Regarded as the queen of essential oils, rose is one of the most beautiful to use. Its exquisite floral fragrance is soft yet rich, with subtle undertones of clove and vanilla.
The best oil is from Bulgaria, where fresh petals of the damask rose are hand-picked at dawn and steam distilled. To create a single drop of rose oil (rose otto), up to a hundred blooms are needed.
A Precious Oil
The expense of harvesting millions of roses is reflected in the cost of the oil, but its wonderful therapeutic properties make it worth every penny.
Rose has a profoundly positive effect on the emotions. It stimulates the production of dopamine, the 'happy hormone', and strengthens the parasympathetic nervous system, instilling a relaxed feeling of well-being. In this way, rose oil is beneficial for treating anxiety and depression.
Active Ingredients of Rose Oil
Rose oil is believed to be one of the most complex essential oils, with many active ingredients yet to be characterised. The method of extraction has an important influence on the chemical composition of the final oil.
Distilled rose otto is rich in citronnellol, geraniol and nerol. This family of alcohols has a low toxicity, as well as balancing, warming and uplifting actions and a pleasant fragrance.
Rose oil contains farnesol, which has both bactericidal and deodorising properties.
It is also rich in sedative aldehydes that calm the nervous system and are anti-inflammatory.
Uses of Rose Oil
A fragrant and luxurious oil, rose is extremely versatile. Use it to lift your spirits and balance your moods or incorporate it into your beauty regime.
Rose's natural anti-inflammatory action makes it a valuable oil for treating skin disorders and damage.
Reduce unsightly stretch marks and scars by regularly applying a nourishing blend of oils. Add 4 drops each of rose, neroli and lavender oil to 20ml of sweet almond oil and 5ml of wheatgerm oil.
Create a nourishing after-sun oil by combining 20ml of jojoba oil with 3 drops of rose oil, 4 drops of chamomile oil and 10 drops of lavender oil. Apply to the skin to cool, moisturise and retain a suntan.
Sensual Beauty Oil
For a beautiful complexion, make rose part of your daily skin care regime.
Strengthen weak nails with 4 drops each of rose and cedarwood oil blended in 1oz of neutral base cream. Massage into the nails and nail base regularly.
Create an aromatic facial toner by blending 3 drops each of rose, frankincense and sandalwood oil with 25ml of jojoba oil. These oils will tighten slack skin, giving a healthy and youthful appearance.
For soft skin, combine 4 drops each of rose and neroli oil with 25ml avocado oil. Use twice daily.
Use rose to generate a feeling of calm and a sense of well-being and happiness.
For an uplifting but calming room fragrance, add 3 drops of rose oil, with 5 drops each of bergamot and petitgrain oil, to a vaporiser. The uplifting scent of the citrus oils complement rose's soothing properties.
Fortify the emotions during times of grief and loss by combining 3 drops each of rose and petitgrain oil with 6 drops of clary sage oil in 25ml of grapeseed oil. Use as a body massage oil.
Enjoy an anti-stress bath soak by adding 3 drops of rose oil and 2 drops each of lavender and frankincense oil to a deep, warm bath.
The beauty and mystery of roses have entranced humans since the dawn of time.
Cultivated for over 5,000 years, the rose has long been held as a sacred symbol. The ancient Persian word for rose means 'sprit'.
The fragrance of roses has been used to venerate female icons throughout history, from the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis to the Christian Virgin Mary.
Knights referred to damsels as roses and many patron saints had roses as emblems.
A complex language of roses has developed, with white roses symbolising purity and red roses associated with romantic love and passion.
Rose is an excellent tonic for regulating the menstrual cycle and calming PMT. You can even use it to aid post-natal healing.
Reduce painful, heavy periods with an aromatic abdominal massage containing 5 drops each of rose and lavender oil in 15ml of grapeseed oil.
Treat irritability associated with PMS with a whole body massage containing 10 drops each of geranium and clary sage oil and 3 drops of rose oil in 25ml of carrier oil.
Rose acts as a tonic for the uterus. Enjoy a fortifying massage during the post-natal period by blending 4 drops of rose oil with 8 drops each of clary sage and bergamot oil.