Rose water is one of the best-kept ancient beauty and wellness secrets of all time. Loved by goddesses, kings, queens and prominent historical figures, it has proven to be a wellness elixir for centuries. Bulgarian roses, also known as Rosa × damascena or Damask roses, have been the most favored type of rose for wellness use. Here’s how the history of these roses has led to the growing rose wellness industry.
Damask Rose Origins
The Damask rose stems from the Middle East, and was first documented where modern day Iran now stands in the Ancient Persian Empire. During the Sasanian imperial dynasty, the imperial family had elaborate rose gardens built for the cultivation of the roses, and to better bask in their lovely beauty. The prince had fountains filled with rose petals, so that the princess would be misted by their scent as she strolled in the open air.
Avicenna, a 10th century Persian scientist, is credited with the invention of refined rose water. He also helped make it a profitable trade between empires. The commodity soon spread to Egypt and Rome through trade. Beyond the perfume industry, the Romans used the water and rose petals to scent their wine, as well as used it as a beauty product for their skin.
The Damask rose then made its way into the Bulgarian region, where it is still cultivated in an area called the Valley of Roses. These highly sought after roses are grown in the perfect climate and soil, making those who grow them the world's leaders in the rose industry today.
Rose Water for Health
In India, emperors made a point of sprinkling pure rose water as a symbol of luck and ultimate sophistication to welcome royal guests. Indian queens have been known to create face masks with rose water to firm the skin and maintain a youthful glow. Many cultures continue to use rose water for its anti-inflammatory properties to treat common cold symptoms like sore throats and bronchial irritation.
Rose Links Through the Years
Many famed royals and thought leaders have used rose water in their beauty routines and writings throughout history. Here are a few examples:
- Cleopatra: Known for bathing in a mixture of rose water, milk and honey to soften and purify her skin. She also used roses to scent and perfume the air around her. It is believed that her use of roses was the key to her eternal beauty.
- Shakespeare: Wrote of Cleopatra's affinity for rose water in “Antony and Cleopatra” by saying that when she got on her fleet of ships, she had them scented so heavily with rose water that “the very winds were lovesick.”
- Aphrodite: As the Greek goddess of love, part of her legend explains how she scratched herself with a rose thorn when she heard her lover, Adonis, was in danger. Specks of blood scattered among the white roses, turning them red.
- Michelangelo: Drank rose water every morning in his daily cup of tea.
- Tansen: As a a prominent classical musician from the 1500’s, he would sit in rose water under the open sky to help inspire him to create music.
Today, rose water is used in the some of the beauty industry’s best-selling luxury products. From toners and creams to makeup and hair care, numerous companies are infusing their products with rose for its hydrating, anti-aging and nourishing properties. While topical application of rose water works wonders, when consumed in a beverage, rose water is able to nourish the body from the inside, out.
At Rōzu, we exclusively brew our sparkling rose water with Bulgarian roses to ensure every bottle contains the highest quality rose essence. Now, you can get all the benefits of rose water delivered right to your doorstep in a refreshing, sparkling water. Made without any sugars or additives, you get all the beauty and health benefits of rose water you need, and none of the sugars and additives you don’t. Click here to order and experience Rōzu!