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Why I Love Bulgarian Rose

My favorite essential oil is Rose. I chose to share a little more about the beautiful land of roses, Bulgaria, where this spectacular gift of the earth grows. I was born in Bulgaria, and that’s another reason why it’s so important for me to share. This is to honor my passion for this amazing plant and to honor my family and ancestors there. 

Growing up in Bulgaria, I had the pleasure of enjoying the aroma of the Bulgarian Rose in the early summer. My mom grew a beautiful garden with a variety of flowers including the beautiful Rosa Damascena. More commonly known as the Damask rose, it has such a wonderful scent that there are no comparable synthetic alternatives. They may be used to flavor food, as a garnish, or as an herbal tea because the flower petals are also edible.

We could also buy rose drinks and rose jam at the store. The rose jam is made traditionally. The petals are cooked with sugar. The fresh rose petals and sugar are brewed in a ratio of 1:3. It becomes more fragrant the longer it is kept. The jam is pure and natural and a “green” food without any additives. These days, rose jam is for sale throughout the country.

A Brief Background

Bulgaria’s biodiversity is one of the richest in Europe, with three national parks, 11 nature parks, 10 biosphere reserves, and 565 protected areas. Flora includes more than 3,800 vascular plant species. Forests cover more than 35% of the land area. The Rose Valley of Kazanlak stretches for 10-12 kilometers and is 95 kilometers long with an average height of 350 meters and an area of 1895 square kilometers. 

Since Bulgaria is one of the biggest producers of rose oil in the world, the popular oil-bearing rose has become an inseparable part of the history and culture of Bulgaria. Even away, I still get to enjoy the aroma of Rose in the form of an essential oil every day. I apply it on my upper chest, wrists, behind the ears, and in my moisturizer. The fragrance takes me back to those great experiences living there.

The Bulgarian Rose Oil

Bulgaria’s tradition of creating essential oils traces back to the 17th century and is a wellspring of public pride for the country. The soldiers of Alexander the Great brought the main roses to Bulgaria, well before refining initially began. These roses were from the district of the town of Kashan in Persia. The climatic conditions in Kazanlak, notwithstanding, demonstrated more positive for the development of roses than the conditions in Kashan. The roses developed around Kazanlak had a higher level of oil, which contained less stearoptene than the oil from the Kashan region roses and was in this way more superior.

Kesme, a unique Bulgarian innovation for rose planting, was received as an overall practice. This strategy delivered roses of a higher spread factor while safeguarding the first character of the rose and the nature of the oil. No other development technique has had the option to safeguard the personality of the rose practically unaltered for more than three centuries. This explains why there were no efforts to develop other rose varieties in the Rose Valley. The innovation demonstrated so great that rose bushes were even exported to the Russian and the Turkish empires of the time.

Today, the Bulgarian oil-bearing rose is perceived as a special type of rose with various properties from roses developed somewhere else. The rose oil created from this rose is generally considered the best in the world.

What Makes the Bulgarian Rosa Damascena Special?

The Rosa damascena was planted in a special geographical region, the valley between the Balkan Mountain. It is a unique region, where nature and the climatic conditions are most suitable for the cultivation of roses and a wide range of essential oil-yielding plants.

Here are the main geographic and climatic factors which determine the excellent development of the oil-bearing rose are the following. First, the mild winter with an average annual temperature of 10,6 °C. Second, the high humidity in May and June, which is the Rose picking season. And third, the light sandy cinnamon forest soils do not retain water.

What are the Uses of Rose Oil?

There have been multiple applications of Rose oil in skincare, medicine, aromatherapy, and fine perfumery because of its amazing properties. Known as the “Queen of Oils”, it is mainly used for the production of high-quality perfumes. The scent of the Rosa Damascena is long-lasting and can be combined with a variety of other scents as well. Many luxury companies such as Elizabeth Arden, Channel, Bulgari, Estée Lauder, and Christian Dior infuse their products with Rose oil.

Rose Oil has various properties. It has physiological and psychological relaxation, analgesic, and anti-anxiety effects. Rose oil has antibacterial properties that heal the skin. The oil hydrates the skin in-depth and is excellent for treating dry skin. It helps treat inflammation or minor skin conditions. Traditionally, rose oil has been used to ease grief, nervous tension, seasonal threats, head, and body tension, and discomfort.

Bulgarian Rose Oil has been extremely popular in Aromatherapy. The oil has good benefits of relieving stress and anxiety, instilling feelings of calm and relaxation, improving sleep quality, premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms, and boosting mood and increasing confidence. Check this out for easy recipes!

Rose Essential Oil contains several naturally occurring chemical compounds:

  • Citronellol. An effective mosquito repellant.
  • Citral. A strong antimicrobial necessary for Vitamin A synthesis.
  • Carvone. An effective digestive aid.
  • Citronellyl Acetate. A compound responsible for the pleasant flavor and aroma of roses.
  • Eugenol. The richest antioxidant in the world.
  • Farnesol. A natural pesticide.
  • Methyl Eugenol. A local antiseptic and anesthetic.
  • Nerol. A sweet-smelling aromatic antibiotic compound.
  • Phenyl Acetaldehyde. Another sweet-smelling and aromatic compound 
  • Phenyl Geraniol. A natural form of geraniol found in perfumes and fruit flavorings.

I hope this article made you want to visit Bulgaria sometime when conditions are better! There’s just so much to see and experience. I highly recommend trying out the Bulgarian Rose Oil! Get in touch and follow me at @stresslessoimore on Facebook and Instagram and check out more amazing essential oils and DIY recipes!

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