The Rose Valley is a magical place hidden between two mountain ranges, stretching for 120 km through the center of Bulgaria. The original variety of the Damascus Mill, or Rosa Damascena Mill, the queen of all flowers, is grown in it. Its tiny, divinely aromatic flowers gradually open up over the course of one month of the year, and the whole valley carries an intoxicating scent that you won’t miss is literally everywhere. Splendor!!!!
Distillation of Bulgarian roses
The collection of roses itself has its clear order and procedure. Every grower knows that his approaching trait is flowering acacias. When these trees bloom, the work on the rose fields will begin within 14 days. The fields are monitored and when the first flowering roses appear, collectors, drivers and technologists in the begin to organize. “Rozovarna” is a Bulgarian word for a place where the so-called rose distillation is happening. This place intends for the distillation of a rose flower, in which they undergo double distillation. This specificity makes the Bulgarian rose water so unique. Its qualities are valued all over the world and Bulgaria is a world leader in the export of rose water and rose oil.
A special rose
Due to the spread of the roses’ industry here there are different qualities of the product itself. Not each Bulgarian rose water is so exceptional. Actually not every one is made of the original Rosa Damascena Mill variety! Another factor is the way the plant is grown and cared for. The SoZoLe Rose rose water comes only from the organic farming where every shrub in these fields is registered in the register of growers of this protected variety. They are fertilized here only with organic waste from the smelter, which is mixed with cow dung from a local organic farm. Pesticides are not used, they are weeded out with the “good old technology”, ie pure human labor.
It all starts at dawn
The 2021 harvesting season was shorter due to the colder spring. Because of the weather conditions the specifics of the roses also vary. The rose flowers are collected immediately after dawn when they are sprinkled with morning dew. Only the open flowers, which contain the highest percentage of essential oil are picked up. They carry the characteristic intoxicating scent and travel into 10 kg bags to the distillery. Each rose is collected by hand from dawn to noon. Socially disadvantaged and ethnic minorities are employed too. For them, seasonal work is important to secure their daily bread. The collectors tie the bags to their waists to keep their hands free. After filling, the bag is taken to a pick-up point, where an experienced co-worker is already waiting. He checks, weighs, and records each bag. Collectors receive a fixed amount for each kilogram of rose flowers. After the required number of full bags are grouped at this place, drivers arrive and bring the rose beauties to the distillery. The clock is ticking.
Tradition in a modern coat
The icing on the cake is the processing of fresh rose flowers in a more than 100-year-old rose distillery with five traditional copper vessels, the only functional ones of their kind. Thanks to modern technologies and demanding hygienic conditions, this is a tradition in a modern coat. These traditional copper vessels and the experience of production technologists add to the SoZoLe Rose rose flower water and rose oil a specificity that is difficult to describe in words. Smell it, immerse yourself in this scent and you will forever recognize real rose water and its precious oil.