Rose oil is perhaps one of the most exquisite and recognizable aromas. The rose is common and unassuming, and has perfumed human history for generations. The rose symbolizes love, gratitude, desire, friendship, purity, enchantment, unity and passion. Rose comforts the heart, lifts the spirits, allays anxiety and is generally nurturing. Rose oil is usually the first choice for treating many female reproductive problems and its valuable skin care qualities and delicious fragrance make rose a good choice in caring for the skin.
Rose oil is the essential oil extracted from the petals of various types of rose, the most commonly used being Rosa damascena, the damask rose, and Rosa centifolia, the cabbage rose. Rose Oil is expensive because you need a high yield of flowers to produce a small amount of oil. Typically Steam Distillation, Rose Otto, produces a smaller yield of oil compared to solvent extraction, Rose Absolute. It is said that Bulgaria produces about 70% of all rose oil in the world, other significant areas that produce rose oil are Morocco, Iran and Turkey.
Rose Absolute is the preferred choice for Perfumers because the Absolute often smell more like the original plant than the Otto. This is because the plant material has not been exposed to heat, and the solvent in the extraction process produces a wider range of aromatic molecules than the steam disillation process. Rose Absolute is a thick, reddish coloured highly aromatic liquid. On the other hand, most aromatherapists choose to go for Rose Otto as they use it topically and it has no possibility of solvent residue, although the amount of chemicals left in the Rose Absolute are miniscule and some may say that you would ingest more chemicals in one cup of decaffeinated coffee. Rose otto is lighter in colour and has a softer more refined aroma, you know you are getting a good quality Rose Otto as in the cooler weather the natural waxes in the oil begin to set and become semi solid, you only need to warm it gently for it to become liquid again.