Sourcing Rose Oil in Bulgaria
We source our rose oil from Kazanluk, Bulgaria. The rose oil is so valuable here that each day's production is stored in bank vaults: There have been hijacks of complete crops in the past.
Kazanluk has been the traditional region for the production of rose oil for hundreds of years. Nestled high in the Balkan Mountains of Bulgaria, it’s known locally as the Valley of the Roses. A heavy grey sky sits above it, the plateau framed in the distance by looming shapes of rocky mountains. Small Russian cars rattle along the poorly laid tarmac roads swerving to avoid the pot holes, their skinny wheels and odd box shaped chassis as bleak as the drizzling rain.
The area was converted to armament production under communist rule. In the distance, large grey factories still throw plumes of black smoke into the air as they churn out varieties of weapons and explosives. It’s a stark contrast to the traditional use of the land. You can find an odd mix of arms dealers and perfumers in the hotel lobbies, making their way to their respective areas of interest.
Land to grow
After the fall of the communist regime in Bulgaria each citizen was allocated a plot of land adjacent to the main town. To grow roses, permission has to be sought from each landowner and the land must be rented from them. This leads to some problems and when visiting the rose fields, it is obvious by the patchwork shape of the large fields who has rented their plot and who hasn't.
Facts about Rose Oil
- Our rose oil comes from the Valley of the Roses in Bulgaria.
- Outside Isparta in Turkey, the local villagers and Roma Gypsies handpick. over 400 tonnes of rose flowers to use as absolute in our products.
- We use 60 red roses a day in our products.
- Every gram of rose oil we use contains the essence of 1,000 Damascus roses.
- We use over 260 million roses each year, dried or fresh, absolute or oil.
- We buy 15 percent of Turkey’s crop of rose absolute each year.
- Buying our rose from Turkey helped to build a local school in the area we buy from. The school is one of the first for under-7s in Turkey.
- There are 350 Turkish roses in each pot of Turkish Delight.
- There are 85 roses worth of oil in each Tisty Tosty.