Last updated: August 10, 2021

Welcome to our big rose oil test 2021. Here we present all the rose oils that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best rose oil for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy rose oil.




The most important facts

  • Rose essential oil is one of the most expensive in the world due to the complex production process.
  • Rose oil contains many valuable ingredients that find a wide variety of applications in practice.
  • A cheaper alternative is to make your own rose oil macerate or to buy rose water or wild rose oil.

The Best Rose Oil: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying rose oil

How is rose oil extracted?

Rose oil is mainly extracted from steam distillation. The entire production process is long and labour-intensive and is reflected in the price.

Rose oil is mainly produced in Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria or Turkey. Due to the many legal requirements, it is hardly possible to produce rose oil legally in Germany.

Two types of roses are mainly used for the production of rose oil. These are Rosa centifolia and Rosa damascena.

Two different types of roses are mainly used to produce rose oil. (Image source: Unsplash.com / Katherine Hanlon)

The Damascene roses (Rose damascena) are mainly grown in Bulgaria, Syria, Russia, India, Turkey and China. Rosa centifolia roses are mainly grown extensively in Morocco, France and Egypt.

Bulgaria is one of the largest rose growing areas in the world and is known for its high quality rose oils.

The roses are picked by hand in the fields in the morning before sunrise, because at this time the roses are freshest. The fresher the petals, the richer their essential oil content. In the blazing midday sun, a blossom already loses up to 40% of the rose oil. The fresh petals are therefore distilled on the same day.

A lot of petals are needed for the production of rose oil. A whole ton of rose petals yields only about 250 ml of the precious rose oil. For one litre of rose oil, about 4-5 tons of rose petals are needed.

During steam distillation, up to 5 tons of petals are processed in a copper pot. The petals are soaked in mineral-free water. In the next step, the mixture is heated by steam and distilled.

In the process, water vapour rises, which contains the valuable oils and ingredients of the rose petals. The water vapour condenses in a cooling system and a milk-like liquid is produced.

Depending on how concentrated the oil should be, rose oil can be distilled up to seven times. However, with each distillation process you lose a little more of the aroma and intensity and the concentration of the rose oil is also reduced. At the end, the rose oil is filtered again.

In this video you can see what such a plant looks like in Bulgaria and how the rose oil is produced:

What is the chemical composition of rose oil?

The chemical composition of rose oil consists of several hundred ingredients.

The most important ingredients of rose oil are the following:

  • Citronellol
  • Geraniol
  • Phenylethyl alcohol
  • Linalool
  • Nerol
  • Ethanol
  • Eugenol
  • Citral
  • Carvone
  • Eugenol methyl ester
  • Aldehydes
  • Malic acid
  • Succinic acid
  • Farnesol

Rose oil consists of 80% citronellol, geraniol, phenylethyl alcohol and linalool. It is also possible to make synthetic rose oil from these components. However, this cannot hold a candle to pure essential rose oil in its effectiveness, as it lacks many other components.

What are the applications of rose oil?

Rose oil is very well tolerated and has no irritating effect on the skin or body. Therefore, you can use rose oil both internally and externally without hesitation. The precious rose oil is expensive, but also very productive. Usually, a single drop is enough to unfold its full effect.

Body

Rose oil has a relaxing effect and relieves pain. You could use rose oil as a massage oil, for example, to relieve tense muscles or mild headaches and soothe the pain. [/tr]

Mind and well-being rose oil has a calming effect and promotes sleep.

Rose oil is also said to counteract depressive moods. You could use rose oil as a bath additive, for example, or as a fragrance oil for the fragrance lamp.

Cosmetic applications

Rose oil is a very popular additive in the cosmetics industry. Not only the scent is beguiling, but also its effect in skin and hair care.

It is very well tolerated by all skin types. The antiseptic and nurturing effect of rose oil has proven particularly effective for neurodermatitis, herpes, warts, cellulite, wrinkles, pigment spots, vaginal dryness, dark circles and also supports hair growth.

A single drop is enough to mix into your cosmetic products (e.g. creams, make-up, soaps, shampoos).

Kitchen

Rose oil has also found its place in the kitchen. It enhances delicious dishes, pastries, desserts and even cocktails. It has a slightly bitter taste, but the full rose aroma, which makes the dishes taste even more luxurious.

How much does rose oil cost?

Rose oil is considered one of the most expensive essential oils on the market. Nevertheless, most rose oils are bought at a price between around €5 and €20.

