ROSE OTTO - Bulgarian Rose Essential Oil | Pure Plant Extract
Pure Rosa Damascena essential oil, sniffed out and sourced directly from Kazanlak, The Valley of Roses, during LVNEA perfumer April Lea’s 2023 voyage to Bulgaria.
Amongst the several thousands of existing species and cultivars, only a handful of roses are used in perfumery, with Rosa Damascena, the Damask Rose, reigning supreme. A hybrid of both Rosa Gallica and Rosa Moschata with some genetic contributions from Rosa Fedtschenkoana. R. Damascena is believed to have first been cultivated In Persia, now Iran, in the early centuries of the common era before being introduced to Bulgaria and neighbouring regions in the 17th century. Nowadays, the cultivation and distillation of roses plays a notable role in Bulgaria’s economy, with traditional extraction techniques having been passed down from generation to generation and guarded with much secrecy.
While solvent-extracted Rose absolute can produce a yield of 0.25%, the precious Rose Otto, or Rose essential oil, is far more precious and laborious in nature; it takes an estimated 4 tons of rose petals to produce a single kilogram, which are picked and processed between the months of May to June. Among the dispersed regions where R. Damascena oil is produced, Kazanlak, Bulgaria, and is renowned for its artisanal, small-batch production and family-owned operations. This exquisite batch in particular was distilled and produced in May of 2023, and brought over to the LVNEA studio to be shared in the form of raw material and precious, limited releases.
Rose Otto (a name derived from ‘rose attar’)’s aromatic profile is crisp, floral, and uplifting, with notable green, citric, and aquatic facets, similar to that of a fresh-cut stem, with subtle peppery undertones. It projects a scent both carnal and clean, which far overpowers that of the deeper, almost creamy-in-comparison absolute in its brightness and volatility. It is a precious artifact in the perfumer’s arsenal, \and is equally prized for its uses in skin care as well as aromatherapy.