Harvest: May - June
Rose oil is recognised as one of the most traditional and premium essential oils in aromatherapy today. Bulgaria has been the land of rose oil production and remains the world’s major rose oil producer. Roses begin to bloom in Bulgaria around the third week of May, and continue for 3-4 weeks depending upon weather conditions. However, this season experienced a severely compressed rose harvest period along with lower yields, labour shortages, and some distilleries even turning away already harvested rose flowers.
Last year’s weather conditions resulted in a simultaneous blossom in all production regions, making it incredibly hard for the farmers to harvest and process the crop in a timely manner. This meant that rose flowers had to be processed within a 2-3 week harvesting period in contrast to the normal harvesting period of 4-6 weeks. This issue created complications for all the distilleries, especially for ones with insufficient processing capacity. Some got compelled to set daily limits on rose deliveries as well as turn away roses from non-contracted suppliers.
There was a lower yield with this year’s harvest. Fortunately, the area under rose production has been increasing in recent years, growing by an estimated quarter in the past two years. The larger production area helped compensate for the lower yields. Additionally, this situation affected labour availability, as hand picking rose flowers requires great patience. Labour costs increased in an effort to attract and maintain labour supply, and the situation was not helped by legislative issues relating to labour employment.
However, organic production has been decreasing and the area under certified organic roses has declined by approximately 15% over the past two years, due to higher organic production costs, lower yields, and the ending of EU subsidies. 2018 witnessed downward pressure on rose oil prices.
Currently, rose oil is offered at different prices. The purity and authenticity of this product cannot always be determined with certainty. Despite the fact that the international fragrance community is now more alert to adulteration issues, there is still a significant production of adulterated “rose oil” in Bulgaria. It is strongly recommended that the standard GC-MC analysis be undertaken on all offers, along with other tests to prove authenticity and origin. Products can be labeled as “Bulgarian rose oil” only if they possess a PGI certificate and mark. A PGI certificate and special mark is symbolic of a guarantee.
Market prices EURO 6700.00 /kilo