Finding Out Pure Bulgarian Rose Oil

By Patricia | April 15, 2009
Bulgarian Rose Essential Oil

Aromatherapy uses essential oils in order to improve the physical and psychological well-being of a person. The essential oils are highly concentrated liquid extracts derived naturally from different parts of a plant. They contain the therapeutic benefits and the aroma of the plant they are extracted from.

Rose oil is extracted from the petals of various types of roses. It is extracted only from the fresh flowers picked in the morning for the highest oil yield. The most common methods of extraction are through steam distillation and solvent extraction. The oil content in the blooms is very low making the extraction process costly and cumbersome. It usually takes 4,000 kilos of roses to yield 1 kilo of oil. Even though rose oil is expensive, it is widely used in aromatherapy.

Two major species of rose are cultivated for the production of rose oil, the cabbage rose and damask rose. Cabbage rose is commonly grown in Morocco and Egypt. The damask rose is widely available in Bulgaria and Turkey, and the rose oil extracted from this type of rose is known as pure Bulgarian rose oil. Only these two regions have favorable conditions for the growth of this plant. Therefore, when you purchase rose oil, make sure you check where the rose plants have been grown. Also, the rose oil should be light yellow in colour and transparent.

Pure Bulgarian rose oil has a very strong smell. The key compounds that contribute to the distinctive scent of rose oil are beta damascenone, beta damascene, beta ionine and rose oxide. Although these compounds form only 1% of all the compounds in rose oil, they make up for 90% of the odour. The presence and quantity of beta damascenone is considered as the marker for the quality of rose oil. This is another factor that can help you identify whether the rose oil is pure Bulgarian or not.

You should also check for phenylethanol percentage in Bulgarian rose oil. Pure Bulgarian rose oil is naturally low in this compound. Although phenylethanol is a natural component of rose oil, a high percentage of this substance in Bulgarian rose oil is a sign of adulteration.

Rose oil is also commonly adulterated with geranium and palmarosa oil, both rich in geranoil, a key component of rose oil. However, check that the geraniol percentage is only between 15-30% and not a higher amount.

Rose oil is known to have a number of healing properties. However, adulteration not only removes all these benefits, it can also harm the body. Therefore, you should take extra precaution while purchasing expensive essential oils like pure Bulgarian rose oil.

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