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Rose Perfume Oils

The Rose (rosa damscena), a flower which was highly prized by Islam, was one of the first plants to be distilled successfully by the scientist Avicenna (Ib’n Sina 980 – 1037 A.D.). IIbn Sina invented steam distillation and used it to produce essential oils such as rose essence, forming the foundation of what later became aromatherapy.  This most captivating of flowers originated from the Orient before being cultivated throughout Europe. The Rose was used in cosmetics, medicine and perfumery by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Arabs for centuries.

The Egyptians were amongst the first to macerate fresh roses and make them into fragrant pomades. These were shaped as a cone and placed on top of the head. Heat from the body melted the fat, resulting in an aromatic rose-scented oil trickling down the neck and the face. The ancient Greeks and Indians also made some sort of pomade with roses.  The Romans were quick to appreciate the many uses of the Rose too. They devoted a lot of reverence to it and the flower was often the feature of their large gardens.

It takes 60,000 rose petals to distill just one ounce of pure Rose essential oil. There are estimated to be around 300 to 400 constituents which make up Rose essential oil; attempting to replace, dilute or fractionate some part of these components changes its properties and thus lessens its therapeutic value in aromatherapy. Rose essential oil has been considered a panacea or elixir with, tonifying, soothing and relaxant properties, and a calming scent which helps promote feelings of relaxation and balance.

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