Family Rosaceae. Commonly known as Bulgarian Rose, Turking rose or rose otta. The rosa species are small thorny shrubs reaching up to 7 feet. Thought to have originated in Persia, R. damascena then spread across Mesopotamia, Palestine and Greece. Production of rose oil dates back to the 15th century in Bulgaria (then a part of the Turkish Empire). Bulgarian rose is still considered the most prized of all rose oils. 4,000 kg of flowers yields only 1kg of rose oil. It is one of the most complex essential oils, containing over 300 chemical compounds. Rose producing countries: Turkey, Italy, China, Moracco, France and Bulgaria
The first preparation of rose water dates back to the 10th Century. Although esteemed in ancient civiliztaions, the first rose oil is not believed to have been distilled until early 1600. Believed to have a cooling and soothing influence, ancient medicinal use of rose are almost identical to modern day aromatherapy. Known to have antidepressent, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, astringent and sedative therapeutic properties. Currently rose oil and rosewater are extensively used as a fragrance within skin care, perfumes, soaps and food flavoring.
No other flower has been elevated and distinguished in literature and mythology as the rose. In ancient art, a rose blossom symbolized love, beauty, youth, perfection and immortality. Most aromatherapists believe rose oil is effective for body, spirit and soul.