A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...

No other flower has been depicted in history and literature as much as the beautiful rose. There is something about the plant that has had humans captivated for centuries and the same rings too of the essential oil.

I knew a production manager who had been filling essential oil bottles for an aromatherapy company for over eight years and the only one that they still stopped to enjoy and smell and still loved every time they opened it was rose otto.

Aromatherapists are spell bound by rose too, Worwood says of rosa centifolia that it represents the passion of the spirit with a deep and hypnotic personality while Rosa damascena epitomises the gentleness of female spirit and that rose otto is perfection personified.

Rose oil often has an affinity with the heart so it is most often used for emotional pains it has also been used for the treatment of palpitations as well as menstrual pain, insomnia and as an aphrodisiac. Many skin preparations on the main stream shelves cite rose as a key ingredient because of its efficacy as hydrating, emollient and softening to skin whilst being fairly gentle.

It clears hot and inflamed emotions and has been recommended by many texts for deep upset, grief and for easing depression. Many associate rose with the heart chakra and it can be used to help open up the heart when grief or other negative emotions have closed it. When you smell rose essential oil there is something so comforting about it and not once has anyone smelt it when I have offered it and not smiled.

I find rose most beneficial when someone is in need of a dose of self-love or forgiveness. In today’s society we don’t always put ourselves first and everyone has done something they wish they hadn’t. The oil has the ability to help us be kinder and gentler on ourselves and those around us.

Chemically rose essential oil is one of the most complex with over 300 chemical constituents found within it but due to its popularity it has had quite a few studies conducted on its benefits that give us scientific evidence for its properties. One study did a clinical trial and found it exhibited an antianxiety effect and concluded that the oil has a pharmacological activity similar to non-benzodiazepine anxiolytic drugs.

Rose hydrolat is also an incredibly beneficial aromatherapy tool, being water based it is much less expensive than the oil and makes a fantastic skin toner in place of over the counter ones and also makes a beautiful room spray or for cleansing a space prior to meditation.

Please bear in mind it takes around 4000Kgs of flowers to create just 1KG of rose oil so it’s retail price is one that should reflect that. Always buy from reputable aromatherapy suppliers otherwise you are just ripping yourself off from the chance to truly own a beautiful rose oil. Synthetic versions are never the same.


Davis P. Subtle Aromatherapy. The C.W. Daniel Compant Limited. Great Britain, 1991.

Umezu T. Anticonflict effect of plant derived essential oils. Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 1999: 64(1), 35-40. Cited in Aromatherapy Database, Bob Harris, Essential Oil Resource consultants, UK, 2000.

Worwood V. The fragrant mind. Doubleday, Great Britain, 1995.

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