Rose Floral Water Ingredient Spotlight

Here at Flying Wild we make Rose & Geranium and Clary Sage & Rose Geranium Reflexology Creams with certified organic Rosa Damascena Flower Water. We make the cream 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 the Floral Water gives both these handmade creams.

But what is Rose Floral Water, how is it made, where does it come from, and what are it's properties? The story of Rosa Damascena Floral Water is also the story of Rose Otto Essential Oil. Flying Wild Rose Reflexology Balm is made with Rose Otto Essential Oil.


Rose Damascena Flower Water is a by-product of the distillation of the most precious of essential oils, Rose Otto. The organic Rosa Damascena Flower Water used by Flying Wild is produced in the Valley of the Roses, the Kazanlak Valley in central Bulgaria. This region is one of only a few regions in the world (the other is in Turkey) where the soil and climate are absolutely perfect for the large scale cultivation of Rosa Damascena, the Damask Rose.

A little history

From the late 14th century until the late 19th century Bulgaria was part of the Ottoman Empire. This empire stretched from Persia (modern day Iran) to Egypt to the Balkans, Greece, and Bulgaria, encompassing the entire Middle East and South Eastern Europe. The capitol of this huge empire was the city of Constantinople, modern day Istanbul in Turkey.

For millennia roses were primarily cultivated in the Shiraz region of Persia. As demand for the extremely valuable and highly desired Rose Otto Essential Oil increased, the Ottomans sought to expand the production area beyond Persia. In the 16th century Ottoman merchants established Damask Rose cultivation in what became known as the Kazanlak Valley, Kazanlak means 'place of the stills', referring to the stills used in the distillation of the essential oil. Today the Kazanlak Valley produces half the world's Rose Otto Essential Oil and Rosa Damascena Flower Water.

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. In Bulgaria the blossoms are still 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. Renewable 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 oil, and thus affects the quality.

During distillation 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, and damaged skin. A humectant, rose floral water adds and retains moisture - making these creams especially helpful for older clients with very dry skin. Try it for your own skincare and you will notice an almost immediate difference in the suppleness, softness, and moisturisation of your skin.

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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