Rose Oil

Rose is the flower for June.

The Essential Oil of Rose is composed of hundreds of components, out of which the major contributors are Citronellol, Citral, Carvone, Citronellyl Acetate, Eugenol, Ethanol, Farnesol, Stearpoten, Methyl Eugenol, Nerol, Nonanol, Nonanal, Phenyl Acetaldehyde, Phenylmenthyl Acetate and Phenyl Geraniol.

Emotionally, Rose Oil is helpful during times of stress. It is considered the choice oil for use during times of grief. People who have Post Traumatic Shock Disorder (PTSD) say that it can be helpful to alleviate varying levels of anxiety. When used in low concentrations, Rose Oil be helpful for insomnia. and it can take away a headache. Rose Oil is also considered an aphrodisiac.

Therapeutically, Rose Oil is heralded for nurturing maturing skin and for its use with menstruation, menopause and hormonal issues for women.

This article looks at two types of Rose Oil; Rose Otto and Rose Absolute. Both are beautiful, intoxicating oils, but there are some differences between the two.

Rose Otto
The Essential Oil Rose Otto is extracted from fresh Damascus Roses (Rosa Damascena, as it is known among botanists). Why Damascus Roses? It is because they are the most fragrant ones and are believed to be the original red roses with strongest aroma and highest oil content. The extraction method is steam distillation and the color is light yellow. Rose Otto is thinner in viscosity than is Rose Absolute. At cooler temperatures, Rose Otto can solidify. This does not hurt the integrity of the oil.

Rose Otto is the preferred oil for topical aromatherapy applications because Rose Absolute may contain trace amounts of residual solvent. However, Rose Otto is more costly than the absolute because it takes significantly more rose petals to produce Rose Otto than it does to produce the absolute.

Aromatically, Rose Otto is a bit lighter and does not possess the hearty, intense aroma that Rose Absolute traditionally has. Having said that, Rose Otto is still quite concentrated and a little goes a long way.

Rose Absolute
The Essential Oil Rose Absolute is mainly obtained from the musky scented flowers of Rosa centifolia. Some Rose Absolute is also obtained from Damascus Roses. Rose Absolute is oil extracted from roses using solvent. The color is orange-red to deep red and Rose Absolute is thicker in viscosity than Rose Otto.

Rose Absolute is often favored by fragrance formulators and perfumists for its fragrance, aromatic strength and lower cost than the Otto. For diffusion, natural perfumery and room fragrancing applications, Rose Absolute is the way to go.

How Does Rose Oil Work?

According to aromatherapy practitioners, inhaling essential oil molecules (or absorbing essential oils through the skin) transmits messages to the limbic system (a brain region responsible for controlling emotions and influencing the nervous system). These messages are believed to affect biological factors such as heart rate, stress levels, blood pressure, breathing, and immune function.

How to Use Rose Oil

When combined with a carrier oil (such as jojoba, sweet almond, or avocado), rose oil can be applied directly to the skin or added to baths. Rose oil also can be inhaled after sprinkling a few drops of the oil onto a cloth or tissue (or by using an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer). Rose oil should not be taken internally without the supervision of a health professional.

Health Benefits of Rose Essential Oil

The health benefits of Rose Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties of anti-depressant, anti-phlogistic, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, anti-viral, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, cholagogue, cicatrisant, depurative, emenagogue, haemostatic, hepatic, laxative, nervine, stomachic and uterine. Rose oil has uses for depression, eczema, frigidity, mature skin, menopause, stress.

Although research on rose oil's health effects is limited, studies suggest that the essential oil may be useful for the following:

  1. Stress and Anxiety Relief
    In a 2009 study of 40 healthy volunteers, scientists found that those who took in rose oil through their skin felt more relaxed than those who were treated with a placebo. Study members who received rose oil also had a greater decrease in breathing rate and blood pressure than those who received the placebo.
  2. Menstrual Cramps
    Topically applied rose oil (when combined with lavender and clary sage oils) may be effective in decreasing the severity of menstrual cramps, according to a 2006 study of 67 female college students. For the study, a blend containing one drop of rose, two drops of lavender, one drop of clary sage, and 5 cc of almond oil was applied in form of an abdominal massage.
  3. Antidepressant: Rose Oil boosts self esteem, confidence, hope and mental strength and efficiently fights depression. The oil invokes positive thoughts, spiritualism and feelings of joy, happiness and hope.
  4. Antiseptic: This is the most fragrant and perhaps majestic way (Just imagine treating wounds with Oils of Rose instead of those ordinary anti-septic lotions) to treat your wounds and protect them from being septic and catching infections.
  5. Antispasmodic: It efficiently relieves spasm in respiratory system, intestines and muscular spasms in limbs. It also helps cure convulsions, muscle pulls, cramps and spasmodic cholera which are caused due to spasms.
  6. Aphrodisiac: The aroma of the essential rose oil boosts up libido and invokes romantic feelings.
  7. Astringent: The astringent property of Rose Oil has many benefits. It strengthens hair roots, tones and lifts skin and contracts muscles, thereby giving protection from untimely hair loss, wrinkles, loss of firmness of muscles of the abdominal area and limbs associated with age, and above all, helps stop flow of blood from wounds and cuts by contracting the blood vessels.
  8. Bactericidal: It is a good bactericide. It can cure external infections on the skin, ears, eyes and in wounds.
  9. Cicatrisant: Rose Essential Oil makes the scars and after marks of boils, acne and pox etc. on the skin fade away. This includes fading of stretch marks and surgery marks, fat cracks etc. associated with pregnancy and delivery.
  10. Other Benefits: It regulates hormone production and helps balance them. It is one of the best oils which can give you a shining, fresh and youthful skin. Its aroma keeps you charged and feeling happy. It promotes circulation, takes care of heart, reduces blood pressure and helps cure headaches, asthma and dehydration.
A few Words of Caution: It can take away your headache if used in mild concentrations, but its strong aroma can just do the opposite if a very high concentration is used. It should not be used during pregnancy.

Rose Absolute

Rose Absolute enriches the inner feminine. It will warm emotional coolness, restoring intimacy.
Easing the mind
Healing the body

Rose Otto

Rose Otto nurtures the inner child. It encourages the expression of unconditional love.
Easing the mind
Healing the body


  1. The Essential Oils Handbook, Jennie Harding, Watkins Publishing, London, 2008.
  2. The Great Encyclopaedia of Healing Stones, Fragrances and Herbs, published by Methusalem, 2008.