Rose Essential Oil – General Information
Rose essential oil is one of the most highly valued components in the fragrance industry. It takes around a ton of rose petals to make a pound of essential oil – and as you would imagine, the process is labour-intensive and expensive.
Rose oil is typically obtained by steam distillation of the crushed rose petals. This technique had its origin in mystical ancient Persia, but much of the world’s rose oil is now produced in the Rose Valley in Bulgaria. Roses are one of the most commonly sold cut flowers. Additionally, extract from rose petals is sometimes used in cuisine.
Rose oil that is made using steam distillation is known as rose otto while solvent extracted rose oil is known as rose absolute.
Rose essential oil is also used in aromatherapy. It is said that essential oil of rose aids relaxation and helps soothe away anxiety. It is as if the scent encourages the surrender to joyful and passionate emotions. Rose is certainly an alluring fragrance that is loved by men and women the world over – and it’s interesting to note that in aromatherapy it is also used for grief, emotional shock and depression.
Is Rose an Aphrodisiac?
Since ancient times, roses have been associated with love, romance and sexuality. It is said that Cleopatra had her bedroom covered in rose petals an inch deep when she met Anthony, and that she put them in her bath. Rose petals have been scattered on bridal beds and included in love potions.
The rose was deemed as sacred to a number of goddesses of old times, including Isis and Aphrodite. Most of the species of rose are native to Asia, although they are now grown worldwide.
Of all the many things that have been considered to be aphrodisiacs, roses are perhaps the most famous and most enduring. Perhaps even more than chocolate, red roses are considered the romantic gift par excellence in many countries around the world. The red colour has a symbolic association with the heart and is also said to be a colour which excites desire. Also, the scent of rose has been considered to be aphrodisiac since ancient times – and the essential oil of crushed rose petals is a quintessential component for the perfume industry.
Great claims are made for the rose as an aphrodisiac. It’s even said that roses trigger chemical reactions in a woman’s brain which lower inhibitions – and that men giving roses to women may actually be improving their chances in a deeper way than by just “being nice”.
Rose is listed in the AHPA’s “Herbs of Commerce”.