Do you enjoy wearing perfume or cologne? If so then give a thought to the ancient Damask Rose that is highly valued for its fragrance and subsequent production of Rose Oil or "Attar of Roses". Introduced to Europe by the returning Crusaders (no not the Canterbury Super 14 team) Damask roses quickly became popular and were widely used by Apothecaries of the day for "medicinal" purposes, with rose water being seen as a cure for almost every ill. I supose if you weren't cured at least you would smell better!
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Today hundreds of fields of Damask roses are still grown in Kazanlik, Bulgaria for the production of Attar of Roses. Can you imagine 3 tonnes of rose petals? That's what it takes to produce just 1kg of rose oil. The petals must be harvested between 5am and 10am as once the heat of the day commences then much of the valuable oil is lost. It must be a wonderful sight to see all the roses in full bloom just before harvesting. So when buying a Damask Rose you know that you are going to be rewarded with a deliciously fragrant rose. David Austin himself acknowledges the role of the Damask Rose in providing perfume for his modern day "English Roses." Other characteristics are subtle, soft grey/green foliage, very thorny shoots and summer flowers in varying shades of pink on short stalks. Many varieties will cope with poor soil and a little light shade. Add a little history to your planting scheme with these sensuous classic beauties.
Damask. An enchanting old rose that became known around 1848 but is certainly older than that. The fully double purple blooms have an exquisite fragrance.
The new foliage has a bronze tinge to it that contrasts nicely with the bright green, more mature leaves.
Colour: Purple Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 100cm
Damask. Absolutely gorgeous, fragrant, semi-double flowers in mid pink decorate this ancient rose from the Middle East. Wonderful fragrance, attractive foliage and stems that are not too thorny. Flowers for a long period in the summer. AKA Pompom des Princes or Rose d'Isfahan. Pre 1832.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 90cm
Damask. A graceful yet strong growing shrub with lush rich green foliage. The blooms are fragrant and look pale pink at first but open to pure white with a green centre. Rounded and flat in shape with a multitude of petals.Tolerant of poor soils and a little shade, repeats well. From France - 1832.
Colour: White / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1.5m
Damask. An ancient Rose that has an uncertain history but could possibly be from Iran. The dark pink-purple rosette shaped blooms are borne on slender stems in summer and have a strong fragrance. Responds well to hard pruning. To quote the Rosarian Peter Beales " well worth a place in any garden".
Colour: Pink / Purple Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 0.9m x 0.6m
Damask. A very ancient rose used extensively in Bulgaria for attar of roses. This automatically tells us that the perfume is deliciously delightful i.e. this rose is very fragrant! The blooms are somewhat shaggy, double and shaded a warm pink. Spring flowering. From the Middle East -pre 1700.
Did you know that it takes about 50 kilos of rose petals - yes 50 to make just 30mls of essential rose oil (attar of roses)? Blooming amazing!
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1.2m