Rose Oil Production
Bulgaria has many exports, including clothing, iron and steel and machinery and equipment. But by far the most beautiful resource in Bulgaria is its roses. The mild climate, with its summer rain, gentle sunshine and cool nights creates an ideal setting for roses to flourish.
Most of these flowers are grown in Rose Valley, a region of rose fields surrounding the central cities of Kazanlak and Karlovo. Rose Valley is responsible for 70-85% of the world’s rose oil productions which are used in perfumes.
Growing blooms that will provide the maximum amount of oil requires proper fertilization, and that means applying potash, which is a term for various salts that are obtained through mining and contain potassium in a water-soluble form. All plants require nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to grow, and how much of each element a plant needs depends on its specific species and the stage of growth.
Potassium is a catalyst for the other two essential minerals. It also builds hardiness to the elements, such as heat, water stress, pests and disease. In addition to the three main components, fertilizers frequently include micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, zinc or molybdenum.
Raw materials are also essential for the distillation process, in which the oil is extracted from the flowers. Traditionally, this process utilizes large stills made of copper. The stills are filled with water and roses, heated so the oil and water are vaporized, and as they cool the water and oil separate. The oil sits on top of the water and is easily poured off into a hand-held flask.