There are different types of Rose and ways the oils can be extracted from the petals. The oils that reside in the petals are called Essential Oils (which can also apply to various kinds of plants) and the two main types of extraction are steam distillation or solvent extraction. The techniques used to produce these oils tends to be relative to the end product and of course the cost incurred as part of each process.
Rose oils are perhaps the most widely used in the perfumery business, where solvent extraction is the optimum way of production, it is cheaper and the oil produced is called Rose Absolutes, whereas Rose Ottos are the output from the steam distillation process which is by far the more expensive and is the preferred method for quality Essential Oils.
Types of Rose
There are two main types of Rose plants that are cultivated in great numbers for their oils, Rosa Damascena and Rosa Centifolia. Both are found in the hotter regions of eastern Europe across into Asia and North Africa.
Regions of Bulgaria named Rose Valley were found to have a history of rose harvesting which traces back to the 17th Century, the processes used have changed little over time and is why modernisation and mass production techniques have not been followed in attempt to retain a place here quality oils are sourced and harvested.
In this region, Rose picking was and still is a manual operation undertaken in the morning before the mid day sun to avoid the petals