From Hollywood sirens to today’s designer-driven fragrances, rose remains a timeless and sensual scent. The founder of Bulgarian Rose Oil ECOMAAT explains the allure of rose parfum.
“With a nickname ‘liquid gold,’ Bulgarian Rose Oil is the most expensive among all the essential oils,” Atanas Krachmarov, founder of ECOMAAT, a luxury rose parfumerie in Bulgaria, tells Culture Trip. Founded in 2001, ECOMAAT is renowned throughout Europe and Asia, and is starting to make a dent in the U.S. market with its line of rose oils, La Vie En Rose.
If you think rose parfum is a scent reserved for your grandmother, think again. Marilyn Monroe had cases of Floris Rose Geranium delivered to the Beverly Hills Hotel, where she was staying while filming Some Like It Hot, according to Town & Country. The same article notes Ava Gardner was a fan of Creed Fleurs de The Rose Bulgare. The scent is not only popular with Hollywood pinups from the ‘50s; designers are using rose in their parfum lines. Tom Ford delivers Cafe Rose, Yves Saint Laurent, Paris Premieres Roses, and Narciso Rodriguez, Rose Musc. Search Instagram for the hashtag “rose perfume” and you’ll find the top beauty influencers snapping their favorite fragrances for their feed.
So what is so alluring about the scent of rose? “It has a rich, heady fragrance,” says Krachmarov. “There are hundreds of compounds creating the magnificence of its fragrance—it sets a worldwide benchmark for quality.”
In particular, Bulgarian rose—cultivated from the blossoms of Rosa Damascena—is recognized as the creme de la creme of roses. “This fabled Rosa Damascena species has been cultivated in Bulgaria for nearly four centuries,” says Krachmarov. “Bulgaria’s Rose Valley region produces the highest performance rose essential oils in the world, due to both perfected production techniques and the properties of the Bulgarian rose itself, which has been shaped by generations of careful cultivation and from Bulgaria’s unique geography.”
Krachmarov notes that because of its high cost, many manufacturers use alternate rose cultivars and synthetics in their perfumes. However, the benefits of Bulgarian Rose Oil, which include anti-inflammatory, astringent, relaxant, and aphrodisiac properties “cannot be duplicated or replicated.” A study conducted by the US National Library of Medicine confirms these claims, indicating rose oil can lower stress and promote the healing of wounds. Another US National Library of Medicine study indicates the anti-inflammatory properties of rose.
The high cost of rose oil, which makes rose parfum a luxury, is due in part to the extraction process. “Approximately 1,500,000 rose blossoms are necessary to make one kilogram of Bulgarian Rose Oil,” says Krachmarov. “Immediately after the roses are hand-picked from a field, they are sent to a distillery. Essential oil extraction begins while the blossoms are at their peak, still fresh and fragrant.” Highly trained specialists use a steam distillation method to retain the correct properties of the essential oil. ECOMAAT also uses carbon dioxide under low temperature and high pressure to extract the oil without degrading the its bioactive properties. Authentic Bulgarian rose flower water, touted for its anti-acne and anti-aging properties (a study by the US National Library of Medicine also confirms the skin purifying benefits of rose extract) is what Krachmarov calls the “distillate extracted from steam distillation.” In other words, pure rose water is not a by-product, but a quality product in its own right.
Whether you’re choosing a designer rose fragrance or an essential oil, be sure to read the ingredients carefully to know exactly what type of rose you’re paying for. As Gertrude Stein says, “a rose is a rose is a rose,” unless of course, it’s a Bulgarian rose.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.