Rose Essential Oil Business. How Is the Precious Essence Obtained

Cherished all around the world for their beauty and perfume, roses are also extremely valuable for their high content of beneficial active substances. That makes them popular, not only in florist shops, but in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industry as well. The rose essential oil business started to be popular among Romanian farmers too. And it’s no wonder, since, for centuries, the price of the precious essential oil outruns the price of gold by far.

Rose essential oil is used as a natural treatment since ancient times. It has numberless healing effects for the skin, for the vascular, nervous, immunity and digestive systems. It’s best known for improving blood circulation and cell metabolic process. It balances pH and skin functions, recovers skin brightness, hydrates and regenerates it in its depth. It’s sedative, antidepressant and it’s adequate in insomnia and irascibility. It’s also a renown aphrodisiac.

Nowadays, it can be found in expensive perfumes of famous brands, in skin care and health products. The great demand makes the rose essential oil business very profitable, as long as the production is consistent and the oil has good quality.

The essential oil is obtained from two breeds of roses: Rosa Damascena (Damasc Rose), grown in Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Russia, India, Uzbekistan, Iran and China, and Rosa Centifolia, grown mainly in France, Morocco and Egypt.

There are two types of oil extracted from roses: essential pure oil (rose otto), extracted by steam distillation, and rose absolute, obtained by solvent distillation. The absolute has a stronger perfume and needs less raw material and thus is mostly used in the perfume industry. It is not recommended for treatments because of the solvent use.

Romania has the best model for a profitable a rose essential oil business in Bulgaria, which is one of the greatest  Rosa Damascena world-wide exporting countries.  The best rose farms in Bulgaria are 200 km from Sofia, between the slopes of Stara Planina, a place named “Valley of the Roses”.

The oil Bulgarians extract from Rosa Damascena is very appreciated for its quality by the biggest perfume and cosmetics brands and it is sold for 6000-7000 euros a liter.

For a liter of oil, 3.5 – 4 tons of rose petals are needed, which means approximately 1,6 million flowers, the production on a whole hectare.

For this breed of roses, red soil is the best. The fields have to be close to the processing plant, with a good access road in betwwen, because the petals should reach the distillery within an hour after harvest.

Roses are harvested just when flowers are about to burst, from the end of May until the middle of June. Pickers work from 5.00 in the morning till the afternoon, when flowers produce more juice, and are paid with approximately 3.5 euros per 10 kg of harvested petals. The same quantity sells for 15 euros at the distillery.

In a bottle of perfume, depending on creators preference for the flavor, you can find the essence of no more than 6000 roses.


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