A precious fragrance - feminine, graceful and glamorous.
Two major species of rose are cultivated for the production of rose oil:
- Rosa damascena, the damask rose, which is widely grown in Syria, Bulgaria, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, India, Uzbekistan, Iran and China
- Rosa centifolia, the cabbage rose, which is more commonly grown in Morocco, France and Egypt.
The key flavor compounds that contribute to the distinctive scent of rose oil, however, are beta-damascenone, beta-damascone, beta-ionone, and rose oxide. Beta damascenone presence and quantity is considered as the marker for the quality of rose oil. Even though these compounds exist in less than 1% quantity of rose oil, they make up for slightly more than 90% of the odor content due to their low odor detection thresholds.
(rose otto, attar of rose, attar of roses or rose essence) is the essential oil extracted from the petals of various types of rose. Rose ottos are extracted through steam distillation, while rose absolutes are obtained through solvent extraction or supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, with the absolute being used more commonly in perfumery. Even with their high price and the advent of organic synthesis, rose oils are still perhaps the most widely used essential oil in perfumery.
The rose hip, usually from R. canina, is used as a minor source of vitamin C. The fruits of many species have significant levels of vitamins and have been used as a food supplement. Many roses have been used in herbal and folk medicines. Rosa chinensis has long been used in Chinese traditional medicine.
Nutrients and phytochemicals
Rose hips are particularly high in vitamin C, one of the richest plant sources available. However, RP-HPLC assays of fresh rose hips and several commercially available products revealed a wide range of L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) content, ranging from 0.03 to 1.3%. Rose hips of some species, especially Rosa canina (dog rose) and R. majalis, have been used as a source of vitamin C.
Rose hips contain the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene, which are under basic research for a variety of potential biological roles, such as inhibiting oxidation of low density lipoprotein.
A meta-analysis of human studies examining the potential for rose hip extracts to reduce arthritis pain concluded there was a small effect requiring further analysis of safety and efficacy in clinical trials. It is not considered an appropriate treatment for knee osteoarthritis.
Rose hips are occasionally made into jam, jelly, marmalade, and soup or are brewed for tea, primarily for their high vitamin C content. They are also pressed and filtered to make rose hip syrup. Rose hips are also used to produce rose hip seed oil, which is used in skin products and some makeup products.