Nangarhar Rose

Discussion in 'The Natural Perfumer's Palette' started by Al Shareef Oudh, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Al Shareef Oudh

    Al Shareef Oudh Resident Artisan

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    Notorious for its rich culture, craftsmanship & luscious fruits and nuts Afghanistan doesn’t usually come to mind when thinking of prized produce. Though now considered a war-torn ravaged country it was as recent as the 70s that Afghanistan was famous for her abundant fruits and nuts; the result of near-perfect weather and fertile soil.

    In the east of Afghanistan, at the foot hills of the Hindu Kush mountains the Nangarhar Valley is from amongst the most fertile lands in the world. Towering snow-covered peaks provide a picturesque background to pristine waters and sunlight-strewn fields - the epitome of beauty.

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    In 2005 a vision was brought to life. Local entrepreneurs gave farmers lucratively cultivating poppies for heroin as their livelihood a new proposal; to shift their attention to more beneficial cash crops such as pomegranates, saffron and rose - and so they did. Dubbed locally as the ‘Mohammadi’ rose, Nangarhar Valley took well to the Rose Damascena and today thousands of acres of poppy fields have been replaced by the stunningly-scented pink roses.

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    The quality of a rose oil is dependent on 4 main factors: specie of rose, fertility of soil, water supply, and elevation of the land. It seems like both Nangarhar and Ta’if have the perfect elevation and variety of damask rose. The valley also has very rich soil and abundant water supply. In comparison to the other rose-oil producing regions in the world such as Ta’if, Isfahan, Isparta and Kazanlak, the Nangarhar operations are fairly new to the scene turning only 14 years old this year. The reason why many of us have not even heard about the Nangarhar rose oil is because it is in such high demand, almost all of the produce is pre-booked by international perfume brands in Europe and USA. Currently there are only two small distilleries producing the rose oil in the region and much like Ta’if the volume produced per annum is not very large.

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    The mainly stainless-steel distillation system was designed and built by the Germans. The units have captured the best of the Bulgarian and traditional designs used in Ta’fi, India and Isfahan. Whereas the Bulgarian systems force out both the oils and waxes from the petals by steam, the Nangarhar system behaves more like the Ta’ifi deghs capturing only the oils. That is why more stems are required for one litre of Nangarhar rose oil compared to the Bulgarian rose oil. To be precise, 7 tonnes are measured for every litre of Nangarhar rose oil in comparison to just 4 tonnes for Bulgarian steam distilled oils.

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    Having worked with the best of rose oils from all of the major rose regions I was impressed by the quality and smell of this oil. The Nangarhar oil has a perfect rose equilibrium - you have to smell this oil to appreciate how good it is. There is a resilience in this oil, a testimony to the land and her people. To make this project possible, farmers, collectors and distillers face daily threats from militants in the region. However, the will of the people is such that they wish for a better future and to make rose rather than war.

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    PS>> in our vendor thread we will release this beauty shortly.
     
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  2. joev

    joev Whats this Oud About?

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    Al shareef, I find these facts fascinating. Do you know the companies that have precooked this special oil?
     
  3. Al Shareef Oudh

    Al Shareef Oudh Resident Artisan

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    It took us two years to reach the actual people on the ground, it isn't an easy place to navigate. The initiative was also supported by a German organisation in order to sustain the growers and distiller in the early years as they waited for the rose bushes to mature. It takes a few years before the rose is producing in decent amounts. We have developed a relationship with one of the companies.
     
  4. joev

    joev Whats this Oud About?

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    Lucky you. You mentioned some of it was going to show up on the vendors corner. Do you have a price point per 30mls?
     
  5. Al Shareef Oudh

    Al Shareef Oudh Resident Artisan

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    we dropped you a PM.
     
  6. Al Shareef Oudh

    Al Shareef Oudh Resident Artisan

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    Why does the rose otto solidify in cooler temperatures?

    The rose plant produces a natural wax to protect it's rose petals from the harshness of the environment and the scorching rays of sunlight. The amount of wax the rose produces to protect it's rose petals depends on the climate where the plant is growing. If the climate is very cold, with little sunlight the plant produces less wax, and if the climate is too hot the plant produces more waxes to shield it's rose petals from the harshness of the sun light. The amount of waxes produced by the rose plant to protect itself has a direct impact on the quality of the rose petal and ultimately the rose oil. This is also one of the reasons the 'perfect climate' produces the best petals, because the rose does not have too produce too much wax for hotter climates and too little wax for cooler climates. The best petals come from a fertile and balanced climate region.


    As a result of the above, when the rose is distilled, the oil produced has some of these waxes and fatty acids within it. These waxes and fatty acids solidify when the temperature is cool. The solidification is a little test that one can quickly use to see if the oil has these natural waxes or fatty acids and that it has not been stretched or adulterated with other additives.


    The reason this is a good sign is that the oil you have is pure and not stretched with other chemicals.
     
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  7. noobie

    noobie Just Arrived

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    Shouldn't pure rose essential oil have only the oil and not the waxes (which should be removed after distillation if they do happen to become part of it)?
     
