Love Precious Rose Floral Water - Flying Wild

Love Precious Rose Floral Water

Have you ever wondered what is Rose Floral Water, how is it made, where does it come from, and what are it's properties?

Here at Flying Wild we absolutely love Rose Floral Water and we use it to make our Rose & Geranium and Clary Sage & Rose Geranium Reflexology Creams.

The Origins - A little history

For millennia roses were primarily cultivated in the Shiraz region of Persia (modern day Iran). Rose Essential Oil and Floral Water was very highly prized and exported to India, throughout the Middle East, and to Europe. However in Persia the temperature was often too high during harvest season, which made the supply very unreliable and expensive.

As demand for the extremely valuable and highly desired Rose Otto Essential Oil increased, the Ottomans sought to expand the production area beyond Persia. From the late 14th century until the late 19th century Bulgaria was part of the Ottoman Empire, as was Persia. This empire stretched from Persia to Egypt to the Balkans, Greece, and Bulgaria, encompassing the entire Middle East and South Eastern Europe. The capital of this huge empire was the city of Constantinople, modern day Istanbul in Turkey.

In the 16th century Ottoman merchants established Damask Rose cultivation in what became known as the Kazanlak Valley in central Bulgaria, Kazanlak means 'place of the stills', referring to the stills used in the distillation of the essential oil. Today the Kazanlak Valley produces half of the world's Rose Otto Essential Oil and Rosa Damascena Flower Water.

The organic Rosa Damascena Flower Water used by Flying Wild is produced in the Valley of the Roses, the Kazanlak Valley. There are only very few other regions in the world where the soil and climate are absolutely perfect for the large scale cultivation of Rosa Damascena, the Damask Rose, these include some parts of Turkey and Northern Greece.

Harvest and Distillation

The harvesting season starts toward the end of May, as soon as the flowers begin to open, and continues until all the roses have been gathered. The blossoms are collected by hand, and are nipped just below the calyx (the green, outer protective cover). Collection begins at sunrise when the oil yield is at its highest, and should be completed whilst the morning dew is still on the flowers. The flowers are initially placed into baskets, and then transferred to 25 kilo sacks. The harvest is then transported to the distillery as quickly as possible, since the picked flowers will begin to deteriorate immediately as precious volatile oil begins to evaporate due to the heat of the sun. In a normal season it takes about 4000 kilos of rose petals to produce 1 kilo of essential oil, if the season is hot and dry then this may rise to an incredible 8000 kilos.

The petals are distilled in huge copper stills heated by wood fires. Wood is traditionally used as the heat produced is gentle and evenly spread, allowing for a slow distillation, something not attainable with other heat sources. The stills are made of copper as this metal is non-reactive to the Rose Otto essential oil. Stainless steel is not suitable as this does react with the pure oil, and thus affects the quality.

During distillation the still will hold 400 to 500 kilos of flowers and the steam of almost 2000 litres of water will pass through these to extract the essence of the flowers. A large amount of oil is absorbed into the distillation water, and this is known as the 'First Water'. The rose oil must be recovered from this water to produce an acceptable yield, and this is achieved by very skilfully re-distilling the water to separate the oil; a process known as cohobation.

The amount of oil produced directly from first distillation is as low as only 20% or 25%, the majority being recovered from the distillate water by the cohobation process. This ratio does vary depending upon certain factors, but is usually in the region of 25% 'direct oil' and 75% 'water oil'. The 'Second Water' remaining after the process of cohobation is Rose Hydrosol, this is the Rosa Damascena Flower Water we use to make the reflexology creams.

Benefits and Uses

Precious Rosa Damascena Flower Water has been used in religious ceremonies for millennia. Rose has a strong affinity with the heart and the emotional spheres of the mind, body, and spirit. It promotes balance and is recognised for supporting emotional and spiritual healing, and easing nervousness and mental strain.

Rose has strong hormone balancing properties and helps with PMS, moods, and helps with menopausal symptoms, as well as being powerfully anti-spasmodic, making it helpful with cramps.

Revitalising Rose is gently cooling and anti-inflammatory, and is particurlarly effective in soothing irritated, devitalized, dry and damaged skin. A humectant, rose floral water adds, attracts, and helps retain moisture - making these creams especially helpful for older clients with very dry skin. 

We make the Reflexology Creams with Rose Floral Water for the significant therapeutic benefits it brings, but the first thing you will notice is sublime delicate scent of fresh roses this precious ingredient gives both these handmade creams.

Damask Rose is an ancient rose cultivar, and it's light and fresh aroma is reminiscent of early morning garden roses. This makes these creams particular favourites with older clients.

I hope you will have enjoyed reading this Flying Wild ingredient spotlight, and that you will love working with the creams in your wonderful treatments.

Thank you for choosing Flying Wild.


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