“What a lovely thing a rose is!”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is not alone in being seduced by this iconic flower. A symbol of love and beauty, the rose has inspired writers, artists and lovers for centuries.
The thousand-year rose which climbs the walls of the Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany, is thought to be the world’s oldest living rose. But, fossil evidence suggests that roses have bloomed for millions of years.
According to Greek mythology, roses were created by Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love from a combination of her tears and the blood of her lover, Adonis.
Cleopatra – the Queen of Decadence herself – is said to have infused the sails of her ship with rosewater to create a fragrant breeze wherever she sailed.
A rose renaissance
Despite its legendary status as a therapeutic and beautifying ingredient, rose beauty products came to be associated more with old ladies than femme fatales.
But in recent years, with our increasing interest in natural ingredients, our love affair with the rose has been rekindled.
As well as its mood enhancing fragrance, rose can help to hydrate, moisturise and revitalise your hair and skin.
Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, rose extract is clinically proven to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can protect skin cells by acting as a barrier against oxidative damage.
Suitable for all skin types, rose beauty products are particularly good for dry or mature skin and are soothing on sensitive skin.
The Rosa Damascena – one of the world’s rarest flowers – has been grown in the Bulgarian Rose Valley for over 300 years. Also grown in Insparta, Turkey (otherwise known as Rose City). These two regions are said to produce superior oil due to their perfect soil and climate.
Rose oil is made through steam distillation of the petals from newly opened flowers. The petals must be collected by hand early in the morning, before the heat of the day diminishes their fragrance.
It takes about 30,000 petals to make one ounce of this precious oil, which explains why rose beauty products can be a little pricey!
Harsh winter weather can really take its toll, leaving hair brittle and skin feeling rough and dry. Rose is the perfect remedy. So, if you want a healthy glow from head to toe, check out some of these gorgeous rose-infused products, which to the best of my knowledge, are all cruelty-free…
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Aesop rose hair & scalp masque
Intensive hair treatment to restore vitality and shine to all types of hair. Deeply hydrating masque that leaves hair soft, lustrous and moisturised.
(£23 from Net-a-Porter)
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Elemis gentle rose exfoliator
This rose exfoliator will leave your skin feeling silky soft and deeply conditioned. It contains hydrating absolute of Moroccan rose and jojoba beads, which remove dead skin cells leaving behind refreshed skin and a subtle fragrance.
(£30 from John Lewis)
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Omorovicza rose lifting serum
Botox-like, the rose lifting serum relaxes facial muscles to inhibit the development of fine lines and wrinkles while a natural tenser gives the skin an instant lift.
(£85 by Omorovicza)
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Chantecaille rose de mai cream
An extremely modern formula, it draws upon the healing properties of the iconic Rose de Mai that are central to the brand’s heritage. Using two types of plant stem cells and exclusive new clarifying ingredients, this hyper moisturising crème helps stimulate skin’s natural immune system. Also in this range: face oil, eye make-up remover and rose water.
(£175 from Harrods)
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By Terry baume de rose
Repair, nourish and revitalise your lips and cuticles with By Terry’s delicately scented, deeply hydrating Baume de Rose. This celebrity skincare secret has developed a cult following over the last ten years, living up to its luxurious image with a lipo-regenerating complex made from rose flower essential wax and pastel oil to boost cell renewal. Also in this range: lip protectant, face cream, hand cream and body cream.
(£39 from Feelunique)
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Sisley black rose precious face oil
Black rose precious face oil is Sisley’s first skin care oil for dry or mature skin. With a high concentration of active ingredients, this silky-smooth dry oil prepares, nourishes and has an anti-aging effect. Also in this range: cream mask.
(£136 from Harrods)
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Mario Badescu facial spray
A refreshing, hydrating mist to use anywhere, anytime. Mario Badescu’s facial spray with fragrant herbal extracts and rosewater for a pleasant pick-me-up for dehydrated, tight and uncomfortable skin.
(£12 from Harvey Nichols)
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Coco Rose coconut oil body polish
A highly moisturizing and gently exfoliating blend of virgin coconut oil and delicately floral Bulgarian rose absolute. It leaves skin silky soft and hydrated with a light scent of coconut and rose petals. Also in range: facial mist, lip conditioner and lip polish.
($36 from Sephora)
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Ren Moroccan rose otto body wash
This body wash uses the queen of flower oils for its healing and relaxing properties. A cell rejuvenator, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, rose oil soothes skin conditions such as eczema, heals cuts and burns, and reduces swelling. Also known for its stress-relieving properties, it calms and re-energises your mind. Also in range: bath oil, body lotion, body polish, body oil and firming creme riche.
(£18 from Net-a-Porter)
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Dr Hauschka rose nurturing bath essence
Rose water, rose essential oil and extracts of rose petals infuse this floral bath essence with the luxurious beauty of the rose. Combined with almond and jojoba oils, it leaves your skin feeling soft and silky. Also in range: body wash, body cream, body oil and day cream.
(£17.50 from John Lewis)
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Grown Alchemist intensive hand cream
A rich, hydrating hand cream made with Persian rose, tamanu oil and argan extract, containing vitamin A and omega. Revives dry skin without leaving a greasy feel.
(AU$27.95 by Grown Alchemist)