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Rose oil is one of the most expensive essential oils in the world. This high quality oil is sold for thousands of euros on the world markets, and the largest cosmetic giants and pharmaceutical companies buy the best of these products.
Rose oil is automatically associated with Bulgaria and the Rose Valley nearby Kazanluk, as our country is the leader in the production of this unique and fragrant gift. The specific natural and climatic conditions of our country make the Bulgarian rose oil so singularly fragrant and so unique in its biochemical composition and properties. This is also the reason why there is such great demand for our rose oil and why it is so expensive. These, by the way, are also the main reasons why we produce the best lavender oil and other oils extracted from flowers, including wild flowers.
Although the Kazanluk rose is of the Rosa damascena genus, over time a new type has been cultivated, precisely because of the unique growing conditions. Thus one single flower has taken over the world and became known as the oil-bearing Kazanluk rose. And it is highly likely that today it is more popular than the genus from which it originated.
According to the historical sources, the first time roses were grown in Bulgaria was in the 17th c., whereas this fragrant oil was sold around Europe as early as the 16th c., but our country was quick to become the leading market producer.
There are, however, a few essential conditions required to obtain the unique composition and fragrance of the Bulgarian rose oil. The first is the fact that the production of 1 kg of rose oil requires 3 to 5 t of rose blossoms. The quantity depends on the humidity throughout the year. The roses are picked manually as can easily be seen in numerous paintings and photos from the earlier times of development of this industry in Bulgaria. Only the fresh blossoms, not yet in full bloom, are gathered early in the morning. The reason why rose picking is carried out at dawn is that rose oil evaporates in the heat, so the rose pickers have to outrun the sunrise. Rose picking usually finishes by noon, sometimes even earlier, depending on the temperature. If the right moment is missed, the rose blossoms will lack that special quality which makes the reserved Bulgarian rose oil trademark so unique.
In Bulgaria the rose oil is used in the production of various cosmetic products, such as rose water, lip balms, body tonics, massage oils, aphrodisiacs, etc. All of these carry the unique scent and light touch of the most fragrant flower in the world.