A fragrant history: Rose

History of Rose

Roses are one of the most prized flowers in the world, for their beauty, exquisite scent and healing nature. Roses have been used throughout history as a symbol of beauty, love and even power. For Valentine’s Day, millions of roses are sold around the world each year and are by far the most popular gift. Let us take you on an aromatic journey of one of our favourite ingredients that has been around for millions of years.


In Ancient Greece it was believed that roses were created by Aphrodite the Goddess of love, growing from her tears and the blood of her lover Adonis. Cleopatra was well known for her use of rose petals in her public appearances as she wanted to be associated with their alluring scent. In Tudor Britain the Rose Gallica was made a symbol of our success in battle and thus the Tudor Rose was born. Today the rose is used as a political and cultural symbol in countries around the world.

There are thousands of varieties of rose grown across the globe but only a handful are used to create a variety of beauty and perfumery ingredients. In skincare, ngredients derived from roses are incredibly popular due to their beautiful scent but also their skincare and holistic benefits. Extracting rose ingredients can be a labour intensive process requiring huge harvests of flowers. Thus rose based ingredients are expensive and highly valued.

Rosehip Oil – This is a carrier oil extracted from the seeds and hips of rose bushes, Rosa Canina, Rosa Moschata (Mosqueta) or Rosa Rubiginosa. It grows around the world but is especially prevalent in South America. Rosehip oil is rich in vitamins in A, C and K and has wonderful regenerative properties making it especially useful for tackling scars, marks and evening fine lines. You can find Rosehip Oil in our Desert Rose Facial Oil (Winner of Beauty Shortlist Awards 2018 Best Face Oil Age 40+).

Rose Hydrosol – Hydrosols are aromatic waters obtained through the process of steam distillation of flowers and plants. In this case, rose hydrosol or floral water is created when rose petals are steam-distilled to obtain the volatile fragrant oils in the petals also known as the essential oils. Good quality rose water will have a beautiful fresh scent and will have some of the aromatic oils left behind in microscopic molecules. You will find many rose waters on the market are not genuine and have added synthetic fragrance. So make sure you purchase from reputable brands and suppliers. Rose water or rose hydrosol is incredibly cooling and soothing on the skin and is perfect for misting the skin to prepare it for oils and creams. Find it in our Rosa Rosa Hydrating Toner.

Rose Otto – Essential oils are the aromatic compounds extracted from plants; usually the flowers, fruit, seeds, roots, and wood. There are several kinds of oils that come from roses, and this depends on the variety of rose and extraction method used. Extraction using solvent and CO2 results in Rose Absolutes, whereas the essential oil that is steam distilled from rose petals are known as Rose Otto. This is highly prized due to the laborious process of multiple distillation cycles. Rose Otto has a sweet, citrus, floral scent that is deeply relaxing. It takes around two hundred flowers to create just one precious drop of oil. We use Bulgarian Damask Rose Otto in our star blend Desert Rose Facial Oil, for its skin softening and regenerating properties as it gives a wonderful glow to the skin. You can also find rose otto and rosehip oil in our uplifting Sicilian Rose Body Oil.

Rose is traditionally thought of as the scent of happiness, boosting your mood, invigorates the senses and can be calming in times of negative emotions. For this reason many of the ingredients used in our products are designed to support the body holistically, working on wellbeing as well as skin health. Rose is a perfect addition to your routine during periods of stress or emotional turbulence, adding a touch of calm to the day.

Essential oils contain hundreds of chemical compounds found in the plants they are extracted from. Not only that, their properties can vary from season to season and from variety to variety, affected by a host of external factors such as soil, growing conditions and weather. This makes them one of the most complex and interesting ingredients to formulate with. Rose has an interesting scent profile and depending on the variety, has sweet, floral, citrus, and earthy.

Are you a fan of rose ingredients? What are you favourite rose skincare products?