The Rose Valley – Rosa Damascena and Bulgaria’s Rose Valley
The Bulgarian oil yielding rose is a symbol of Bulgaria.
It embodies the freshness of nature, the aestheticsof Bulgarian culture and the pursuit of beauty and happiness.
Rose is grown for rose oil production and for other derivative products used in the perfume industry. Bulgarian rose oil is of superior quality that is unrivaled in the world.
It is a material, preferred by many reputable perfumery manufacturers. Its secret lies in the technology of extraction – by triple distillation and intermediate cooling.
What is Bulgarian Rose ?
Later the plant spread over other Asian regions – India, Persia, Syria and Afghanistan.
The oil-yielding rose was brought to Bulgaria by the Ottoman Turks, who used rose oil in some of the Muslim rituals.
The strongest tradition in rose production is near the towns of Karlovo and Kazanlak.
Not surprisingly, this region is called the Valley of Roses.
Rose growing was the main livelihood of the local population. The Rose Institute and the only in the world museum of roses, where you can learn about the history of the plant and about rose production in Bulgaria, are located in Kazanlak.
Rose harvest in Kazanlak and Karlovo is held in late May and is associated with joy,
feasts and songs.
Oil-yielding rose is picked early in the morning, when the leaves of the plant are covered with drops of dew.
Rosa Damascena and Bulgaria’s Rose Valley
It is these drops, where the rose oil is stored, and they are the key to high
quality rose products.
The Festival of Roses in Kazanlak, which takes place in the days of rose-picking, is one of the most joyful and beautiful festivals in the country. Many guests from Bulgaria and abroad gather in the town and witness a pageant of roses, songs and beautiful rituals.
Rose Festival in Kazanlak
Early in the morning is the festive rose picking, when beautiful girls, dressed in festive Bulgarian costumes, collect the rose blossoms and adorn with them for health and beauty.
After that follows the choosing of a Rose Queen – the most beautiful girl, who participated in the ritual.
Celebrations continue with a folklore procession and tasting of rose foods and beverages
in the ethnographic complex of Kazanlak.
What makes the Bulgarian Rosa Damascena so special ?
The Rosa damascena Mill. plant was brought to Bulgaria in the early 17th century. It 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 cultivation of roses and a wide range of essential oil yielding plants.
The main geographic and climatic factors which
determine the excellent development of the oilbearing rose are the following:
• the mild winter with average annual temperature 10,6 °C;
• the high humidity in May and June – the rose picking season;
• the light sandy cinnamon forest soils that do not retain water.
The nature of rose oil production is such that the proximity of processing facilities to the rawmaterial source is one of the crucial factors for cost-effective production.
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