In the table below you will also find a brief overview of different types of rose oils and their price range:

Rose oil Rose absolue

Product type price
approx. 20€ - 100€ per ml
Rose oil Otto approx. 50€ - 150€ per ml
Rose oil macerate approx. 10€ - 30€

What are the alternatives to rose oil?

Rose water

Natural rose water is a by-product of the production of rose oil. Rose water also has valuable components and works in a similar way to rose oil. For those who do not like the thick consistency of rose oil, rose water is a perfect alternative.

Rose water is milder and less concentrated than rose essential oil, but has also adopted the rose scent during the manufacturing process.

Rose water also has a variety of uses. It is excellent as a cosmetic product. Many cosmetic manufacturers have added rose water as a natural additive to their products. Especially as a toner or facial water, rose water is particularly suitable for counteracting pimples and skin impurities, refining pores and restoring the skin's natural moisture content.

Rose water can also be found in some kitchens. This is because rose water can also enhance dishes, drinks and desserts. For example, it is very popular in tea, in rice, or even in muffins. The scent and taste of rose water ennobles the respective dish.

Wild Rose Oil

Wild roses develop in nature without the influence of humans. Chile is one of the most important producers of wild rose oil in the world.

Wild rose oil is extracted from the fruit of the wild rose, the rosehip, and is often called rosehip oil for this reason. Although one expects a rose scent, wild rose oil smells rather nutty and fruity.

Wild rose oil is mainly used for dry, scaly skin and is also suitable for neurodermatitis or eczema. Furthermore, it has very wound-healing properties and also strengthens the immune system.

Decision: What types of rose oil are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, a distinction can be made between the following rose oils:

  • absolute rose oil (Rose absolue)
  • Otto rose oil (Rose Otto)
  • Rose oil macerate

In the following sections, we will go into more detail about each type of rose oil and discuss the advantages and disadvantages.

What distinguishes an absolute rose oil (Rose absolue) and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Rose absolue is usually even more concentrated than a conventional essential oil. Rose absolues are obtained by solvent extraction. It is a very complex process in which the petals are soaked in a solvent (e.g. ethanol, mathenol, toluene, etc.).

A final filtration removes the rest of the solvent and leaves a paste, which is then mixed with alcohol.

The production process is even more gentle than steam distillation due to the low temperatures, which is why the fragrances and ingredients are preserved even better than with essential oil. The colour is red-brownish.

Due to its flowery, sweet and warm scent, absolute rose oil is particularly suitable for perfumes.

Advantages
  • Often cheaper than Rose Otto
  • scent is more intense and also more true to nature
  • particularly suitable for the production of perfumes
Disadvantages
  • A minimal residue of the solvent always remains in the oil and is therefore not 100% pure
  • added additives could be incompatible with the skin

What are the characteristics of Otto Rose Oil (Rose Otto) and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Otto rose oil is the classic essential rose oil obtained from steam distillation.

The rose petals are added to a vessel, which is then filled with filtered water. The rose flower water is then slightly heated. The essential oil rises with the water vapour and is cooled down by a system.

The condensate is collected in a second vessel and the essential oil floats on the surface. In the last step, the oil only has to be separated from the water. The remaining essential oil is called Rose Otto.

It has a slightly yellowish colour and a very pleasant rose scent. Due to the plant waxes, it can happen that the rose oil crystallises when it is cold. However, this is also a sign of quality, because you can tell that it has not been added with other chemical additives.

Advantages
  • No chemical additives
  • Natural essential oil
  • Very productive, as you only need one drop to achieve great effects
Disadvantages
  • May cause allergic reactions
  • May cause eye irritation
  • Very expensive

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a rose oil macerate?

In a rose oil macerate, the rose petals are soaked in a vegetable oil so that the valuable ingredients can be absorbed into the oil.

A distinction can be made between a cold and a warm extract. In a warm extract, the active ingredients are absorbed more quickly by heating the carrier oil. Unfortunately, some of the active ingredients are lost in the process.

With a cold extract, the rose petals have to stand for a few weeks before the active ingredients are completely absorbed into the base oil and have unfolded. This is the gentler method, but you also need a little more patience.

You can also buy the rose oil macerate ready-made.

Advantages
  • Most cost-effective alternative
  • can be produced yourself
  • very productive, as larger quantities can be produced
Disadvantages
  • Effect not comparable with essential oil
  • much time and patience needed for own production
  • quality not always transparent when buying

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate rose oil

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to decide between the different rose oils.