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  8. Al Shareef Oudh

    Al Shareef Oudh Resident Artisan

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    In Hydro and Steam distillation the waxes break down in a similar way to the oils and travel with the steam which is condensed and in the collector with the oils as a unified body. Those waxes are all part of the rose petal, when we take the rose bud to our nose what we smell is a combination of many parts of the rose inclusive of the waxes.
     
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  9. Mr.P

    Mr.P Oud Fan

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    I concur. Congealing is a sign of authenticity - if you get a rose oil that doesn’t gel, odds are it has been diluted or is fake. I have a “ruh gulab” that congealed but at a lower temp than my Bulgarian rose. I’ve always wondered if it was diluted a bit with geranium or something.
     
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  10. noobie

    noobie Just Arrived

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    This will probably be a difference of opinion but I believe that if an oil is sold as pure and as an essential oil, then it should be free of all other things, which includes waxes and lipids. I believe that the aroma of the rose petals is coming from the essential oils and not from the waxes. Waxes are definitely part of the petals but I don't believe they confer ant aroma of their own to the petal, it comes from the volatile oils. That is why, to me, the essential oils should contain only the essential oils and not the waxes.

    Same holds true for agarwood oil/oud as well. It should not have any waxes in the final product even though they may be part of the wood that went into the pots.
     
  11. Mr.P

    Mr.P Oud Fan

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    In this case, the stearoptene wax is volatile and part of the essential oil - it is a product of distillation. There is a whole industry dedicated to separating out different fractions of essential oils. so you could get rose oil which has been fractionally distilled to separate the stearoptene from the other parts of the essential oil. For your own information, however (I mean, regardless of how you define the terms for your own personal standards): authentic rose essential oil right out of the still will solidify when it is cold, and non-congealing rose oils are likely to be fake.
     
  12. Al Shareef Oudh

    Al Shareef Oudh Resident Artisan

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    It would be interesting to know what premise you base your opinion on because it is contrary to the industry standard.

    All essential oils that come from plant matter will have a percentage of wax in it as during the distillation process the waxes breakdown and rise with the steam.

    As per what Mr.P mentioned some waxes can be removed by fractioning , others require a chemical process which is what the perfume/compound industry apply to seperate single compounds. These can no longer be considered an essential oil.

    Also the scent of rose is as I mentioned earlier a combination of all that exists in the petal including the wax. The wax contributes directlty to the rose smell. The waxes are produced by the plant, by the petals, they are part and parcel of the rose.
     
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  13. noobie

    noobie Just Arrived

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    With regards to separation, if the waxes solidify at lower temperature, can the oil not be cooled at or below that temperature to remove the waxes?
     
  14. Al Shareef Oudh

    Al Shareef Oudh Resident Artisan

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    in rose oil the waxes dont solidify as two separate entities with the oil, they solidify as a single entity.
     
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  15. noobie

    noobie Just Arrived

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    I dont know if I had given a disclaimer or not but I'm no expert. I'm just a consumer. And from my perspective it makes sense for an essential oil to be pure oil only, without any waxes. But if that is counter to the industry standards then ofcourse what I think is not going to change how things are done; unless more consumers demand the essential oils to be free of waxes. But until then, the current norms with continue.
     
  16. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Yes, stearoptene is odourless.

    But, an essential oil has a very specific definition.
    Wax in a steam distilled rose oil is a natural effect of a natural process.
    It is not a matter of industry standards being forced on consumers.
    As @Al Shareef Oudh already explained the percentage of the wax content is highly dependent on the environment the roses were grown in.
    The right climate equals a better rose otto (one parameter being less wax).

    Exactly this,
    you can get complete separation from the wax with chemical processes, but then it is no longer an essential oil.
    consumers can
    a. seek the best possible otto and accept it for what it is.
    b. request natural processes to reduce the waxes, maintaining the status of a natural essential oil, and pay dearly for this process
    c. opt for a rose absolute or any other rose aroma concoction to suit, i.e. something that is not an essential oil.

    Largely, the same principles apply here.
    An oud oil full of wax is obviously a poorer product,
    but a premium oud oil is not necessarily wax free.
     
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  17. Mr.P

    Mr.P Oud Fan

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    essential oil: what you get when you distill a plant product

    natural isolate: molecule or collection of molecules separated from a plant or essential oil by some
    means or another


    This whole conversation really is about using the right terminology (most responses you see are about clarifying this aspect of your post).

    It is now clear that you are saying that if you were buying a rose or oud oil, you would rather have a “natural isolate” that does not contain anything that gels or solidifies, and this is more important to you than having a true “essential oil”.

    I can understand this! In my (limited) experience, further refinement of oils like this comes at a price, usually in terms of a loss of complexity or subtlety / freshness of scent in the top notes. This is just my impression, not necessarily fact.

    Rose absolute generally does not solidify - less stearoptene I guess - but it obviously has lots of pigment and (I have read) other waxes in it. I have seen “colorless absolutes” for some oils like oakmoss and sandalwood that have had the pigments removed.
     
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