Rose Otto & Absolute
Rose oil (rose otto, attar of rose, attar of roses or rose essence), this fragrant essential oil is known for its wonderful, classic floral scent that is comforting and timeless. Rose Otto can be helpful during times of duress and extreme sadness. It is also gentle to the skin and helps heal dry, reddened patches.
The petals of the rose bush are harvested at sunrise when the fragrance of the flower is at its most powerful. Steam distillation is applied to the petals, releasing a clear liquid with an exquisite, rosy aroma. It takes over 200 flowers to make a single drop of essential oil, making this a truly luxurious oil to use in home aromatherapy blends.
Rose Otto is hydro-distilled from the petals of the rose flower, creating a clear, thin liquid that can solidify at a temperature of 68 degrees F. If solid, put in a bag and insert into warm water. The oil will quickly return to a liquid state. This occurs with Rose Otto because of the distillation process and is completely normal. A little of this oil goes a long way, so only a drop is necessary to utilize its benefits.
Two major species of rose are cultivated for the production of rose oil:
Rosa damascena, the damask rose, which is widely grown in Bulgaria, Syria, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, India, Uzbekistan, Iran and China
Rosa centifolia, the cabbage rose, which is more commonly grown in Morocco, France and Egypt.
Rose absolute (Rosa damascena): This has a deep, rich color and a scent to match. Not especially sweet, nor indeed anything like the rose aroma that is associated with many rose-scented toiletry products. Rounded and persistent, a little goes a long way. The lowest price of all the rose oils due to the higher production yield. Great if you need a strong rose aroma for a blend however the use of a solvent to extract the oil brings its own dilemmas when it comes to using on the skin.
Persian Rose essential oil (Rosa damascena): Solid at room temperature, this oil has a high level of plant waxes which slow its movement down a little in comparison to the other distilled rose oils. The Persian Rose has a slightly softer, sweeter scent than the classic Bulgarian Rose. At around two-thirds the cost of Bulgarian Rose this oil makes a good introduction to the distilled rose oils.
Bulgarian Rose essential oil (Rosa damascena): The classic rose, deep, rich and inviting. There are two varieties, the organic oil and the traditionally farmed oil. They share the same base scent however the organic version is a little deeper and more complex (and costs more due to the increased costs associated with organic farming).
White Rose essential oil (Rosa alba): Not a Rosa damascena but a Rosa alba. A dusky and mysterious fragrance.
Turkish Rose essential oil (Rosa damascena): Similar to the Bulgarian Rose in terms of scent but perhaps a little more grounding and earthy. Previously this oil cost less than its Bulgarian counterpart but more recently it has been the other way round.
Types of Rose Extracts
Rose Otto Essential Oil is lighter in color and thinner in viscosity than Rose CO2 Extract or Rose Absolute. It is made directly by steam distilling fresh rose petals. Two tons of rose petals to make two ounces of essential oil.
Rose CO2 Extract is a bit thicker to work with, even at room temperature because the CO2 extraction process can extract more of the heavier aromatic molecules, natural plant waxes and resins than can steam distillation. Aromatically, Rose CO2 Extract has a beautiful aroma that is more complete and more closely represents the natural fragrance of fresh roses (Rosa damascena).
Rose Absolute is often favored by fragrance formulators and perfumists for its fragrance, aromatic strength and lower cost than Rose Otto Essential Oil or Rose CO2 Extract.
Chemical Composition of Rose Otto
- Citronellol – effective mosquito repellant (also found in citronella).
- Citral – strong antimicrobial that is necessary for vitamin A synthesis (also found in lemon myrtle and lemongrass).
- Carvone – effective digestive aid (also found in caraway and dill).
- Citronellyl Acetate – responsible for the pleasant flavor and aroma of roses, which is why it is in many skin and beauty products.
- Eugenol – also the powerhouse behind clove, the richest antioxidant in the world.
- Farnesol – natural pesticide (also found in orange blossom, jasmine and ylang-ylang).
- Methyl Eugenol – local antiseptic and anesthetic (also found in cinnamon and lemon balm).
- Nerol – sweet-smelling aromatic antibiotic compound (also found in lemongrass and hops).
- Phenyl Acetaldehyde – another sweet-smelling and aromatic compound (also found in chocolate).
- Phenyl Geraniol – natural form of geraniol, which is commonly in perfumes and fruit flavorings.
Blends Well With: Bergamot, Chamomile Roman, Clove Bud, Geranium (All Types), Helichrysum Italicum, Jasmine Absolute, Lemon, Neroli, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Sandalwood, Vetiver, and Ylang Ylang
Benefits of Using Rose Otto, CO2 Extract or Absolute
The most therapeutic effects of R. damascena in ancient medicine are including treatment of abdominal and chest pain, strengthening the heart, treatment of menstrual bleeding and digestive problems, and reduction of inflammation, especially of the neck. North American Indian tribes used a decoction of the root of R. damascena plant as a cough remedy to ease children’s cough. Rose oil heals depression, grief, nervous stress and tension. It helps in the reduction of thirst, healing old cough, special complaints of women, wound healing, and skin health. Vapor therapy of rose oil is helpful for some allergies (unless you are allergic to roses), headaches, and migraine.
Acne: able to completely destroy Propionibacterium acnes (the bacteria responsible for acne) after only five minutes of a 0.25 percent dilution!
Depression: women experienced significant decrease in depression scores, they also reported marked improvement in general anxiety disorder.
Improves Dysmenorrhea (Painful Period): a nonpharmacologic treatment method, as an adjuvant to conventional treatment methods may be beneficial for pain relief in individuals with primary dysmenorrhea.
Eczema: the soothing effects of rose oil, when diluted in a lotion or carrier oil, helps to relieve dry, red patches of skin
Frigidity: as an anti-anxiety agent, rose essential oil can greatly help men with sexual dysfunction related to performance anxiety and stress. It may also help to balance sex hormones, which can contribute to increased sex drive.
Mature Skin: it has potent anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, it contains antioxidants that fight off free radicals which encourage skin damage and skin aging. Free radicals can cause damage to skin tissue, which results in wrinkles, lines and dehydration.
Stress: the uplifting and calming effects of rose oil can help you deal with life’s stressors more effectively.
Rose Essential Oil Safety Information
Essential Oil Safety forewarns that Rose Otto may contain methyeugenol and states: “We recommend a dermal maximum of 0.6% and a maximum oral dose of 21mg, based on 3.3% methyleugenol content, with dermal and oral limits of 0.02% and 0.01mg/kg for methyleugenol).
For external use only. Do not use undiluted on the skin. Avoid contact with sensitive areas, such as eyes. Keep out of reach of children. Do not use essential oils on children under 5 years old. Consult your healthcare professional before using essential oils during pregnancy. Best kept in a cool dry place. Naturally occurring allergens: Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol and Linalool.