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Unveiling the Essence of Rose Damascena Essential Oil

I have always been a fan of history and loved the subject even many (many) years ago at school and now researching the origins and uses of essential oils I often seem to disappear for a few hours down the “rabbit hole” so to speak. This topic has been no different and we are looking at the history of Rose Damascena Otto essential oil as it is as rich and captivating as the fragrance it embodies.

Dating back thousands of years, the use of roses for medicinal, cosmetic, and aromatic purposes has been documented in various cultures across the globe.  Here's a glimpse into the fascinating journey of Rose Damascena Otto essential oil.

The Damask rose (Rosa Damascena) is believed to have originated in the Middle East, particularly in regions such as modern-day Iran, Turkey, and Bulgaria.  It is one of the oldest species of roses cultivated by humans, with evidence of its cultivation dating back to at least 5,000 years ago.

In ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome, the rose held profound symbolic significance.  Revered as a symbol of love, beauty, and purity, it featured prominently in mythological tales, religious rituals, and royal ceremonies.  The fragrance of roses was often associated with divine beings and used to adorn sacred spaces.

Roses have also been valued for their medicinal properties and cosmetic benefits.  In ancient Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine practices, rose preparations were used to treat various ailments, including digestive disorders, skin conditions, and emotional imbalances.  Rose water, rose oil, and rose-infused ointments were prized for their soothing, anti-inflammatory, and hydrating effects on the skin.

It wasn't however until the 20th century that Aromatherapy gained widespread recognition in the Western world.  Rose Damascena Otto essential oil emerged as a prized ingredient in aromatherapy formulations due to its exquisite fragrance and therapeutic properties.  Today, the cultivation and production of Rose Damascena Otto essential oil are primarily concentrated in regions known for their optimal growing conditions, such as the Rose Valley in Bulgaria and the Isparta region of Turkey.  The extraction process typically involves steam distillation of the fresh rose petals, yielding a highly aromatic and potent essential oil.

We are often asked why are certain essential oils so much more expensive than others with Rose being one at the top of the list.  The reason for this is it takes an enormous amount of rose petals to yield a small quantity of essential oil.  For Rose Damascena, one of the most commonly used species for essential oil production, it can take anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 kilograms of rose petals to produce just 1 kilogram of essential oil.  Considering that 1 kilogram of essential oil roughly translates to 1 litre, it would take several thousand rose petals to yield just 1 ml of essential oil.  This illustrates the labor-intensive and meticulous process involved in the extraction of rose essential oil and underscores the preciousness of this aromatic elixir.


Therapeutic Benefits of Rose Otto:

Beyond its alluring fragrance, Rose Damascena Otto essential oil offers many therapeutic benefits for both the body and mind.  Here are some of its most notable properties:

Emotional Balance:
Known for its calming and mood-enhancing properties, Rose Otto oil can help alleviate feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.  Its gentle aroma has a harmonising effect on the emotions, promoting a sense of inner peace and well-being.

Skincare Marvel:
Rose Damascena Otto essential oil is a beloved ingredient in skincare products for its remarkable nourishing and rejuvenating effects.  It helps soothe and hydrate the skin, making it ideal for addressing issues such as dryness, redness, and signs of aging.  This oil is especially good for more mature skin, of course mixed with a carrier oil and not applied directly.

Aphrodisiac Charm:
With its sensual aroma and reputed aphrodisiac qualities, Rose Otto oil has long been associated with love and romance.  Its use in aromatherapy can enhance intimacy and heighten sensual experiences, making it a cherished ally for couples seeking to deepen their connection.

Spiritual Connection:
In holistic practices, Rose Damascena Otto essential oil is revered for its ability to open the heart chakra and foster a deeper connection with oneself and others.  It is often used in meditation, prayer, and rituals to evoke feelings of love, compassion, and spiritual growth.  It is one of the main oils in my favourite blend that we prepare in house at Ahimsa, Chakra No 4.

At Ahimsa we offer our customers this beautiful oil starting at 1 gram (approximately 22 drops) which is weighed on gold and silver scales.  As with all of our more expensive oils we are also are happy to be able to provide Rose Damascena Otto oil mixed with our golden Jojoba Carrier Oil (2.5% dilution).  This is a more cost effective way for customers wishing to try the Rose Oil and as it is already mixed with a carrier oil can be used directly on the skin (always testing a small patch first of course).  We also use this oil to make our Rose Flower Water in house which is a lovely hydrating face and body mist.

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