A Journey to the Valley of Roses

At the end of May, Jessica heads across the Atlantic to see and smell the country of Bulgaria in her majesty.  She will study the production of Rose Otto, the essential oil of Rosa Damascena, in the historic Valley of Roses.  Rose Valley is located in central Bulgaria between the breathtaking Balkan and Sredna Gora mountain ranges.  In this region the conditions of the soil, air and climate produce a rose with such outstanding aroma stored within, it is not a wonder that the essential oil is one of Bulgaria’s most famous exports.

Rose Otto has been produced by local artisans in Bulgaria for over 300 years and they are responsible for supplying 70% of the Rose essential oil around the world.  It requires almost 8,000 pounds of rose petals to produce 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of oil, making Rose Otto one of the most precious and expensive essential oils available.  Most of the oil is sold directly to luxury perfume manufacturers, however it also used in aromatherapy for it’s relaxing and soothing properties and in skin care for its profound antiaging effects.

Our organic Rose and Lavender oils are sourced directly from farmers Bulgaria.  This long-awaited opportunity to travel to the land where our oils are produced has come to fruition at the perfect time.  The valley of roses will be in full bloom and the season for harvesting the rose for oil in full swing.  The process is handled by local farmers and artisan distillers according to family traditions which have evolved over several centuries. Rose petals are picked in the morning hours when the essential oil content is the highest and must be distilled the same day to retain the premium aroma Bulgarian rose is famous for. The season for harvesting roses is a very important part of Bulgarian culture, and annual Rose Festival celebrations will be abound.  Jessica is excited to immerse herself in the culture and soak up all the knowledge she can in her short time there.  Stay tuned for updates.

On her way to Bulgaria, Jessica will be stopping in France – a country famous for its perfume houses and rich botanical history.  Some of the great aromatherapists of our time come from France (Rene-Maurice Gattefosse and Jean Valnet) and it is often referred to has the land where modern medical aromatherapy was born.  French Aromatherapy is much different from the English practice, but we'll save that story for another day.  Know that the United States is only just beginning to understand the power of aromatherapy, but countries like France and Germany have been embracing their medicinal value since early in the 20th century.  Some French doctors practice aromatic medicine and prescribe botanical remedies when appropriate.  Pharmacies carry essential oils and make preparations according to French methods.  The South of France is known for it’s fertile land, rolling fields of lavender and other aromatic plants and many large essential oil distributors are situated there. 

Again, Jessica will be sure to keep us apprised of all her encounters and new knowledge along journey.  Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on all things Aromatic!

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