Rose Otto (Bulgaria) Essential Oil

Distillation Method:
Country of Origin:
Plant Part:
Latin Name:
Rosa damascena
Naturally Grown

About the Oil: Rose Essential Oil has the most diverse therapeutic properties of all essential oils. Most aromatherapists agree that rose oil is effective at all times of life for the soul, spirit and body; in fact, it is thought to have the 'highest vibration' of all the essential oils.

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Blending Tips


Chemical Families


Primary Constituents



The damask rose is a hardy, deciduous, bushy shrub with a height and spread of up to two meters (six feet). It has grey-green foliage and fragrant double flowers, pink in bud and fading to almost white. Also called Summer Damask, Turkish and Bulgarian rose, it requires a very specific soil and climate.

The birthplace of the cultivated rose R. damascena was probably northern Persia. It then spread across Mesopotamia, Palestine and across to Asia Minor and Greece. The European name for the Damascus rose dates from the Crusades and is now incorporated into its botanical name.; Most Rosa damascena is cultivated in the Balkan mountains of southern Bulgaria, in the Valley of the Roses. Because Roses are such an important part of Bulgarian culture, the government regulates their production to ensure the purity of its Rose essential oils.


Three main products are obtained from roses: an essential oil, a concrete, and an absolute. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the whole flowers, the concrete by solvent extraction of the leaves and flowers, and an absolute by further extracting the concrete. Not considered a main product, but rather a by-product, rosewater is the aqueous portion of steam distillation after the Rose oil is removed. While there are thousands of rose varieties, the 'Damask' rose, cultivated since the 16th century, is considered to produce the finest quality essence. The aroma of this oil is full and rich, intoxicating and aphrodisiac.

Rose Essential Oil–or Rose Otto–is the steam distilled essential oil of rose petals. 'Otto' is the term used to differentiate the steam distilled essential oil from the 'Absolute'. Although the making of Rose Absolute is more efficient than steam distillation (producing nearly seven pounds of oil per 10,000 pounds of roses while distillation yields only one pound of oil per 10,000 pounds of roses) and has a correspondingly lower cost than the steam distilled oils, many aromatherapists and natural perfumers prefer the essential oil to the absolute.

Absolutes are obtained by solvent extraction. Solvent extraction produces a more complete plant extract than steam distillation. However, some minute traces of solvent may remain in the the final absolute. For some aromatherapists this is a deterrent to the use of Rose absolute, while others believe that Rose absolute is preferable to Rose Otto essential oil because the chemical constituents of Rose absolute are identical to the live rose; in Rose Otto essential oil there are constituents present that are by-products of the steam distillation and not found in the rose itself.

Rose oil has an extraordinarily complex chemistry, with over 300 known constituents, which make up about 86% of the whole. The remaining 14% comprises a large number of different compounds, each in minuscule amounts, but they are vital to the whole oil, both from the point of view of its aroma and its therapeutic properties.


Exalted in literature and mythology, the rose has been sacred since ancient times–it's blossom is a symbol of beauty, love, youth, perfection and immortality. In Greek mythology the rose is said to have sprung from Adonis, the Turks believe it sprang from the blood of Venus and the Mohammedans believe it sprang from the sweat of Mohamed.

The rose was probably the first flower from which an essential oil was ever distilled. In 10th century Persia the great Arab physician Avicenna prepared the first Rosewater and is credited with having distilled the first Rose oil, possibly by chance during the course of alchemical experiments. The rose has considerable significance in the theoretical and metaphysical aspects of alchemy, with red and white roses each being thought appropriate to different stages of the alchemist's work. For this reason they were placed in retorts and heated with a variety of different materials in the attempt to transmute base metals into gold, producing rosewater and essential oil accidentally in the process. Avicenna wrote an entire book on the many healing properties of the rose, and by the end of that century rosewater and Rose oil were well-known in Arab speaking countries.

Although Avicenna is commonly credited with the first distillation of Rose oil, it is believed that the oil was not distilled until the early 1600s. Maud Grieve tells the story of how rose oil was first dis-covered in her book A modern herbal, published in 1931. According to Grieve, there was a feast for the Princess Nour Dijhan to the Grand Mogul Djihanguyr. A canal circling the garden was dug and filled with rose water. They noticed later that a scum had formed on the water and was floating on the surface. The scum turned out to be Rose oil that the heat of the sun had caused to separate from the water.

The rose has been deemed the ‘Queen of Flowers', and in aromatherapy Rose oil is often referred to as the Queen of Essential Oils. This Queen of Essential oils has been revered through-out the centuries for its exquisitely sweet aroma and therapeutic value.

