Posted on June 06 2019
There are multiple mythological stories surrounding the origin of this flower. The most renown being the story of Chloris, goddess of the flowers, who was moved by a lifeless nymph and decided to turn her into a rose. Chloris asked the other gods for help to make this flower like no other.
Aphrodite, the goddess of love, gave her beauty and Dionysus, the god of wine gave her nectar which created her perfume. The Three Graces (goddess of charm, beauty, and creativity) gave her the joy of life. To top it off, Apollo, god of the sun, crowned her "queen of the flowers", a title she holds today everywhere in the world but in China, where she is contested by the Peony.
Out of over 200 species of the rose bush and approximately 10,000 more hybrid species of rose, only about six species are used to produce rose oil and rose absolute, with the vast majority being produced from Rosa Damascena and Rosa Centifolia. Other species of rose used to produce rose essential oil and rose absolute in limited quantities are Rosa rugosa, Rosa alba, Rosa bourbonia and Rosa moschata. These particular rose species exhibit the traditional fragrance commonly associated with the rose plant, while other varieties may exude aromas of fruits or musks.
Rose absolutes and concretes are generally used in natural perfumery whereas rose essential oil can be used in both natural perfumery and for therapeutic aromatherapy purposes. Absolutes and concretes use a solvent in the extraction process whereas essential oils are usually steam or water distilled.
The Rose absolute is considered as the most beautiful of the roses in perfumery, it is also the noblest and also the most expensive. Its high price is explained by the fact that to obtain a kilo of essence,it takes an average of around 4000kg of flowers.