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Rose oil production - magic and art
It is a warm May morning. The sun still sleeps behind the nearby hills that tenderly embrace the Rose Valley. Hundreds of fairies– the rose-pickers, rove among the flower-beds wrapped in melting dusk and enchanting fragrance. They proceed quietly, as if not to awake the luminary, collecting fresh rose blossoms. Thanks to the skills they’ve inherited, passed down from generation to generation for centuries, the dexterous Bulgarians are able to select only the fully developed calyxes, without damaging the fragile stems and buds.
Imperceptibly, the dawn colors the horizon and turns the dew drops that have showered the plants into true diamonds. Maybe lured by their brilliance or maybe frightened by the coming daylight, the "fairies" become more nimble. The sun climbs higher and higher on the heavenly ladder, and its warmth makes the fragrance of the roses even stronger and more intoxicating. An hour till noon. It is time to stop the rose-picking before the "fiery thief" steals away the volatile essential oil.
On a tacit command, the hundreds workers head to the nearby distilleries, where a real magic is born – the transformation of rose blossoms into "liquid gold." Processing begins just few hours after harvesting, which ensures the freshness of the raw material and the superior quality of the final product.
With unabated dedication, the workers place the roses in the magical device, called distiller, and add pure water. More than 3 tons of blossoms and 4 to 5 times larger amount of water are needed for the production of just a single kilogram of rose oil! After the mixture is heated, the essential oil components are cooled, liquefied and separated, carried out by the water vapour. At a later stage, the precious yellow-green liquid is being purified of any impurities and sealed in special containers retaining its unique aroma.
The finished product has some requirements regarding light and temperature. In order to meet these requirements, manufacturers often resort to storing the oil in bank vaults, where besides the necessary microclimate, they are also able to provide a proper security for the "liquid gold".
Usually, the rose-picking continues around 20 days, and while the field work is only until noon, the work in the distilleries literally never stops. Thousands of acres of flowers, born from the womb of the fertile land, centuries-old mastery and hundreds of hours of diligent work fill up every drop of Bulgarian rose oil. This is more than enough to justify the high cost of the product, but adding the fascinating fragrance and the unique therapeutic and beauty properties of the oil, it becomes a true magical elixir that simply has no price!