil conditions in terms of production of high quality rose essential oil.That is why there is a limited climatic area suitable for rose growing. In Bulgaria, the best area for growing roses is the Kazanlak area called the Valley of Roses. Shaded by the slopes of two majestic mountain ranges—the Balkan Mountain and Sredna Gora, the Valley of Roses has the perfect geographical and climatic conditions for growing and harvesting the oil-yielding rose. The Valley is considered to have the best soil structure, air humidity, cloudiness and precipitation for obtaining the finest and most sought-after rose oil in the world. In general, the Valley of Roses is divided in two major parts, which are actually two river valleys: Kazanlashka Rose Valley and Karlovska Rose Valley. The dimensions of the Kazalnashka Rose Valley are 94 km long and approximately 10 to 12 km wide. The average altitude is around 350 meters above the sea level, and overall territory is 1895 sq. kilometers (around 1.8% of the territory of Republic of Bulgaria. With similar features is the Karlovska Rose Valley —the average length is 55 km and width of 16 km. The average altitude is around 350 meters above the sea level and the overall territory is1387 square kilometers. The highest point of the valley is Klisura with altitude of 710 m above the sea level.  /to be continue/

Rose Blossom Photo Kaloian Stoev

On average, Rosa damascena will yield 1 kilo of oil per 4,000 kilos of flowers using modern distillation processes....

Raining Photo Kaloian Stoev

Although there are over 10,000 varieties of rose, surprisingly few of them impart a noticeable fragrance.

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