Why Bulgarian Rose Oil?
a look at Bulgaria's most famous export
It takes tens of thousands of rose blossoms, picked as they are unfolding in the early hours of dawn, to yield one ounce of rose essential oil. That makes rose oil one of the most expensive essential oils; it's so concentrated, however, that only a few drops are necessary to reap the benefits.
Containing a complex array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, rose essential oil has excellent emollient properties for moisturizing dry skin; it also offers antiseptic and astringent properties to treat acneic skin, as well as anti-inflammatory properties that help treat redness and inflammation. Rose oil can also help refine skin texture, controlling skin diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. A study has even shown that rose essential oil can help heal wounds, as inhaling it inhibits water loss in the skin and lowers the concentration of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the body.
Want more? Rose essential oil also possesses aromatherapy properties that calm and soothe. A recent study showed that rose and lavender oils can help treat anxiety and depression in post-natal women; while rose oil specifically has been shown to have a positive effect in treating depression.
Originally imported from Persia, Rosa Damascena – the rose which is used to produce rose oil – found a really good climate in Bulgaria, the locals enhanced the production and – gradually Bulgaria has become the world’s number 1 producer of rose oil.
Bulgarian rose oil is preferred to rose oil produced elsewhere because of its natural richness and high quality. Other countries producing rose oil try to compensate the lower quality of their oil by mixing it with other oils..not so in Bulgaria! They only produce pure rose oil, naturally rich in fragrance.
The best conditions for growing Rosa Damascena are right in the center of Bulgaria – next to the city of Kazanlak. The area is also known as the Rose Valley – wherever you turn, you will see roses grown (during spring of course, the picking of roses is until late May / mid of June) and many people are involved in the production of rose oil or rose oil-based products.
The specific climate that benefits the growing of roses there is related to the closeness of Stara Planina mountain, which stops the cold winds from the north. Then, the sunny and flat Rose Valley allows the roses to soak up as much sun as possible. In addition, the area is famous for its numerous mineral water springs, as well as many rivers crossing it.
Since Rosa Damascena’s roots go more than 6 meters deep into the soil, they use water from both the underground rivers and minerals from the mineral springs. This creates the perfect conditions for growing rich, aroma-intensive and high-quality rose oil.
Skobelevo's 'Damascena' is known for being the first private distillery in Bulgaria. Created with love, enthusiasm and hope for the realization of a dream, the distillery started working in 1991. We are proud that our production is clean and does not pollute the environment, as the production process is based on steam and water-steam distillation, without the use of any chemical solvents.
The company has its own Rosa Damascena plantations in extensive fields and gardens. The process of extracting essential oils is ISO certified.
Today Damascena is one of the leading companies in this industry.
Our Rose Garden is located in the heart of the Rose Valley – in the picturesque little village of Skobelevo, nestled at the foot of the Stara Planina mountain, situated between the “Rose Town” – Kazanlak and the town famous for its healing springs and balneotherapy – Pavel Banya.
Damascena Company produces and sells worldwide the famous for its best quality Bulgarian rose oil, obtained from the blossoms of Rosa damascena Mill.
N. Kovacheva, K. Rusanov & I. Atanassov (2010) Industrial Cultivation of Oil
Bearing Rose and Rose Oil Production in Bulgaria
The “classical” rose oil production is based on water steam distillation from rose flowers followed by cohobation
of the obtained water distillate. The final essential oil product is called Rose Otto or Attar. Beside distillation, rose scents could be extracted by solvent extraction producing wax-like mass called Concrete and followed by alcohol re-extraction for production of Rose Absolute. Currently the main part of the rose flowers harvested in Bulgaria is used for production of rose oil through distillation.
Presently the rose industry in Bulgaria involves above 65 000 employees, as most of them are seasonal workers from the three rose growing districts. The harvesting of the rose flowers continues for less than a month and starts during the second half of May. It is the most labour consuming process in the rose industry. This is also one of the most decisive factors which influence the overall production and price of fresh rose flowers and oil.
The relatively constant levels of the world consumption of rose oil over the years makes the rose oil market highly competitive for both traditional and emerging producers. The high quality of the Bulgarian rose oil, century old traditions and world reputation of the country make it a leading producer and supplier in the world market. There is a potential for further increase of the volume of the rose oil supplied by Bulgaria through reduction of its production cost, preservation of the high quality and increase of the share of produced organic rose oil.
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