Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Perfumer's Palette Series - Roses


hy ?

What is it that compels us to scent our bodies , to incessantly analyze these materials in the laboratory , to add , subtract and blend these chemical components in endless proportion ?
Many old texts tell us that humanity was trying to cover the stench of it's own uncleanliness . And I suppose to a certain extent that is true . Yet it has also been proven that the scent of sweat and unclean bodies increases for about 8-10 days , then one becomes anosmic to it .
Whatever the reason then , it is big business now . I find it fascinating to read and learn about how it was in the "good old days " , when the distillation of essence was an art , when most fragrance was composed of oils deemed sacred , distilled with love and pride . Like that which is still done in some places in the " third world " .

These methods should be preserved , and I have been scouring the shelves for information about traditional methods of distillation and their history . Today we begin the Perfumers Palette Series with the noble rose , the highest vibration on the planet .

For your information , here is my reference list :

Manual for the Essence Industry by Erich Walter ( 1st Edition , 1916 )

Practical Treatise on the Manufacture of Perfumery by Dr. C. Deite ( 1892 )

Odorographia - a Natural History by J. Ch. Sawer
( second series , 1894 )

Essence and Alchemy by Mandy Aftel ( 2001 )

Perfume by William I. Kaufman (1974 )
The Aromatherapy Book by Jeanne Rose (1992 )

The Magic of herbs by David Conway (1976 )

The Emperor of Scent by Chandler Burr ( 2002 )

Aromatherapy - The Essential Beginning by D. Gary Young (1995 )

Australian Bush Flower Essences by Ian White ( 1991 )

The Art of Perfumery by g. W. Septimus Piesse ( 1879 )

The Toilet of Flora ( 1784 )

Mack's Barbers Guide by J. M. McCammant (1908 )

Perfumery : It's Manufacture and Use by Campbell Morfit ( 1853 )

The Raw Materials of Perfumery by Earnest J. Parry

( year unknown , early 1900s )

Treatise on Perfumery by R. S. Christiani ( 1877 )

The old cottage roses smell so beautiful . It is sad that many long stemmed roses have been hybridyzed to the point of being scentless ! The Damascena Rose is the one to which all others are compared , the HG if you will...
As stated yesterday , the rose has the highest frequency of any other essential oil . Vibrating at 320 hz , it enhances the frequency of every cell in the body , is stimulating and elevating to the mind and can bring balance , harmony and a sense of general well being within minutes after smelling the essential oil .
The importance of rose in the creation of great perfumes cannot be overstated . Not only is it beautiful , but it sells !

" ...consider Arpege first . ..we find that the accord is rose , jasmine , acetate de vetiveryle ....Chanel No. 5 , rose , jasmine , vetyveryle , certain aldehydes being major ...Madame Rochas , methylionone , rose , jasmine , vetyveryle . Following that , Caleche - rose , jasmine , acetate de vetyveryle and santal . We take any or all perfumes that have had sucess and we find that they all contain rose , jasmine and acetate de vetyveryle . This shows us that through the years , the most commercial , the most popular and the most desirable accord has been rose and jasmine..."

- Marcel Carles 1973

The essential oil of rose , or otto of rose and rose attar , was discovered between 1582 and 1612 . Manucci , a Venetian physician wrote that for the wedding feast of the Grand Mogul Princess Nour-Dijhan to Dijhan - Guyr , a canal was dug surrounding the gardens where the celebration was to take place . Then the canal was filled with rose water...( !! ) When the bride and groom strolled the banks of the canal , they percieved an oily substance floating on the surface , skimmed it off and found it to be the most deliciously scented perfume they had ever smelled...
Shortly afterwards , around 1612 , manufacture of rose Otto began in Persia and by 1684 , the distilleries of Shiraz were well known , producing on a large scale " Aettr Ghyl " , translated , " fat of the flower " .
It is believed that the Turks introduced it's manufacture into Europe , specifically Bulgaria , which at the time was part of the Turkish Empire , in 1690 .
Later , distillation spread to France , specifically Grasse , where the soil and weather conditions were optimal for the development of rose cultivars with higher odor profile .

Flowers should be harvested early in the morning , or on cloudy days , and then should be distilled the same day . The still , a copper alembic , is from 3-5 feet high , holds 10-15 kilos ( 25-35 lbs .) of rose flowers and 70-100 liters of water ( about 30 gallons ). Three thousand lbs of flowers will produce one pound of rose otto .
Essence of rose otto is pale yellow and contains a liquid portion which is the scent of the rose , and the solid portion which is odorless , called stearoptene . Larger distilleries remove the solids and sell and a higher price this stearoptene-free Otto of Rose .

Todays drawing winner will recieve a selection of samples of my rose perfume collection , along with a 5ml bottle of rose oil , diluted Turkish rose essntial oil in jojoba oil .
Post a comment to be entered in the draw !
Please share any interesting facts about rose distillation you may know !


ElizabethN said...

