Last week I had the pleasure of booking into a workshop to experience Rose distillation at Samaria Farm in Moorngag, Victoria, about 3hours from Melbourne. The place is a rose addict’s paradise, with sprawling rose gardens spread over 22 acres of damask rose orchards, olives groves, citrus and lemon myrtle trees.
There was an unmistakable gentle fragrance of rose in the air as soon as we stepped out of the car.
Of course the highlight was the beautiful orchard of 3000 Damask Roses which were in full bloom, as it was the season for distilling their rose essence and collecting hydrosol – the by product of the steam distillation process. We had to wake up very early in the morning; 5.30am to be precise, to hand pick the right rose buds and have them brought into the distilling area. About 20kg is needed for roughly 5ml of oil and it takes more than 5 hours for the whole process to be complete before we can get the oil and rose water. You tend to appreciate why rose is such a costly oil after going through this experience first hand. It takes tons of petals for it to give out its exquisite fragrance and it does come with a hefty cost.
The owners, Vicky & Alan took us through the process all the way to bottling the hydrosol and separating the precious rose oil. As much as I love the rose oil in aromatherapy and perfume formulations, the rose water is simply divine. They are the best facial mists and toners and is an excellent “pick me up” to spritz when your skin needs a boost of moisture.
Besides rose essential oil & hydrosol they also distil bitter orange, lemon myrtle, lemon and lime. I fell in love with the Seville orange essential oil which was a product of steam distillation of the entire fruit, the scent was uniquely delightful, so fruity and sweet compared to the cold pressed citrus oils that I have been accustomed to.
Of course I came away with my very own collection of rose hydrosols and essential oils that I got to sniff and play with during my time there. This was an olfactive experience that I thoroughly enjoyed and I certainly look forward to visiting the farm in the future.
Apart from roses, I have a passion for working with resins and incense and this year, I have created a divinely scented Christmas theme around Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh – inspired by the first Christmas Gift. This is my version of the Gifts of the Wise Men and they do come in a luxurious gift set to promote a feeling of wellbeing and happiness.
So If you are thinking of unique Christmas gift ideas for your loved ones, then I highly recommend that you take a look at t my Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh Balm, Blend and Soap ideas. Ithttp://scentoflife.com.au/product/christmas-soap-balm/