Therapeutic Properties


  • balances
  • moisturizes
  • softens
  • reduces redness
  • strengthens capillaries
  • evens complexion
  • firms and contracts exposed tissue
  • reduce moisture loss
  • tones and restores venous circulation
  • promotes the healing of tissues
  • smooths wrinkles
  • neutralizes microbes
  • diminishes swelling
  • helps heal burns and wounds
  • encourages cell regeneration
  • helps stop or reduces bleeding
  • soothes
  • Recommended for all skin types, especially mature, dry, sensitive and couperose skin, eczema, broken capillaries, wrinkles


  • neutralizes microbes


  • aids breathing
  • calms coughs
  • quells irritation from environmental factors
  • counteracts physical hypersensitivity


  • reduces the incidence and severity of vomiting and nausea
  • helps maintain healthy function of the liver
  • helps maintain healthy function of the gall bladder
  • tones the stomach
  • settles digestion
  • promotes normal peristalsis
  • assists the body's natural eliminatory response
  • promotes bowel movement


  • strengthens the circulatory system


  • balances hormones during menopause
  • cools hot flashes
  • helps regulate the female reproductive system
  • relaxes cramping
  • tones the uterus
  • increases sexual desire
  • detoxifies
  • purifies


  • strengthens the nervous system
  • uplifts mood
  • clears the head
  • relieves intellectual fatigue
  • strengthens and clarifies the mind
  • calms the system
  • lessens anxiety
  • reduces stress
  • promotes sleep
  • promotes relaxation


  • In TCM, Rose is cool and moist in nature, clears heat and inflammation, and helps to restore the body's yin energy.


  • Rose calms and supports the heart, helping to nourish 'heart yin' and restore a sense of well–being. The key to its profound psychological properties is its effect on the center of emotional being; Rose has a great ability to bring balance and harmony to the emotions, heal emotional wounds, comfort in times of sorrow, dissolve psychological pain, aid in overcoming insecurities, and help release negative emotions such as anger, despair, frustration, fear and anxiety.
  • It is the supreme oil of the heart chakra and will help the heart chakra to open when grief has caused it to close down. Also connected to the sacral chakra, Rose helps to spiritualize sexual relationships. As it opens the heart it opens doors to love, friendship, and empathy and compassion.
  • Rose also works amazingly well for deep anxiety and low mood. Rose is very comforting to the mind, especially in cases of feeling alienated. Gabriel Mojay states that Rose is "recommended for a loss of self–esteem of the very deepest kind–where emotional pain has injured the capacity for self–love . . . particularly for the resentment that results from emotional coldness, rejection and betrayal."
  • Rose is elevating to the mind and spirit encouraging feelings of happiness and contentment and bringing warmth to the soul. It is considered the essential oil with the 'highest vibration'.

Oil of Rose can be utilized in a number of ways; it is very gentle, being suitable for use on the skin 'neat' in massage oil and in a bath, as well as in a diffuser. As a perfume, the absolute can be worn directly on the skin – its 'tenacious' quality will have the aroma slowly released for many hours.


  • direct inhalation, diffuser, oil vaporizer
  • One of our all–time bestsellers, Rose is diffused to bring its magical scent to a room or house. Uplifting and stimulating for the mind and relaxing and soothing simultaneously, a very small amount goes a long way to bringing its fantastic qualities into one's life.


  • massage, compress, bath, skincare
  • Skin Care is the second most popular use of Rose absolute after perfumery. It is balancing and moisturizing and can be added in small amounts to any skin cream (especially homemade!). Rose is great for all skin types, especially dry, sensitive, aging and couperose skin. A 5% dilution in Jojoba oil works best.
  • Massage a dilution of 10% Rose oil in jojoba into the heart area for therapeutic use on the emotions. A diffuser is very effective for this purpose as well.
  • Add a few drops to baths (after the tub is full, so as to not release all the aroma before one has gotten in!).
Aromatherapy Details

This Rose otto essential oil has light, floral top notes followed by sweet nectar-like and ripe stone fruit middle notes all underpinned by a distinctly musty and slightly wooded undertone.

Our Bulgarian Rose Otto is softer and more subtle in its aroma than our Turkish Rose Otto, which is full and sweetly floral. Both are very lovely aromas.

We also offer a Rose Hydrosol, the distillate water that contains the hydrophilic compounds of the Rose collected during the steam distillation process. It is an excellent skin tonic; soothing and mildly astringent.

Rose Absolute differs from Rose Otto in scent as well as chemical components. Rose Absolute is deeper–more middle note than high–but both are very intriguing. For therapeutic use we recommend Rose Otto. For aromatic uses and perfumery where a true Rose floral aroma is desired we recommend this wonderful Rose Absolute; it is perfect in natural perfume blends.

Note: This Rose essential oil is a pale yellow liquid that will form white or clear crystals at a temperature of around 70 degrees F (20 degrees C). The oil will solidify into an opaque paste at even cooler temperatures. This is completely natural and is indicative of a pure steam distillate of roses. By holding the bottle between your hands, the oil will soon warm and return to a completely liquid state.

Rose blends well with most other oils, particularly Amber, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Geranium, Lavender, Jasmine, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Sandalwood, and Ylang Ylang.


Generally non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. Always test a small amount first for sensitivity or allergic reaction.

If pregnant consult with a physician prior to use.