Rose as an Essential Oil: Photo credit: Felinda ISP
Rose as an Essential Oil: Photo credit: Felinda ISP

Ahh, rose! Rose has been adored for centuries and, love it or hate it, rose has many uses in aromatherapy practice. However, it is one of the most expensive essential oils in use, so if you are going to use rose as essential oil, you might want to get to know rose a little more before you do so. Here are ten, quick, fun facts about rose essential oil.

1. Rose Essential Oil is Often Adulterated

When is a rose not a rose? Sadly, more times than you might realize – in essential oil terms, that is. Rose is often adulterated with other essential oils (such as geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential oil, which has a rose-like scent) or it may have its chemical components diluted, in an attempt to lower the cost of the sale price.

2. Rose Essential Oil is Expensive

Rose essential oil is one of the most highly priced essential oils. Its difficult extraction process (and highly complex chemical make-up) contribute to its price. Expect to pay triple digits for a relatively small amount.

3. Alternative Essential Oils for Rose

If you don’t have the money to invest in rose essential oil, don’t despair. In addition, don’t accept a cheap substitute or imitation. You can use an essential oil such as geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) for both a similar scent and therapeutic properties.

4. Rose Geranium Essential Oil

Don’t confuse geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential oil with a true distilled mix of rose and geranium essential oils. Geranium is sometimes referred to as rose geranium, leading to confusion. In fact, a distilled mix of rose geranium essential oils is a combination of rose (Rosa damascena) and geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential oil, lowering the price and combining the therapeutic properties of both oils.

  1. Rose for Skincare

One of the most therapeutic properties of rose is its use in skincare. Rose essential oil is suitable for all skin care types including sensitive skin, mature skin – and wrinkles.

  1. Rose for Mom and Baby

Rose essential oil contains a high chemical content of alcohols, making it gentle enough to use for mom in pregnancy – and for baby. Use in a massage lotion or cream to take care of both mom and baby’s skin care needs.

  1. Distillation and Extraction of Rose Oil

As mentioned above, rose oil is difficult to extract: It takes thousands of rose petals to produce a minute quantity of oil. You will also come across rose absolute which is cheaper in price. However, rose absolute has been extracted by solvents – in comparison to a true steam distillation of rose.

  1. Rose and Avicenna

Rose was reputedly amongst one of the first plants to be distilled by Avicenna (980 A.D. – 1037 A.D.), after his introduction of the refrigerated coil into the distillation process.

  1. Rose in History

Rose was adored and revered throughout history, both as a plant and as an oil. Both Cleopatra (69 B.C. – 30 B.C.) and Joséphine de Beauharnais (wife of Napoleon I) (1763 – 1814) were reputedly fans of rose, in one format or another – as were the Romans who used it lavishly in their banquets and parties.

  1. The Various Names for Rose

As an essential oil, rose might be described as rose otto, Damask rose, Bulgarian rose or cabbage rose – depending upon species and cultivar. Check you are using the required species for your needs (and check the Latin name too).

Study Aromatherapy at Home with Sedona Aromatherapie

If you are interested in learning more about particular plants used in aromatherapy, you might be interested in one of the Sedona Aromatherapie Home Study Aromatherapy Courses! Visit the courses home page to check for the latest courses.

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