The Rose Valley of Bulgaria is one of the lushest and most verdant places on Earth. Deep beneath the shadow of Thracian temples and ancient Neolithic ruins, Rosa x damascena flowers are cultivated and distilled by local growing communities whose techniques have been preserved for countless centuries.
To produce just one kilogram of rose oil, farmers will typically need to hand-pick between 3-4 metric tons of rose petals from over 3,000 flowers. This is like gathering the body weight of an adult African elephant using nothing more than flower petals. But beyond the rich and gorgeous essential oil distilled from Bulgarian roses, the production process yields significant quantities of rose water.
Depending on the temperature and time of year, a single kilo of rose oil can require 1750 to 3500 rose flowers, each of which must be hand-picked.
Rose water has been a staple component of cosmetics and fragrances for thousands of years. In medieval Europe it was customary to wash one’s hands using rose water in preparation for a feast. European monks, doctors and alchemists have all used rose water in their ointments and tonics dating back to the early 11th century.
For the families that have produced Bulgarian rose oil for generations, rose water is simply a byproduct of their steam distillation process. Due to the massive volume of rose petals needed to produce their essential oils, local distilleries also require a surplus of water. Once the distillation process ends these facilities are left with a large volume of fragrant water, which retain appreciable levels of rose oil.
Berjé Trakia has produced farm-to-bottle rose and lavender products since the early 1990s, working alongside local communities that have cultivated the flowers for over 400 years.
This is where Berjé, and our sister company Berjé Trakia, step in. Our facility in Bulgaria produces farm-to-bottle rose oil, and all the remaining liquids derived from this distillation process are upcycled into aromatic, easily usable rose water. Through creative or traditional applications, formulators can impart immense value and beauty to their products while also using sustainable materials that would otherwise go to waste.
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