Monday, February 11, 2013

A Dozen Roses

Today we journey to the heart center with the flower governed by Venus along with six other bloggers. Please follow the links at the end of this post to travel to the other participants in this blogging feast centered around our 12 favorite rose-themed scents and/or products.

Since I don't use other products besides those that I make and am very particular about rose flavored food I have listed my twelve very favorite essences to use in creating whole, botanical fragrances, body products and edibles:

1. Rose otto and absolute, Rosa damascena, from Turkey and Bulgaria
2. Rose centifolia, "Rose de mai", otto and absolute from France
3. Ruh Gulab, a Rosa damascena essential oil, from India
4. Traditional rose attar, hydrodistillation of the rose flowers into sandalwood, from India
5. Rose bourbonica absolute, also called Rose Edward, from India
6. Rose leaf absolute from South Africa
7. Monsoon Rose Attar, Rosa damascena crop that comes just at the end of the monsoon rains in Uttar Pradesh, India hydrodistilled with sandalwood.
8. Rose and Vetiver co-distillation from India
9. Roses sur Fleur a co-distilling of rose geranium leaves with petals of Damascus roses
10. Rose water for colognes, cosmetics, drinking and culinary delights
11. Rose petals and hips for face and body scrubs, teas and other gourmet treats
12. A Rose Accord/Chord created using some of the items previously listed including citronella, geranium, neroli, sandalwood, benzoin and guaicwood.

We tend to view the rose as a flower not an herb, but in 2012 the rose was designated by the International Herb Association (IHA) as the official herb of the year. In India and parts of the Middle East it is an important culinary plant used for flavoring via rose water and petals. Here in the west the trend toward rose ice cream, jam, cakes and cookies has finally caught on and can be found in most of the bigger cities.

If you are like me and prefer your rose flavors true, consider growing your own roses for culinary pleasures. The best varieties are the heirloom roses since they have both strong scent and healthy immune systems. The later is important because they are low maintenance and require no chemical fertilizers, etc. 
Check out the book How to Eat a Rose for old rose varieties with fragrance. Find out more at
Here is the list of my fellow conspirators of the heart with their inspired prose on Rose:

All I Am A Redhead
Katie Puckrik Smells
The Non Blonde
Perfume Shrine
Scent Hive 

IMAGES: Eve holding a bouquet of roses and California wild rose flower on antique postcards, both by Roxana Villa


Perfumeshrine said...

Love your photos!!

I should imagine that benzoin, plus guiacwood and sandalwood would pair exceedingly well with a rich rose essence. Mmmm....

Perfumeshrine said...

Love your photos!!

I should imagine that benzoin, plus guiacwood and sandalwood would pair exceedingly well with a rich rose essence. Mmmm....

Ines said...

Thank you for the book hint! :) That sounds interesting.

Scent Hive said...

Goodness, that Monsoon Rose Attar sounds out of this world gorgeous! Thank you for that list, and this fabulously inspired post.


Maggie Mahboubian said...

So true the rose is a potent herb. I don't prune my roses so I can benefit from the rosehips in winter which I tincture, macerate and infuse into a variety of syrups and cordials that keep my family healthy. I'd love to try that South African rose leaf absolute! Great list.

Illuminated Perfume said...

Hi El hee, thanks so much for stopping in and the sweet words.

Illuminated Perfume said...

Greetings dear Ines, I'm intrigued by the book as well.

Illuminated Perfume said...

Trish, I have a sense you would really appreciate the Monsoon Rose. Regrettably I only have a few drops left and look forward to the next distillation. Monsoon Rose is featured in Vespertina btw.

Illuminated Perfume said...

Hi Maggie, blowing you kisses across the wooded hillsides. If I don't see you before the SF event I'll bring a little vial of the rose leaf absolute with me, its quite breath taking.

Ayala Moriel said...

Thank you for taking part in the Dozen Roses blogfest!
I love your photograph, as always :-)
Rose leaf is an essence I never really worked with. I was under impressed with the sample I received, and found it too similar to other leaves from the rose family (raspberry leaf, for instance).
Your gardening stories and the book recommendations are inspiring!
Please do share some of your rosehips recipes. Do you just brew them in tea, or --?n

Katie Puckrik said...

"prose on rose" - love that! And "herb of the year"...? I would've like to have heard Rose's acceptance speech upon winning that.

Illuminated Perfume said...

Hi Ayala, thanks so much for orchestrating this event for all of us to be a petal of a blossoming heart all together. Look forward to seeing you in SF next month, weeee!

Illuminated Perfume said...

Katie, well my dear, you are Ms. Prose of Rose! I adore the way you write about Madame Rose and believe you could have written her acceptance speech if she made one.

Lyubov said...

Hallo, Roxana,
My name is Lyubov and I am from Bulgaria. I am a rose-lover (well, that all sounded like an intro in "anonymous rose-lovers").
I cannot hide that I am really pleased you first listed the rose oil from Bulgaria and Turkey!
Lots of people here do not appreciate the cherished treasure we have in terms of the rose valley in Bulgaria. And every second woman in Bulgaria says that she 'hates' perfumes with roses...It's a paradox but most of them don't even give a chance to beautiful concoctions like the Chloe range or the classic Paris - YSL and its flankers, not to mention niche perfumery creations (which are not easily accessible in Bulgaria). Furthermore, the natural perfumery is a chimere here, as well.
Love your photos!

Gaia said...

I love the idea of rose as an herb! Now I wonder about making a rose dressing for a fruit salad (can you tell I'm dreaming of summer?)...

Illuminated Perfume said...

Hello Lyubov, thanks so much for visiting from the land of roses! I adore my rose essences from Bulgaria and Turkey, especially the ones that come from the small, family farms. I intend to one day visit and experience the blooms first hand.

Illuminated Perfume said...

Hi Gaia! Yes, I can see how summer is much needed on the East coast right now. Please feel free to escape and come visit. :-)