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  • Veronika Georgieva

Let's talk about roses

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Bulgaria is known for its abundant and diverse roses. The country is one of the leaders in production of rose oil, which is extracted from the petals of the Rosa damascene. This is a kind of rose that is grown in the Balkan Mountains region. Let's explore together what is the history of roses in this beautiful country!

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History of Rosa damascene

The cultivation of roses in Bulgaria dates back to the 17th century, and it has become an important industry for the country. It is believed that Ottoman merchants brought Rosa damascena plants to the Balkan region from Syria and Persia. The roses are well-suited because of the favorable climate and soil in Bulgaria. By the mid-19th century, the cultivation of roses had become a major industry in Bulgaria, with large areas of land dedicated to growing the fragrant flowers.

During World War I, there was a decrease in transportation and trade. However, it recovered in the 1920s and 1930s, and by the 1940s, Bulgaria was again a major exporter of rose oil. The rose oil industry was privatized when communism was overthrown in 1989, and small-scale rose farmers once again played a significant role in the sector. The village of Kazanlak is the epicenter of the rose oil business, and Bulgaria is still one of the top producers in the world today.

Rose museum in Kazanlak

The Rose Museum in Kazanlak focuses on the development and history of rose oil in Bulgaria. The museum, which has exhibits on the history and cultural significance of roses in Bulgarian society as well as their cultivation, harvesting, and distillation, is located in the heart of the town. The museum's collection includes traditional rose oil distilling tools as well as artifacts and photographs tracing the growth of the Bulgarian rose oil industry. Visitors can also learn about the traditional Bulgarian uses for rose oil in fragrances, cosmetics, and medicine..

One of the highlights of the museum is a display of traditional Bulgarian rose oil distilling tools, which are still in use by local small-scale rose oil producers today. Visitors can watch the distillation procedure and learn about the conventional techniques used to obtain rose oil from Rosa damascena petals. In addition to its exhibits, the Rose Museum also hosts workshops and demonstrations on the cultivation and distillation of roses, as well as cultural events and festivals celebrating the role of roses in Bulgarian culture. Do not miss the opportunity to visit it, because you will definitely learn many new things about this kind of rose.

Benefits of Rosa damascene

Rosa damascene, is also known for many health and wellness benefits. The scent of Bulgarian rose has a calming effect on the mind and body, and it is often used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety. On the other hand, Bulgarian rose oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which makes it an effective ingredient in skin care products. It can help to reduce redness, soothe irritated skin, and promote a more youthful complexion. Another benefit of the rose oil is that it can be used topically to help alleviate pain from headaches, menstrual cramps, and other types of pain, because of its analgesic properties. Overall, Bulgarian rose has a range of health and wellness benefits, and its use is supported by both traditional folk medicine and modern scientific research.

Rose products

Bulgarian roses are highly valued for their beauty, fragrance, and symbolic significance, and they are often exported to other countries. There are many different rose products, which are very popular among local people and tourists. As I already mentioned, rose oil is one of the most well-known products because of its numerous health benefits. However, rose water is a byproduct of the rose oil distillation process. It is a natural toner and can be used as a facial mist, hair rinse, or ingredient in cooking and baking. Probably, the next product will surprise you a lot; however, roses are not only used for skin products. Bulgarian rose jam is a popular delicacy in the country. It has a sweet, floral flavor and is often served with yogurt or cheese.

You can find all these types of products in every Bulgarian city. These products are great ideas for souvenirs because they can be found in a size suitable for carrying home.

We've reached the end of the article about roses in Bulgaria. I hope this article helped you to dive into the Bulgarian culture and learn more about this beautiful country! In the meantime, you can read other articles on our website. Remember to follow us@thewalkingparrot to be continuously updated on the new releases. We will be back soon with a new article!

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