Rosa x damascena Mill. & Rosa x centifolia L.

The two species of rose that are primarily used in the fragrance industry and in Aromatherapy are Rosa x damascena Mill. & Rosa x centifolia L.

Fossil records indicate that roses have existed for 35 million years, and since their cultivation in China approximately 5000 years ago they have become an intimate and ubiquitous part of human existence throughout the world symbolizing life, purity, love and death. According to Graham Stuart Thomas (1909-2003) China roses are the class upon which modern roses are built. Source

The scent of rose is an aroma known throughout the world, yet there are distinctive aromatic variations between different species of roses. Some persons are capable of differentiating between a natural rose essence and one that is a synthetically contrived, and then there are those noses who are capable of distinguishing between a rose absolute and a rose otto. And to further complicate the novice nose, regardless of whether the rose fragrance is a synthetic, or a natural – a rose that is still intact (growing on the bush) possesses natural aromatic notes that are earthy, muddy, mossy, and faint of spiced tea.

Rosa x centifolia (also known as cabbage rose) is prized for it's rich and deep aromatic qualities that have a honey undertone, with a very faint indole, an aromatic compound that is responsible for the not-so-nice smell of certain bacteria, feces and coal tars.  To extract the scent, a solvent process is used resulting in what is known as an absolute. Rose absolute is one of the most popular aromatics in the perfume industry. Other than the perfume industry there are many Aromatherapists and cosmetic companies who use Rose absolute essence in their products to encourage feelings of happiness and contentment.  In my opinion Rose absolute should not be used in skin care products, therefore you will only find Rose absolute in my natural perfumes.

Rose otto (Rosa x damascene Mill.) oil is obtained via Hydrodistillation and Cohobation and possesses an extremely complex sweet, dusty, citrusy aroma, with a hint of peppery tea. The psychological effects of Rose otto are similar to Rose absolute.

Rose otto is much more suited to skin care products, as it is not processed with solvents. Beauty care chemists and indicate that the unique antioxidants of citronellol and geraniol which occur naturally in rose oil help to diminish the signs of aging and slows down free radical damage and may be beneficial in supporting broken capillaries, healing scars and soothing skin that is inflamed and dry.

Products that contain rose:


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