The oil-yielding rose (Rosa Damascena Mill.) and its principal product - rose oil, are among the timeless symbols of Bulgaria. For over 300 years the people inhabiting the famed Valley of Roses, situated between the Balkan and Sredna Gora mountain ranges in Central Bulgaria, have grown roses and processed them into rose oil, celebrated the world over for its superb quality and unique aroma.
The Rosa Damascena plant was most likely brought to the Bulgarian lands from the Middle East. The best home for it in Bulgaria was found in the valley around the towns of Kazanlak, Karlovo and Kalofer along the southern slopes of the majestic Balkan range and Sredna Gora Mountain. There is something about the air, soil and climate of that zone that stimulates the natural synthesis and accumulation in its blossoms of the rose oil of outstanding aroma. The first commercially harvested rose fields were planted in those areas in the late 16th - early 17th century. The favorable climate of the Valley of Roses, with its characteristic mild winters and a long, balmy spring with intermittent light rains, high humidity, especially in May and June, abundant morning dew and its undulating landscape are ideal for growing the oil-yielding rose and creating its unique aroma.
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