I love rose in perfumes! I find myself wearing them almost everyday, to the neglect of the rest of my collection, sadly. My favorites lately are Amouage Lyric, Ava Luxe Rasa, and Micallef Rose Aoud. I would love to be entered in the drawing, even though I know nothing about rose distillation.

Nina Zolotow said...

I'm really enjoying your new series! And, I, too, love rose in perfumes. Yesterday I jotted down the names of your favorite rose perfumes, so I can smell the ones I've never tried before. So far, my favorites are: Lyric Woman, Parfum Sacre, OJ Ta'if, and Tocade. But I still have a lot more to try. (Sorry, I don't know anything about distillation.)

waftbyCarol said...

Hey girls ,
Thanks for coming by , you are both in the draw !
hopefully , you learned a little something about rose distillation today !

queen_cupcake said...

Very interesting information about rose distillation. Looking forward to more in this series!

I am warming to rose scents, having recently re-introduced myself to my now vintage bottle of Tocade. And someone gave me Tresor last May. I know it gets very little love on the blogs, but I enjoy it. I also like YSL Paris. Like Nina, I've copied down your list so I can check them out.

Ines said...

Carol, I don't know any facts about rose distillation - I found your post very educating. SO many things I didn't know - thank you for sharing.
And of course I want in - you made me crave roses now. :)

Anonymous said...


Sometimes I am on the fence about rose Perfumes, maybe it is a mood thing, but i do love, love Lyric all the time! I look forward to trying some of the "Ross" you recommend and PS I too know nothing about rose distillation, but am eager to learn.

La Bonne Vivante said...

This is really great! I loved reading this in-depth look at the lovely, lovely rose. Keep this series up. I love it!

And of course, I want into the draw!

waftbyCarol said...

Thank you !
next up on Wednesday , Jasmine !
You're in the draw...

nbh said...

Wow, what a great educational article. I think fragrances that have mai rose are my favorites. There is a certain sharpness there that is very refreshing.

Dionne said...

So rose and jasmine are the number one winning combination? No wonder Le Maroc pour Elle was a love at first sniff!

The Tauer sample set were the very first samples I ordered - I got the last one he had before he got the new look - and half the fun was getting mail from Switzerland. I opened up all the vials to take a sniff that first night, and you know how sometimes if you're not careful the 1mL vial can spray a few droplets? I must have gotten a bit of Le Maroc pour Elle on my shirt, because ten minutes later I was back to the vials trying to figure out what was wafting from my shirt because it was so intoxicating!

Other rose loves are Tocade, Parfume Sacre (just tried it this week) and I can't make up my mind if I prefer SSS's Vintage Rose or Velvet Rose more.

Musette said...

You are INCREDIBLE! This (and the jasmine article) just blew me away.

I love Rose Otto (or Otto of Rose) and only use it from one essential oil place (from Australia).

The only interesting fact about rose distillation I know - that you didn't mention in your article because you didn't know it -is that I am an utter FAIL at distillation!LOL!

A few years ago I thought "how hard can it be?" I had a r. filipes 'Kiftsgate', 35' high (I let it totally take over my garage - a true r. filipes can cover a 1-story building) - the flowers are very fragrant...I harvested them....

....and it was a mess!

I thought I could steam it on the stove! Not!


Dixie said...

What an interesting article! I'm just starting to appreciate rose perfumes, so I'd love to be included in the draw. My favorite Lumiere Noir Pour Femme, but my boyfriend like FM's Une Rose.
I'm also just starting to explore the world of attars-I find them fascinating!

waftbyCarol said...

nbh , dionne , musette , Dixie ,
Thanks for your encouragement . my husband the captain is a real renaissance man and he built me a small still , we are playing around with it , but not ready to report yet on our concoctions...
I did do a small evulsion of jasmine in my jewelry cleaner ! LOL !!
I too totally love attars , I have been collecting them for years . My favorites are Mitti and Shamama .
you're all in the draw !

JoAnne Bassett said...

I absolutely love rose perfumes. I often use rose otto, jasmine, and sandalwood together in my customs. It is a very classic combination that most people love. Thank you for the wonderful, informaive blog post..

Tamara*J said...

How did I miss this lovely draw!!
Please enter me if it's not too late<3

I love roses and I read your comment about splitting a KM Parfum du Soir FB , I would be interested in some point if your game!

Truly, Tamara

Julie Ellen said...

Great post on Roses--and I love rose in my perfume. I am a big Andy Tauer fan and so I love Rose Chypree and Incense Rose, and a simple spray of Crabtree and Evelyn rosewater is refreshing. Also inexpensive but lovely are Yves Rocher Rose Absolue and Cabaret by Gres. There are many I have yet to try (Taif, Lyric Woman, etc), but I love love love Malle's UNE ROSE--fantastic.
Please enter me in your drawing--can't get enough rose.

ps--I am still working my way through all of the wonderful jasimine samples, but the fave so far is jasmine de nuit !!