Roses and Rose Oil
History of roses and rose oil
Roses are an ancient plant, with the fossils of roses dating back 30 million years and evidence that it was grown around 2000 BC in China. Initially, herb oils were produced, in which roses were soaked in, to bring out the essential oil.
Sometime around the 8th-9th century, people began with distillation, which is heating of the roses with the aid of steam or water. Real rose oil is produced by distilling the petals of roses and this production requires 5000 kg of rose petals to produce one litre of oil. The water left over in the distillation becomes rose-scented and is called hydrolate, a product that is also used in skin care.
The chemical name of the rose oil and hydrolate are from the same kind of rose and are actually the same, in our case; Rosa Damascena. The concentration and characteristics are different of course, as well as the price. One kilogram of rose petals will produce 1/4 grams of essential oil (rose oil) and approximately 1 litre of water (hydrolate). This water is also called rose water and was historically sold in pharmacies. Customers had to mix the rose water, glycerin and alcohol to get a toner.
There are many different varieties of rose
The one we use in our products is considered the finest; Rosa Damascena. It is a species originally from Bulgaria but is also cultivated today in Turkey, France, North America and several other countries.
Depending on where we can find the highest quality and the best fragrance of the oil, the origin country changes, but it always comes from organic farms and we very often choose the one from Bulgaria.
For those of you who might think Sweden Eco is only suitable for women; it has been discovered that in ancient Greece, the rose scent was considered to suit men and violet fragrance was best suited for women. The fragrance of Sweden Eco products have a very light rose scent, instead of the heavy sweet scent that was common before. The scent is well received, especially by those who are sensitive to fragrances.
The rose scent is also a fragrance that many fragrance allergy sufferers can tolerate. It is also volatile, which means that the scent doesn’t last very long after you have used a product, which is good for those who for example, work in hospitals or with people who are scent sensitive.
As for the rose's fragrance there has been a lot of research to try to copy the scent to produce a similar synthetic fragrance, but also to investigate which scent people are attracted to. It was concluded, from a blind test that out of approximately 70% of everyone who was tested, the rose scent was preferred. This can be one of the reasons why the vast majority of fine, genuine perfumes are still using rose oil today. Even now, chemists have failed to successfully copy the scent, confirming that the authentic rose fragrance requires authentic roses.
Curiosities of roses
Roses have a great symbolic value and have been used as a sign for everything from love to political affiliation, from different religions to literature and art. In aromatherapy, the rose scent is supposed to increase "understanding and forgiveness". In China, the rose fragrance symbolises youth and prosperity.