The criteria you can use to compare rose oils include the following:

  • Origin and scent of roses
  • Purity
  • Quality
  • Composition

Origin and scent of the roses

Rosa Damascena and Rosa Centifolia are probably the most popular types of roses for the production of rose oil. However, Rosa Damascena differs slightly in its fragrance components depending on the country it comes from.

Depending on its origin, the scent of the rose differs. (Image source: Unsplash.com / Thomas Curryer)

The Rosa Damascena from Bulgaria is the most expensive type of rose. It has very full, deep, floral and elegant fragrances. If the Rosa Damascena comes from an organic cultivation, the scent is a little deeper than if it comes from a traditional cultivation.

The Rosa Damascena from Turkey, however, is a little cheaper. Compared to Rosa Alba, it has a floral scent, but at the same time it is somewhat sweeter.

The Persian Rosa Damascena has a warm and sweet scent that is very harmonious. The Persian rose oil is cheaper than the oil from Bulgaria.

Due to the high proportion of plant waxes, the oil must first be briefly warmed up slightly (e.g. between the hands or in a warmer place).

Rosa centifolia comes mainly from southern France, Morocco and Egypt. It has slightly floral-spicy notes.

Purity

Rose Otto essential oil is the purest form of rose oil you can get on the market. However, it is also the most expensive.

Rose Absolue may contain residues of the solvent used in its manufacture. Although these residues are rather minimal, it happens that they can lead to allergic reactions or skin irritation.

With rose oil macerate, the purity of the individual components is important. If the carrier oil used is not an organic oil, one cannot guarantee one hundred percent purity for the entire macerate.

Quality

The best quality can be recognised by the fact that the individual ingredients are of the best possible quality.

Since rose oil is mainly used for internal and external application, it should be of organic quality if possible. Because if pesticides are used during cultivation, there can still be residues in the product, which can then have a negative effect on the body.

For example, they can trigger allergic reactions in you. Therefore, look for the organic seal when buying.

To ensure that rose oil is as pure and effective as possible, it should have an organic seal. (Image source: Unsplash.com / Brittany Neale)

Composition

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for manufacturers to sell rose oil that consists of over 90% alcohol and contains only the smallest components of pure rose oil.

From this you can also conclude that the effect is limited and also the scent is lighter than with pure essential oil. You should therefore always check the composition of the ingredients, which other components are in it and in what quantity.

If the price of the rose oil is also particularly low, you can also assume that it is composed of several ingredients or has a poorer overall quality.

Facts worth knowing about rose oil

What is the shelf life of rose oil and what is the best way to store it?

Rose absolue has a very long shelf life compared to other essential oils. If stored correctly, you can use rose oil for up to 15 years.

Rose Otto essential oil is one of those oils that continue to ripen after storage and improve with time.

It is best to store rose oil in a dark and cool place and protect it from sunlight. Therefore, dark glass bottles are particularly suitable for ideal storage.

However, if in doubt, always trust your nose. If the oil smells strangely strong or pungent, it is probably no longer usable. As rose oil is also very expensive, it is better to buy a smaller quantity that you can safely use up in the foreseeable future.

How do I make my own soap with rose oil?

Making rose soap is easy and makes a great gift for your loved ones.

The recipe below is particularly suitable for dry skin, and can also be used for cleansing the face. You can make about 1 kg of soap from the recipe, which you can then cut into about 8 bars of soap.

We have already converted the units for you:

Ingredients:

  • 240 ml olive oil
  • 150 ml coconut oil
  • 60 ml castor oil
  • 60 g shea butter
  • 60 g cocoa butter
  • 60 ml apricot kernel oil
  • 240 ml filtered water
  • 80 ml lye
  • 5-6 ml rose essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon pink clay / healing clay

Procedure:

  1. Heat the coconut oil, castor oil, shea butter, apricot kernel oil and cocoa butter in a stainless steel pot over low to medium heat and then allow the pot to cool to about 38 degrees.
  2. You should protect yourself with suitable masks and gloves during this step. The lye crystals should be completely dissolved in the water while stirring. The mixture should then also be allowed to cool to about 38 degrees.
  3. When the oil and the lye water have reached the same temperature, you can add the oil to the lye water and mix it with a hand mixer until it becomes slightly thick.
  4. Add the rose essential oil and pink clay and mix well.
  5. Pour into mould and leave to rest for 24 hours.
  6. Remove from the mould and cut into shapes.
  7. Leave to harden in a cool, dry place for 4-6 weeks.

Image source: Unsplash.com / Stefan Rodriguez

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