The earliest historical records on Mesopotamian tablets indicate that rose become known to humans about 5,000 years ago. In the Roman Empire, rose petals were used in medicinal treatments, and in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the rose symbolized beauty, passion, and love. Marie Antoinette included roses as part of her daily life – from her legendary gardens to self-portraits. The famous Arab physician Ibn-Sina (980-1037 AD) was credited as the first person to extract rose oil. Using distillation, he was able to capture the rose oils which were then used to make ointments and rose water.
To this day, distillation is the most practical method used to produce rose oil. Rose blooms are still harvested by hand very early in the morning, followed by steam distillation in the afternoon. This is done the same day to avoid the rose flower from decomposing and losing its iconic smell.
Approximately 4,375 kg of roses are required to produce 1 kg of rose oil! Because rose oil production is a complex and labor-intensive process, the price of 1 kg rose oil is approximately $10,000 USD. It’s for this reason that rose oil is one of the most expensive floral ingredients in perfumery – it has over 280 compounds that cannot be replicated artificially.
Rose essential oil has been considered a luxury for centuries. Ancient texts mention the healing properties of rose, which includes treatments of the skin, heart and brain. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, people have been using rose oil in the treatment of skin disorders such as eczema.
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine in which essential oils are used to support emotional and spiritual health. There’s a vast number of plants and flowers that produce essential oils, of which Bulgarian rose oil has become the most precious. Rose is known to be hydrating to the skin, while also offering treatment to stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, and much more.
With over 150 rose species, they are available in many shapes and colors. As beautiful as roses are, some species have a stronger scent than others. The 2 best roses rose oils used in perfumery are Damask and Centifolia.
A majority of the rose oils used to make luxury fragrances are a combination of natural and synthetic ingredients. Due to the high price of natural rose oil, its extremely rare to find a rose candle made with 100% natural rose oil.
Also known as Damask rose this flower has its origins in the Levant region. For hundreds of years, Syrian villagers grew this wild rose and harvested its oils to make perfume, rose water and jams. Its pink to pale reddish petals are rich in aromatic compounds, which provide its distinctive rose aroma. The damask rose scent is described as fresh and floral, with a sweet honey or lychee note.
It’s believed that during the 17th century, the Damask rose was transported to Bulgaria and Turkey. Mild climates and sandy soils have allowed the damask rose to flourish, especially in the Kazanlak region of Bulgaria, where its now called Bulgarian rose. Today, the rose growing regions of Turkey and Bulgaria account for 80% of the world’s rose oil production.
Also known as May rose, this flower is cultivated in Morocco and Grasse, a small town located in the South of France. Appearing as a cabbage due to its extensive petals, this rose is grown by a handful of Grasse farmers. The fragrance is rich and complex – its scent is described as floral, powdery, fruity, with a hint of tobacco.
Centifolia blooms for a period of 2 to 3 weeks in the month of May, where it is gently picked by hand, and transported for distillation. The oil is challenging to distil due to the delicacy of tits many petaled blooms. It takes approximately 880 pounds of rose flowers to produce one pound of rose absolute.
In the past, rose was perceived as an old-fashioned ingredient in the fragrance industry. Many fragrance enthusiasts dismissed it as something they don’t like – whether it was too floral, powdery, or sweet.
Recently, a new wave of perfumers have been experimenting with rose and transforming it into new and exciting forms. Because of its versatile nature, rose can be combined with ingredients from different families, such as bergamot, oud, cedarwood and much more. Depending on which ingredients rose is surrounded by, the resulting fragrance can be powdery, sweet, woody, musky, fruity, feminine or masculine.
Below are some of the best rose candles in the market:
Parisian rose is an 8-ounce luxury candle produced by Karl Winters. Made with a natural candle wax, Parisian Rose candle is inspired by Paris Fashion Week and today’s modern woman. The rose fragrance is crafted by a skilled perfumer in Grasse, who has created several prestigious rose perfumes and candles. The scent of Parisian rose is described as rich and elusive, with notes of rose, blackcurrant and violet. The vessel’s gorgeous pink and burgundy aesthetic makes this candle a luxurious home décor gift.
Inspired by Tom Ford’s private rose garden, Rose prick candle celebrates the divine aroma of roses in full bloom. Combining Centifolia and Damask rose with turmeric, patchouli tonka results in a deliciously warm, floral and fresh fragrance. The sleek pink vessel makes this a special candle gift for anyone that adores a luxurious rose scent.
Rose noire & oud candle is a rich combination of rose notes with oriental oud and hints of patchouli. A wonderful example of blending May rose flowers with warm powdery ingredients. This rose candle comes in a stylish glass vessel that’s etched with frosted stripes.
Diptyque is a luxurious Parisian fragrance brand that has been producing luxurious candles since 1961. Roses candle produces a divine floral scent that’s reminiscent of a walk through a rose garden in summers evening. Not too overpowering, the fresh floral notes are perfectly combined with floral jasmine notes. This rose candle is best experienced during spring.
Burning rose candle comes in Byredo’s signature black vessel. Handmade in France, this rose candle is a combination of rose, violet and leather, and balanced with soothing notes of birch tree and woods. Another example of a deep floral rose fragrance combined with warm woody notes. The black wax and candle jar give a modern and sophisticated aesthetic.
Velvet rose & oud candle by Jo Malone was launched in 2012 and is based on the Cologne Intense collection. Its a rich floral candle based on Damask rose oil, balanced with the spicy woody notes of saffron, oud and praline. The oud adds a distinctive and darker intensity to the otherwise feminine notes of rose. Housed in a matte black glass vessel, this rose scented candle exudes luxury and elegance.