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Rose damascena

The Sweet Smell of Success.

Once the world's main producer, Bulgaria is reviving its traditional rose oil industry.For centuries the Damascus Rose has been considered a symbol of beauty and love.

In Bulgaria's Valley of Roses during May local women rise before dawn and head out to the fields. As the sun rises they begin harvesting the small pink flowers of Rosa Damascena for the delicate petals that will be distilled into attar of roses, or rose oil, among the World's finest and a precious ingredient in skincare products because of its unique anti-aging and healing properties.

Biofresh is a leading and reputable manufacturer of cosmetics since 2001 and we only use 100% pure rose oil as the key ingredient in our high quality skincare ranges.Our manufacturing division is certified ISO 9001/2008 Quality Managment System with BRC Certification.

Harvesting methods have changed little since the 16th century, when the Ottomans found the valley's combination of sandy soil, mild February temperatures and wet springs ideal for rose cultivation. Women still pluck the flowers by hand, gently depositing them into their aprons.To maintain freshness, the flowers are distilled on the same day in one of the valley's nine distilleries. The rose petals are boiled and oil is collected from the resulting condensation. The condensate is then re-distilled to release more oil.

For decades Bulgaria had few rivals in terms of the quantity and quality of the rose oil it produced. In the early 1900s,annual production ranged between 3,000 and 6,000 kg. By 1917, Bulgaria had more than 8,000 hectares of rose fields under cultivation and the industry employed some 200,000 people.

At one point the country supplied more than half the world's demand. But the Depression, World War II and forced collectivization of the rose fields under the Soviets all took their toll. Today, only 1,500 hectares of rose fields are in production, yielding between 1,000 and 1,300 kg of oil per year.

Under ideal conditions it takes around 2 million rose flowers to produce one kilogram of oil.A kilogram of Bulgarian rose oil is very expensive and costs over 10,000 euro to produce.Seventy percent of the country's output is shipped abroad,where it is snapped up by the likes of Chanel,Clarins and other major brand names.

There are different varieties of this rose oil produced in Bulgaria which are not all 100% pure and whichever type is used by the manufacturer can reflect in the quality and value of the finished product.As world demand increases true and authentic rose oils of different types are becoming harder to source.Beware of counterfeit goods and unscrupulous businesses operating on the internet!

The Bulgarian industry is doing its best to  meet demand. More than 120 additional Colecta rosashectares of roses were planted last year and more people are getting into the business. And the rose farms are once again being collectivized, this time for sound economic reasons rather than communist ideology. Larger farms allow producers to pursue more efficient cultivation and processing techniques.When you purchase our products you are also supporting local farmers in Bulgaria who work hard to develop the rose fields while preserving the environment and quality of our natural products.

But change will not come overnight. It takes several years before a young rose bush flowers, and several years after that before it matures to provide a good yield. And some things may never change a lot like the female harvesters who for centuries have risen before the sun to hand-pick the most valuable flowers in the world.


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