The centuries-old history of damask rose began in the Orient. It was initially cultivated in Syria and today is mainly grown in Morocco, in the Valley of Roses in Bulgaria, and in Turkey.
The method of extraction of damask rose makes it more precious than other essential oils. Some four tonnes of rose petals are required to produce a kilo of essential oil. The petals are harvested very early in the morning and must be distilled within a maximum of 24 hours. This is why a 2ml vial of damask rose costs approximately 40 euros.
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Widely used by perfumers, the Queen of Flowers has inspired luxury brands Burberry and Bulgari, who have chosen damask rose as a key note in their recent fragrances, My Burberry Eau de Toilette (2015) and Rose Goldea (2016) by Bulgari.
Damask rose, which is prized for its anti-ageing effect on the skin, is also an ingredient in many cosmetics, and is included in massage oils for its sensual and relaxing properties.
Sensuality and beauty may be the qualities mainly associated with damask rose, but it also has a remarkable capacity to restore psycho-emotional harmony in cases of nervous anxiety, depression, insomnia and palpitations.
Try using damask rose as a tonic for libido, applying the fragrance directly from the bottle at the end of every day. This aromatherapy is said to deliver results after two or three weeks.
Couples can also experiment with a ritualised massage, an ideal remedy for a waning libido. One drop of essential oil mixed with 20 drops of vegetable oil is sufficient for a spine and lower back massage.
Beyond its role in helping you relax and re-energising the libido, the application of three drops of pure essential damask rose oil on the solar plexus is said to help to balance the hormonal system and enhance fertility.
Staying true to Burberry's British heritage, My Burberry is inspired by a “London garden awakening in the first light of day”. The contemporary floral scent boasts top notes of sweet pea and bergamot fused with geranium leaf, golden quince and freesia heart, with base notes of patchouli and rain-tipped damask and centifolia roses.
Bulgari Rose Goldea
Inspired by Queen Cleopatra and created by master perfumer Alberto Morillas, Rose Goldea symbolises seduction and decadence. Combining floral rose musk, rose petal extract and rose absolute, with hints of grandiflorum jasmine, sandalwood, and patchouli, the fragrance brings out the multiple facets of the sensual damask rose.
Roses de Chloé
Like a bouquet of freshly cut roses, Roses de Chloé is delicate, graceful, and subtle. With top notes of bergamot, the scent is joined by a heart of damask rose essence with a hint of magnolia accord. White musk and amber complete the base of the fragrance, a signature of Chloé.
Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet
Chic, charming, and flirty, Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet embodies the modern Dior woman. With refreshing top notes of Sicilian orange essence, the fragrance unravels into a heart of pink peony and damask rose. White musks envelope the creation for a romantic springtime scent.
Additional reporting by Chloe Pek