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White Rose Attar Newsletter

White rose bush     The white, white rose, that lovely tree,
Imparts a rich perfume ;
O, but its flowers are fair to see.
In full and fragrant bloom.
     How sweet to find within its core
One pearly drop of dew.
Diffusing life through every pore,
With graceful form and hue.
     How sweet to see its petals spread
To greet the morning sun ;
And homage pay with bending head.
When vesper hours come on,
     How rich the odour, rare the balm
It sheds on every side !
When storms are hush'd, and winds are calm,
At morn and eventide.
     It loves the sunshine and the shower,
When rainbows gleam on high ;
It drinks at twilight's shady hour.
The tear-drops of the sky.

"The White Rose"
--By Samuel Fergusson

There is something uniquely attractive about the White Rose/Rosa alba and the essential oil and co2 extract that is produced from it in Bulgaria. The growing and distillation of white rose is not something new in Bulgaria although its main function in years passed was to grow as a hedge around the more widely known fields of pink rose(Rosa damascena). It was valued for its hardiness, disease resistance and ability to produce a crop even when the pink rose crop was reduced due to adverse weather conditions. Up until 1978 as much as 40% of Bulgarian rose fields were planted in white rose but in the ensuing years the percentage was reduced until almost none were being grown. One of the main reasons that the white rose did not enjoy the same popularity is pink rose for distillation purposes was that the yield of oil was considerably less than pink rose which itself requires 4-6 thousands pounds of flowers to yield 35 ounces/1 kilo of absolute.

But in recent years a number of farmers have turned to cultivating white rose as a main crop as the soft, warm, ethereal, floral bouquet with the honeyed/balsamic undertone is quite distinct from the pink rose and those who have smelled it have loved the beauty and radiance emanating from it. By good fortune we were able to procure a small amount of the white rose co2 select extract and the white rose/pink rose Woman harvesting rosescodistillation this year after several years of waiting for our colleagues in Bulgaria to have enough material to offer us. This company has done a lot of innovative work in their country including the installation of the first co2 extraction plant there and it is by their good efforts we are able to offer the first co2 select extract to being exported from Bulgaria(last year they had a small amount of the total extract which was quite lovely although its unique aromatic bouquet was very mild, so we requested them to consider making the select extract this year which they kindly did)

Those who wish to read more about white rose in Bulgaria might enjoy reading the following article from the Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science:

Last month I wrote two blogs which detailed my olfactory impressions of the White Rose CO2 select extract and the white rose/pink rose codistillation which can be viewed at:
White Rose/Rosa Alba CO2, Select
White Rose/Pink Rose Codistillation

White Rose Attar
Due to the very limited production this year of both the white rose co2 and the white rose/pink rose essential oil, we converted a portion of both  to creating a White Rose Attar which is a blend of the co2 extract(25%) and the essential oil in pure New Caledonian Sandalwood oil(75%). I felt the blend gave a more full spectrum aromatic profile of the white rose as the co2 extract captures beautifully the elegant, soft heart and base notes of the flower and the essential oil captures the fine top notes. The New Caledonia sandalwood has a lovely creamy precious woods heartnote that melds perfectly with white rose. In cool temperatures the White Rose Attar tends to take on a thick opaque golden honey consistency which with very gentle heat becomes a flowable liquid, and in warmer weather it is a golden viscous liquid. A small free sample of the White Lotus Attar will be sent out to all who order during the month of September.

We have 3 kilos of the white rose attar and prices are posted on the web site for those who wish to explore this precious essence

White Rose in Literature
For thine came pale and a maiden, and sister to sorrow; but ours,
Her deep hair heavily laden with odour and colour of flowers,
White rose of the rose-white water, a silver splendour, a flame,
Bent down unto us that besought her, and earth grew sweet with her name.
"Hymn to Proserpine"
by Algernon Charles Swinburne

' Did I ever think,' exclaimed she, ' of standing under the shadow of a white rose tree ! What an exquisite fragrance ! And what a beautiful flower ! so pale, and white, and tender, and the petals thin and smooth as silk ! What rose is it ? ' -' Don't you know ? Did you never see it before ? It is rare now, I believe, and seems rarer than it is, because it only blossoms in very hot summers ; but this, Emily, is the musk rose, that very musk roseGarden statue of which Titania talks, and which is worthy of Shakespeare and of her. Is it not ? No ? do not smell to it ; it is less sweet so than other roses ; but one cluster in a vase, or even that bunch in your bosom, will perfume a large room, as it does the summer air.' ' Oh ! we will take twenty clusters,' said Emily. ' I wish grandmamma were here ! She talks so often of a musk rose tree that grew against one end of her father's house. I wish she were here to see this ! '

--from Our Village
By Mary Russell Mitford

Along this road every one of the old farmhouses has at least one tall bush of white roses by the door, -- a most lovely sight, with buds and blossoms and unvexed green leaves. I wish that I knew the history of them, and whence the first bush was brought. Perhaps from England itself, like a red rose that I know in Kittery, and the new shoots from the root were given to one neighbor after another all through the district. The bushes are slender, but they grow tall without climbing against the wall, and sway to and fro in the wind with a grace of youth and an inexpressible charm of beauty. How many lovers must have picked them on Sunday evenings, in all the bygone years, and carried them along the roads or by the pasture foot-paths, hiding them clumsily under their Sunday coats if they caught sight of any one coming. Here, too, where the sea wind nips many a young life before its prime, how often the white roses have been put into paler hands, and withered there!
--from The White Rose Road
by Sarah Orne Jewett

Ah the entrancing light in her eyes as she gave me the white rose!
Who knows what mystical meanings dwell in the scent of a white rose?
Who knows what sun-wrought glories are pent in the smell of a white rose?
Who knows what wonderful secrets Psyche may tell with a white rose?
New songs to old tunes: and other stories in verse.
--from "The Lotos-Eater", New Songs to Old Tunes
By William Vincent Byars

Rosa alba
In the garden gay where the old man roams
Pied poppies sway on their supple stalks,
And the fair white rose on the soft breeze foams,
And the pansies peep by the gravelled walks;
But his brow by the breeze of the hills is fanned,
And the clink of bells to his quick ear comes.
When he shades his eyes with a withered hand,
He sees silent rivers and ranges grand,
Or a still lagoon under silver gums.
--from Rhymes from the Mines (1896)
by Edward Dyson

Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed...
--from Henry VI
by William Shakespeare

The damask roses were like peonies for size, and their bushes, thick with full-blown flowers and buds, in every stage of opening, were only surpassed for beauty by those of the creamy white rose, who were as soft tinted as the first blush of dawn, and as daintily scented as the quickening breath of spring.
--from New England Bygones
by E. H. Arr

As sweet as the breath that goes
From the lips of the white rose,
As weird as the elfin light
That glimmer of frosty nights,
As wild as the winds that tear
The curled red leaf in the air,
Is the song I have never sung.
--from Flower and Thorn
by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

For thine came pale and a maiden, and sister to sorrow; but ours,
Her deep hair heavily laden with odour and colour of flowers,
White rose of the rose-white water, a silver splendour, a flame,
Bent down unto us that besought her, and earth grew sweet with her name.
"Hymn to Proserpine"
by Algernon Charles Swinburne