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Rosa Damascena - an Essential Oil Focus

Since 1998 WORLD had been the exclusive partner and stockist of the full Aesop skincare collection.  Aesop has long-favoured the use of Rose Oil, also known as Rosa Damascena, and WORLD has recently been further educated by Aesop as to why this ingredient is so important to Aesop.

Rosa Damascena (pink rose) grows wild in Syria and Morocco, and is cultivated in Bulgaria where our Rose Oil is currently sourced from. For ornamental purposes roses are grown on a very large scale in many parts of the world. However, such roses are bred and cultivated for appearance rather than for the aroma of their essential oil, so the perfume industry cannot use these to replace Bulgarian rose.

Rose essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the flowers of Rosa damascena, but the yield varies depending on the weather – mild, humid weather is ideal. On average, 1kg of oil is obtained per 4,000kg of petals. Rose water is the liquid remaining when rose petals and water are distilled together, and this is used in Turkish Delight, and in other foods.

Of all the scents used in perfumery, that of the Rose is one of the oldest and best known. One of the earliest mentions of Rose extracts is in The Illiad; Homer describes how Aphrodite anoints the body of the slain Hector with Rose oil. From the tenth to the seventeenth century the Rose industry was centered in Persia, and it gradually spread to India, Arabia, North Africa, and Spain. At the beginning of the seventeenth century the conquering Turks introduced the Rose industry to Bulgaria. By the nineteenth century the Bulgarian Rose industry began to prosper.

Rose Otto has demonstrated potent activity against common skin flora and is an excellent skin soother. Three of Rose oil’s main components (citrenellol, geraniol and nerol) have well demonstrated anti-bacterial activity. In addition to this, it was relatively recently shown that Rose oil contains meaningful levels of beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol, which combined with eugenol, could be significantly contributing to its skin soothing and softening properties.

The odour of Bulgarian rose oil is warm, deep, floral, slightly spicy and immensely rich. This oil can be found in A Rose By Any Other Name Body Cleanser, Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol, Rose Hair & Scalp Moisturising Masque, and Damascan Rose Facial Treatment.

Outside of the Aesop collection there are a number of fragrance that include the gorgeous note of Bulgarian Rose and the best example of this within WORLD Beauty's niche collection is Juliette has a Gun-Lady Vengeance.

Happy smelling!


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