Rose (rosa damascena)
Rose oil is one of the earliest known aromatic oils. It is thought that the first distillation process was performed in Persia around 500AD. However, the oil is first mentioned in an ancient Ayurveda text some seven thousand years ago. Rose has had a lasting impact throughout history and there is much documentation praising the virtues of this precious oil from Dioscorides, the father of medicine, to the Emperor Nero.
Rose oil is renowned for being expensive. The price is due to the amount of fresh blossoms that have to be gathered by hand early in the morning, before the sun starts to evaporate the tiny amount of oil in each flower. This intensive workload, and the number of rose petals it takes to produce the oil – 100kg of rose petals produce 3-8kg of essential oil – explain why it is expensive compared to other oils. However, rose oil is so concentrated that a little goes a long way.
As well as having a beautiful, exotic aroma, rose oil has wonderful properties. It has a profound effect on emotions, such as grief or anger. It is also known as a lovers oil, with aphrodisiac properties. Rose has long been used in cosmetic preparations for thousands of years, having a rejuvenating, toning, restorative and purifying effect on all skin types.
Tisserand Aromatherapy offer two rose oils – rose absolute and rose otto. The major difference between the two is in the method of extraction. The absolute is obtained through solvent extraction, where as the otto is obtained through steam distillation. Both our rose absolute and rose otto come from Bulgaria, probably the best producer of high grade rose oil, with its long hot summers and cold winters.
Here are some rose oil recipes for you to try, using either rose absolute or rose otto:
EXOTIC MASSAGE OIL ….for beautifully perfumed skin
rose 2 drops
patchouli 3 drops
bergamot 4 drops
lavender 6 drops
Add the above to 30mls of sweet almond oil and massage into the skin after bathing.
DECADENT BATH OIL… for a luxuriously moisturising bath
rose 2 drops
sandalwood 5 drops
roman camomile 2 drops
Add a cup of full fat milk to the bath, then add the above oils for restful soak.
SPECIAL FACIAL…. a real treat for the skin
rose 1 drop
geranium 2 drops
palmarosa 3 drops
Add the above oils to 5 tablespoons of live yoghurt and 1 tablespoon of honey. Mix thoroughly. Apply to face, relax and leave on for 10 minutes. Wash off with warm water.