The rose is the most famous flower of the cultural heritage, and of the collective unconscious of our
Civilization. It is considered the emblem of beauty, youth and virginity. It carries within it the language of love. Its cultivation is attested in the valley of the Indus, the Nile and the Euphrates (three different sources) for three thousand years BC. JC
For the Greeks, she was born from the womb of Aphrodite. Her red color is the source of her blood when she gets bitten by brambles. The rose was there the symbol of passionate love and death.
The rose bush, in France, was originally discovered in the wild as a rosehip. By dint of cultures, grafting, cuttings, we end up obtaining the rosa gallica. A beautiful large rosehip flower of deep red.
A bit of botany
All roses are deciduous, that is, they lose their leaves during the winter. Until the XNUMXth century, the petals were considered part of the leaves. Hence the name centifolia, literally the rose with a hundred leaves. Rose bushes have prickles (superficial growths) and not thorns.
In the XNUMXth century, according to the writings of Grégoire de Tours, two species of cutivated roses were known in France: the red rose, rosa gallica, and the white rose, rosa alba, or rosa moschata.
The Rosa Gallica is a single-flowered species with five petals. It is a rose that grows wild in Europe and Western Asia. The Rosa moschata, is a white rose, native to Persia with a musky odor.
Rosa centifolia is a cross between Rosa Gallica and Rosa Moschata. It flowers only once in May, hence its name, the May rose. Its foliage would have a smell of carnation.
In the XNUMXth century, the centifolia was called the rose of Provence. It is she who is cultivated in Grasse, her essence produced in France is much finer and much more esteemed than that produced in other countries. It is the favorite of perfumers.
Rosa damascena (Damask rose), pale pink in color is a hybrid of Rosa gallica (Rose de France), centifolia and Rosa moschata (musk rose), rising rose, which blooms several times, the rose of every month.
It is harvested early in the morning, before the sun alters its scent. In one hour, a good picker collects 6-7 kg of May roses. In one day, that's 50 kg. It takes four tons of flowers to obtain 1 kilo of essential oil by hydrodistillation.
In perfumery it is a heart note. The rose combines very well with other floral and fruity perfumes. Some perfumers specializing in roses find it a lemony note, woody but also spicy. Others find in it smells of raspberries, blackberries and apples depending on the variety, but also a very velvety smell of apricot when the roses are very red. Finally, it can have a transparent and aquatic scent, which can make one think of the smell of a garden after the dew… These different fragrances are widely used in perfumery and are often complementary to scents such as violet and geranium. It is also possible to find it in masculine compositions when it is mixed with more woody and slightly peppery notes. It enters into the creation of the greatest perfumes in the world.
Based on research by Tachka Sofer.
P.Lieutaghi, the Book of Good Herbs, ed. South ActsTheophrastus
"At the origin of botany", ed. belin
Rosa, rosae, by MC Grasse, ed. International Museum of Perfumery
Jamal Bellakhdar, "The Traditional Moroccan Pharmacopoeia", ed. Ibis
The book of roses by D.Lemonnier, ed. BelinThe perfumes of E. De Feydaux, ed. R. Laffont