Rose Harvest in Turkey

I met a flower early this morning
A hasty meeting in the garden
She looked at me with both eyes
I nodded to her and hesitated for a long time
And slowly I grew inside into a flower
A blue sky crept over my sentences
My hands became chalices
My mouth became round, my body long and slender
I bowed down in the surprised grass
And felt the morning wind on my hair

Leo Herberghs, This is a translation from the original poem which is in Dutch

Rose Harvest in Turkey, May - June

It's half past four in the morning when a warm glow fills the lush fields. A rose colour brightens up the Isparta and Burdur area in Turkey and the birds are singing. Roses with morning dew on their petals welcome a new day. 

The surrounding villages slowly come to life, people get ready for another day of picking roses that will be turned into fragrant rose oil and hydrosol later that day. Every year I'm again excited to experience this heart warming process in the months of May and June. 

Help mee met de rozenoogst in Turkije

It all started with İsmail Efendi Mustafa. An elderly Turkish innovative trader from Isparta and worked in Bulgaria. Once a day in 1888 he returned to his birthplace. Because of his experience with Roses in Bulgaria, he realized that this rose could also do well in his own country. Because the region of Isparta also has a mountain climate. He saw an opportunity in harvesting, producing and selling of the rose oil in his hometown. So he took a piece of the rose plant and put them in in his wooden walking stick.

This piece of the rose he planted in Istanbul, but it turned out that the rose did not like the climate there. So he brought rose cuttings to the Isparta region. This is a green and fertile area of Turkey with a mountain climate. It took the rose a few years to acclimatize and to create the beautiful colorful and fragrant flowers. After some setbacks because of the weather and wind, he was finally able to harvest some roses and produce some rose oil after three years.

He and the farmers of the Isparta area became enthusiastic and saw possibilities. Fields were laid out by farmers, distilleries were set up and after five years it was a huge success. Several Arab countries were delighted by the Turkish Rose Oil and purchased the Gold of Isparta. The Rose production in Turkey had become a fact and until this day, Turkey is the country of production of high quality Rose Oil.

The Rose

Beauty and gratification for the soul
Love and strength, live from the heart
has been a source of inspiration
for centuries.

Mee met Joanne Klein Wolterink van Aromawise naar de rozenvelden in Turkije
Distill your own roseoil and rosehydrosol with AromaWise by Joanne in Turkey.

Somewhere in the fields or the factory you'll find Joanne. Sometimes by herself and sometimes together with colleagues, groups or journalists. Other aroma therapists from all over the world visit her as well to join her masterclasses. It's Joanne's passion to share this place, the people that live and work here and the rose's enchanting story with anyone. No wonder that's exactly what she's been doing for more than 20 years.

You can experience the rose harvest as well! That's because since 1999 AromaWise and distilling company Sebat have been working closely together. Whether you're an aroma enthusiast or a professional, AromaWise will have a suitable program for you. 

Contact AromaWise and we'll tell you all about our programs.

Aromawise on tour in Turkije
AromaWise by Joanne beleef de rozenoogst in Turkije

Rose Trivia

  • You need seventy velvety flowers to distill just one drop of rose oil
  • To create one kilogram of essential rose oil you need a truck load of up to four thousand kilograms of roses
  • This rose oil is also called the Gold of Isparta
  • Mustafa Ismail Efendi, a Turkish innovative trader, brought the Rosa Damascena, or the Turkish Damast rose, to Isparta in 1888
  • Even Cleopatra herself would only use rose enriched bath water

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Hydrosols, floral water, herbal water or essential waters are names we give to the product of plant distillation.

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AromaWise by Joanne geurworkshops, geurpresentaties, geurconsultancy