One of the primary things we love at Enfleurage is the connection between the plants and their terrior, including the people who live among them and their ways. We like to see how the plants thrive, their environment, who surrounds, them, who picks them, who distills or extracts them and how they do it. So we go see.
The roses are glorious! They are so strong, so sweet, really complex, dense, a fruity note and a hint of spice, but they differ from other roses in that there is a certain friendliness about them. They seem loving and accessible and their guardians allowed us to roam in the gardens freely, to play, and frolic, and smell, and taste. The Berber roses are strong and gentle, complex yet approachable, like the people who tend them.
There are four of us from Enfleurage on this trip and we are staying in a traditionally built family home-stay perched on an escarpment above the gardens. The food is lovingly prepared and all vegetables, of course! We drink plenty of vervain infusions and thyme tea and sit on the terrace endlessly watching the sunrise and moonrise and listening to the birds.
We spent our first day visiting the distillery and fields of the certified bio, AOP guy, and later went to the dynamic extractor for other essential oils and rose concrete, and they were again kind enough to let us play, and get in the way, and swoon in intoxicated bliss and the sweet rose fragrance which was really strong there. According to our hosts, here are some rough numbers for extraction:
4 tons (metric ones) of roses make 4000 litres of rosewater.
4 tons of roses also makes a litre of rose otto.
A ton of roses (1000 kilo) also makes a kilo of absolute.
Also, the entire rose season is 3-4 weeks, and the rest of the year the field just waits. So it’s a once-a-year harvest. Low yield and low return on acreage are the reasons rose is so expensive.