rosa x damascena
The most city famous with this kind of flowers is Damascus, the capital of Syria, because it is the origin of it, and it takes it name from it. Also Hama, Allepo, Homs, and other Syrian cities and villages. Rosa × damascena is optimally cultivated in hedge rows to help protect the blooms from wind damage and to facilitate harvesting them. Gathering the flowers is intense manual labor. There are about 20–40 days per year when harvesting occurs, depending on the cultivar grown. The roses are gathered by hand and brought to a central location for steam distillation.
Bulgarian rose, rose Otto, or Kazanlak rose)
Bulgaria and Turkey are the most prolific producers of rose oil from the different cultivars of Rosa × damascena. France and India also contribute significantly to the world market. Morocco, Tunisia, and some other Middle Eastern nations also historically produced it, but their modern contribution is negligible. Other producers are Afghanistan and Chile.
The town of Kazanlak, Bulgaria has been inhabited for thousands of years. Most historians assume that the cultivation of the “Kazanlak rose”, as Rosa × damascena is denominated in that region. It is reported that roses have been cultivated in the area since Roman times. It is cultivated for commercial use in an area in the vicinity of Kazanlak called the “Valley of Roses”. The distillate from these roses is called “Bulgarian Rose Oil” and “Bulgarian Rose Otto”.
Turkish rose oil is sold as “Rose Oil”, “Turkish Rose Otto”, and “Rosa Damascena Attar”, or “Ittar” in similar languages. While families still operate their own small distilleries and produce what is denominated “village oil”, the commercialization of rose oil as a high quality product is carefully regulated by a state cooperative in the Isparta region of Turkey. The roses are still grown by the small family farms but the flowers are brought to stills established and regulated by the cooperative for distillation and quality control.
India has also developed an industry producing rose oil, both “Rose Attar” and “Rose Absolutes”, as well as “Rose Concrete”. Perhaps due to the low labor cost, these products from India are less expensive than those from Bulgaria and Turkey.