The oil-bearing rose is a delicate plant that feels well only at a single, restricted territory: the Valley of Roses, the strip of land between the Stara Planina and the Sredna Gora mountain ranges around Kazanlak, Karlovo, Sopot, and a couple of other towns. Only here the winter and the summer are balm enough and the soils are nurturing enough so that this gentle plant can create its unique aromatic magic.
The oil of the Bulgarian rose is a key ingredient for the perfumery and cosmetic industry and Bulgaria is one of the main international producers and exporters.
The oil-bearing Rosa damascena plant was introduced into the Bulgarian lands centuries ago. In the 19th century, its production increased to a degree that foreign travelers passing through perceived it as a symbol of Bulgaria.
The beauty of the rose cannot be disputed but its cultivation is hard work. For the distillation of a kilogram of pure rose oil are needed between 2 and 3 tonnes of rose petals. They should be picked early in the morning before the dew evaporates.
Most tourists today encounter the Bulgarian oil-bearing rose and the Bulgarian rose oil mainly as souvenirs and other tourist products. The best way to experience the magic of the Bulgarian oil-bearing rose is to visit the Valley of the Roses during the rose picking in the second half of May and the beginning of June.
Of course, Bulgarian rose can be with you the year-round: as cosmetics, essential oils, and even foods and beverages such as rose-scented Turkish delight, jam, cordial. In all cases, you can be sure that it will give you not only divine aroma but also care for health and beauty, as rose oil contains dozens of beneficial ingredients.