Free P&P on orders over £50


The logo for Ymlacio life in Swansea offering massages, treatments and essential oils.

Are you ready to book a treatment with Helen?

Latin Name: Rosa damascena

Rose essential oil is a luxurious and versatile oil, highly valued for its rich, floral aroma and wide range of therapeutic benefits. It is commonly used in skincare, emotional wellness, and holistic health practices.

History of the Damask Rose

The Damask rose, Rosa damascena, has a rich and storied history that spans several millennia, crossing cultural and geographical boundaries.


The Damask rose is believed to have originated in the Middle East, particularly around the region that is now Iran. It is named after Damascus, the capital of Syria, which has been a historical center for rose cultivation and trade. Some theories suggest that the rose might have been introduced to Europe by the Crusaders returning from the Middle East in the 11th century, while others believe that it was brought to Europe via the trading routes that connected Asia with the Mediterranean.

Ancient Use:

  • Ancient Persia and Rome: The ancient Persians and Romans cultivated the Damask rose extensively. It was used for its fragrance, medicinal properties, and as a decorative element. The Persian poet Saadi wrote about the beauty and fragrance of the Damask rose in his works.
  • Egypt: In ancient Egypt, rose petals were used in religious rituals and to make perfumes. Cleopatra is said to have used rose water in her beauty regimen and as a seductive aid.

Medieval to Renaissance Europe:

  • Introduction to Europe: During the Crusades, knights and travelers brought Damask rose plants back to Europe. The rose quickly became popular for its beauty and fragrance. By the 13th century, it was being cultivated in European gardens.
  • Medicinal Uses: During the medieval period, the Damask rose was highly valued for its medicinal properties. It was used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, skin conditions, and respiratory problems.

Modern Times:

  • Perfumery and Aromatherapy: Today, the Damask rose is one of the most important species of roses used in perfumery. Its oil, known as rose otto or rose essential oil, is a key ingredient in many high-end perfumes. The oil is also widely used in aromatherapy for its soothing and uplifting properties.
  • Cultivation: The major centers of Damask rose cultivation are in Bulgaria (specifically the Rose Valley), Turkey, Morocco, and Iran. These regions provide the ideal climate and soil conditions for growing high-quality Damask roses.

Cultural Significance:

  • Symbolism: The Damask rose has long been a symbol of beauty, love, and passion. It is often associated with the Virgin Mary in Christian iconography, symbolizing purity and devotion.
  • Literature and Art: The Damask rose has been celebrated in poetry, literature, and art throughout history. It continues to be a popular subject in contemporary art and literature, symbolizing the timeless allure of nature’s beauty.

The Damask rose’s enduring popularity and significance are a testament to its exceptional fragrance, beauty, and versatility. From ancient civilizations to modern times, this rose has captivated hearts and minds, leaving a lasting legacy in the worlds of perfumery, medicine, and culture.

Fully bloomed pink rose with bud taken in the garden of Ymlacio Life, Swansea

Extraction Method:

Rose essential oil is typically extracted from the petals of the rose flower through steam distillation or solvent extraction.

  1. Steam Distillation:
    • This is the most common method for extracting rose essential oil. Fresh rose petals are placed in a distillation apparatus, where steam passes through the plant material. The heat and steam break down the plant’s cell walls, releasing the essential oil. The steam and oil vapor are then condensed back into liquid form, and the essential oil is separated from the water.
  2. Solvent Extraction:
    • This method is used to produce a product called rose absolute, which is highly concentrated and has a strong fragrance. The petals are immersed in a solvent, such as hexane, which extracts the aromatic compounds. The solution is then filtered and the solvent is evaporated, leaving behind a waxy substance known as a concrete. The concrete is further processed with alcohol to separate the absolute from the wax.

Therapeutic Benefits and Properties:

  1. Emotional Well-being:
    • Antidepressant: Rose essential oil is known for its mood-lifting properties, helping to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
    • Aphrodisiac: It can enhance libido and promote feelings of love and relaxation.
  2. Skin Care:
    • Anti-inflammatory: Reduces redness and inflammation, making it beneficial for conditions like acne, eczema, and rosacea.
    • Antiseptic and Astringent: Helps cleanse and tighten the skin, promoting a healthy, glowing complexion.
    • Moisturizing: Hydrates and nourishes the skin, making it especially useful for dry or aging skin.
  3. Physical Health:
    • Antispasmodic: Can help relieve muscle spasms and cramps.
    • Antimicrobial: Offers protection against bacterial and fungal infections.
    • Cicatrizant: Promotes wound healing and can reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
  4. Hormonal Balance:
    • Regulates Menstrual Cycles: Can help alleviate symptoms of PMS and menopause by balancing hormone levels.
  5. Aromatherapy Uses:
    • Calming and Relaxing: Often used in aromatherapy for its calming effects, helping to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Methods of Use:

  • Topical Application: Diluted in a carrier oil for skin application.
  • Inhalation: Using a diffuser or inhaling directly from the bottle.
  • Baths: Added to bath water for a soothing soak.

Picture of Helen Cresswell

Helen Cresswell

Ymlacio Life Founder & Therapist in Swansea


No products in the cart.