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'Essential Oils the Most Used in Perfumery' Part I: Oil of Roses, from Professor H. Dussauce 1868

 Excerpt from A Practical Guide for the Perfumer by Professor H. Dussauce 1868

"Oil of Roses. - This is one of the most important essential oils; it is obtained simply by distilling the roses with water.
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The otto or attar of rose of commerce is derived from the rosa centifolia provincialis. Extensive farms exist at Broussa, at Uslak (Turkey in Asia), also at Ghazepore in India. In a good season the rose farms of the Balkan yield 75, 000 ounces, but in bad seasons only 20,000 to 30,000 ounces. It requires at least 16,000 flowers to yield one ounce of Otto.
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The otto from different districts slightly varies in odor; many places furnish an otto which solidifies more readily than others, and therefore this is not a sure guide of purity, though many so consider it. The French otto is richer in stearopten than the Turkish, one ounce and a half will crystalize in one gallon of spirit at the same temperature that is required for three ounces of the best Turkish Otto.
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Its colour is slightly yellow, with a very sweet odor; lighter than water, solid at the temperature of 50° to 54°. According to the experiments of De Saussure, it is formed of two oils, one solid and the other liquid. They can be separated by treating them with rectified alcohol at the temperature of 32°, which dissolves all the liquid, and only traces of the solid.
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There are six modifications of essence of rose for the handkerchief. They are - the spirit of treble rose, essence of white rose, essence of tea rose, essence of moss rose, twin rose, and Chinese rose. The following are the recipes for their formation:-
*

Treble Spirit of Rose.

Rectified Alcohol . . . .1 gallon.

Otto of rose      . . . . . 3 ounces.

Twin Rose.

Rose Pomade   . . . . 8 pounds.

Spirit at 75°     . . . . . 1 gallon.

Otto of rose      . . . .  1 ½ ounces.

Essence of Moss Rose.

Spirituous extract from rose pomatum . . . .1 quart.

Treble spirit of rose                              . . . .1 pint.

Extract fleur d'orange pomatum           . . . .1   "

            ambergris                                 . . . .½  "

            musk                                        . . . .4 ounces.

Essence of White Rose.

Spirit of rose pomatum . . . .1 quart.

              treble              . . . .1   "

              violet               . . . .1   "

Extract of jasmin           . . . .1   pint.

                patchouly      . . . .½  "

Essence of Tea Rose.

Esprit de rose pomade          . . . .1 quart.

              treble                        . . . .1   "

Extract of rose-leaf geranium . . . .1   pint.

                sandal-wood           . . . .½  " 

                neroli                      . . . .¼  "  

                oris                         . . . .¼  "

Chinese Yellow Rose.

Esprit de rose triple . . . .2  pints.

                tuberose  . . . .2  "

                tonquin    . . . .¼  pint.

               vervain      . . . .¼  "

The otto of rose is always very costly, and consequently is often adulterated. The falsifications are easily detected, and if it does not solidify at 50°, it may be considered as adulterated."

 

 

Disclaimer:

The 'Smelling History' series has been published for purposes of entertainment & education. It is not recommended to recreate the formulas and instructions outlined here. The methods and materials in these historical exerts could be extremely dangerous.

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