Ancient Greeks believed that the rose bush had grown up from the sea foam, in the way the goddess of beauty and love, Aphrodite, was born. In ancient Rome, the rose was associated with Adonis god and Venus goddess, in India, the Great Mother goddess was known as the Sacred Rose, and in ancient China the red rose was called flower of the goddess. In the golden age of Baghdad, mosque builders used to mix rose water and musk in the mortar and when the midday sun heated the walls fantastic flavour threw out. Cleopatra slept on a pillow filled with rose petals and bathed in rose water. Her amorous conquests were facilitated by fragrant essences. She seduced Mark Antony by soaking the sails of her ship with rose oil, and covered her room with a thick carpet of rose blossoms. The ancient tradition to spread rose petals on the marriage bed and use roses in wedding ceremonies exists even today.
The first roses were brought in Thrace by coming back soldiers of Alexander Makedonski. Even during the Ottoman Empire, European travellers wrote about Bulgarian oil-
The Rose Valley is one of the most spectacular places in Bulgaria, not only because it is a valley full of roses, but also because of the beautiful mountains and rivers around it. Located on the slopes of the Balkans and Sredna Gora Mountains, this is the region with the largest array of rose plants that have been cultivated there for more than three centuries. Besides being beautiful, the roses have other much more significant uses. It is the clean oil, called rose oil, which derived from the rose blossoms. In fact, Bulgaria produces 70 to 85% of the rose oil in the world, which makes it the largest producer on the planet.
The magic happens right here, in central Bulgaria, where the production of rose oil for export to international perfumeries is essential for the local economy. The biggest rose oil production comes from the eastern part of the Rose Valley, Kazanlak, which has been recognized as the city of the largest rose gardens in the world. The city conducts the Rose Festival, which has been celebrated annually since 1933 onwards, and usually takes place in the first week of June.
The story of this modern flower story takes us back to the 14th century, the time when the rose, growing in the vicinity of Damascus, Rosa Damascena, has been brought here. In the valley between the Balkan and Sredna Gora Mountains there are so favourable conditions for its growth that its continued cultivation in our country has significantly changed it, it has become more fascicular and fragrant and in this way it deserved its new name – the Kazanlak oil-
In the unique Museum of Rose in Kazanlak, over 15 000 exhibits related to the rose-
Today, because of its high quality, Bulgarian rose oil is one of the most preferred materials by French perfumeries. Many world famous perfume brands use Bulgarian rose oil for their fragrances, and precisely because of its unique qualities, its price has often reached the price of gold over the years. Many of the most popular and favourite perfumes can be proud with the Bulgarian rose in their composition: 5th Avenue of Elizabeth Arden, Omnia Amethyste of Bvlgari, Noa Fleur of Cacharel, Just Pink of Cavalli, Chic of Carolina Herrera, City Glam of Emporio Armani, Allure Sensuelle of Chanel. Rose oil is also present in the contents of the most expensive perfume in the world Her Majesty First of Clive Christian -
Rose oil affects the human body: as an antidepressant, aphrodisiac and anti-