Rose Water has been prepared in Jabal Akhdar since the 9th Century
For several centuries, roses have been cultivated and processed into rose water in Jabal Akhdar. First references are found in The Book of Perfume Chemistry and Destillation, written by Al-Kindi.
Made by craftsmen and local communities
Rose Water has been distilled in Oman following an artisanal process which has been transferred from one generation to the next for more than 1,200 years.
A process to create the purest rose water on earth.
A very artisanal process
Rose harvest, pickers rise early in the morning to pluck the blossoms just after they open as the day’s heat evaporates their fragrance and dew. The harvest is collected wrapped in cotton pouches and baskets to be transported to one of many traditional extraction units set up by villagers.
The rose petals brought to extraction units are scattered along cotton mats to keep them fresh and then poured over the traditional mud ovens, where they are distilled.
After distillation, the petals are allowed to simmer gently for about four hours in rustic equipment covered by another flask made of copper.
Exceptional location 3,000 meters above sea level
Jabal Akhdar in Oman is known to be the highest peak in the Middle East region and the source of the purest rose water. A mountain blessed with natural water springs, 3 hours drive away from Muscat. Due to the stiffness of the mountain, a change of car is required upon arrival to the army checkpoint at the feet of Jabal Akhdar.
Roses blossom once a year only
Rose fields in Jabal Akhdar usually blossom towards the end of April and the season lasts only 4 weeks. This is a celebration time in the mountain for local communities and visiors.
From field to bottle, a 6 hours process
During the season ritual, rose petals are collected every morning and brought within 3 hours to be distilled at the traditional mud ovens. As it boils, water flows from the petals into the copper vessel to be poured into a large pot where it will remain for at least 30 days. Only then the rose water is ready to be used.
Due to the natural and artisanal process, production is limitted to the amount of roses that blossom in Jabal Akhdar during the season.
More than 1,000 rose petals inside each bottle
Each bush yields about 15-20kg of petals during the season, while it takes about 1kg of petals to generate 2 liters of rose water. Each kilogram of roses is composed of 350 roses; 21,000 rose petals approximately.
Rose water, a journey across the Silk Route
Locations for rose water manufacture, plotted on a map, correlate with the route of what is now known as The Silk Road; an evidence of the transmigration of the rose from Central Asia, through Persia, Turkey and the Middle East, and from there to Rome.
During ancient times, the most precious rose water was coming from Jabal Akhdar in Oman.
Big manufacturing units are not allowed in Jabal Akhdar
Rose water manufacture is a government-protected activity in Jabal Akhdar; a cultural affair which has been carried by families for many generations.
Rose water has calm and hydrating properties
There is an array of beneficial properties associated to Rose Water. Discerning nomads should always carry Rose Water, whether to hydrate on planes whilst traveling or to refresh bed linen.
Research shows that rose water has been used in religious ceremonies for at least 4,000 years, throughout Central Asia, Persia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.