Turkey is a beautiful exotic country. A journey through Turkey is a journey through history, the cross roads of commerce and culture. Isparta is the heart of the Turkish Rose Oil industry. This is where Roses are grown and distilled
Dr Peter Wilde is the world's pre-eminant expert on Roses, and extracts of Rose: essential oils, absolutes and Florasols. Here Dr Wilde samples the quality of roses in the fields of Isparta during the 1999 harvest season. Pleased with his findings, Dr Wilde gathers rose petals intended for distillation
Roses are gathered during the 40 day growing season. The roses are picked in the morning, beginning at 5:30 AM. Women generally do the work, placing the picked roses into gunny sacks
The sacks are brought to a receiving station, where they are weighed and loaded onto wagons to be brought to the distillery. The wagon is then brought to the distillery
The rose petals are laid out on the floor of the warehouse in order to allow slight decomposition, which aids in the development and and improvement aromatic quality of the essential oil
The Essential Oil of Rose, Rose Attar is known for its relaxing qualities. Dorene Petersen, Founder of The American College of Healthcare Sciences finds a cozy spot amongst the Rose Petals to relax.
Overcome by the wonderful aroma of tons of rose petals, Dorene collapses in a state of ecstasy. Fortunately Mrs Petersen was revived prior to loading the rose petals into the distillation apparatus!
After several hours (and the removal of Mrs Petersen) the rose petals are ready to be loaded into the retort.
The roses are packed tightly in order to obtain the maximum yield. Once the rose petals are loaded into the retorts, distillation is ready to begin.
The lid of the retort (the visible copper unit in the above photo) is tightly sealed and the steam is turned on. The above distiller is designed for hydrodistillation. 500 kilos of roses petals are placed in the retort along with 1500 kilos of water. Coils inside the bottom of the retort carry the steam which heats the water in the retort.
The water in the retort boils and the steam is carried through the top of the distiller into the condenser. Cold water circulating through the condenser cools the steam, which then reverts to its liquid state.
After being condensed, water and essential oil enter the Florentine flask for passive separation. The beautiful rose oil floats to the top of the Florentine flask, while the separated waters are collected for redistillation. In the photo above you can see the layer of the precious rose oil floating on top of the distillate waters.