Rose & Sandalwood
Fragile and succulent, aphrodisiac and intoxicating, the rose represents absolute femininity. The origin of the rose goes back more than 40 million years. The rose bushes cultivated today are the result of several thousands of transformations first of all empirical, then methodical from the end of the 18th century, in particular by hybridisation. It is estimated that there is more than 3000 available cultivars currently in the world.
Sandalwood came from a Portuguese apothecary who lived in Malacca from 1512 to 1515, on the islands of Sumba and Timor. Already highly sought after in the 19th century, Oceania was then pirated by sandalwood ships, often in conflict with the native populations. Although rarely used in construction, temples built in sandalwood in India have retained their aroma for centuries. Furniture, chests and jewellery boxes have also been made out of sandalwood. Overexploited and poached, sandalwood is today protected by several governments to avoid extinction. It’s a material that has consequently become very expensive because you have to wait 20 years for the tree to mature to exploit it.
The roses that we use are picked in May in the kella M’gouna valley (south of Morocco) when it is covered in thousands of flowers.
The trees of the species producing Sandalwood grow naturally in India, Nepal, Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Hawaii. This wood is used as incense, in aromatherapy and in perfumery where sandalwood is used as a base note, an excellent fixing agent that allows the capture of top aromas of other essential oils. Sandalwood is found in the form of resin, incense, absolute, essential oil, powder or even hydrolat.
Rose water eyewashes were used a lot up until the 18th century. But also syrup, rose petal compresses, red rose decoctions, rose vinegar in the case of migraines, rose honey for sore throats and mouth ulcers. Rose water is still recognised for its softening power. In perfumery, since antiquity, rose has been used either as a soliflore note or as a middle note associated with other essences in perfumes known as florals. You will find it in half of contemporary women’s perfumes.
For external use, the essential oil of Sandalwood is useful to tone up the skin, treat dry, dehydrated and irritated skin, alleviate rosacea, relieve acne, psoriasis or eczema. Taken orally, it rekindles sexual appetite, heightens physical and mental energy, relieves certain illnesses linked to poor blood and/or lymphatic circulation, treats urinary infections and reduces certain lumbar pains. Sandalwood powder is useful as a scrub to cleanse the skin on the face without damaging it. It is ideal in case of skin problems or irritations due to shaving. The resins and incense of Sandalwood purify the inside of the home by diffusing a subtle fragrance that helps you to find serenity and concentrate.
Known and used in Asia for thousands of years, Patchouli arrived in Europe in the 18th century. Highly coveted thanks to its intoxicating fragrance that you’ll be bound to be moved by, it’s a raw material of great quality that is used in the composition of luxury perfumes. Its powerful fragrance is woody, earthy and dry with smoky, camphoric, liquor-like and even musty accents. Patchouli used to be used in the Maghreb during family ceremonies to mark the olfactory souvenirs of these intense moments. Patchouli is a double-barrelled name of Tamil origin.
It spontaneously grows in tropical regions, South East Asia in particular. It is recognisable by its robust stem of approximately 1 metre and its serrated leaves. White in colour, sometimes purplish-blue, its flowers grow in ears. The fruits are tiny black nutlets. Harvested from May to September, it is mainly used in the form of an infusion, essential oil extracted from the leaves and an ointment.
The essential oil has anti-inflammatory, vein toning, anti-fungal and sedative (soothes pain) properties. It is indicated in the treatment of varicose veins and phlebitis, and against nausea, gastroenteritis and bloating. Its antiseptic and healing action treats wounds, injuries, haemorrhoids, acne and eczema. It relieves itching (insect bites). It also has a regenerative property that allows it to effectively treat dry skin and wrinkles. Finally, it makes an excellent natural sedative that effectively acts against headaches, stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia. In cooking, the oil flavours drinks, desserts and ready-cooked dishes.
Used in the form of essential oil, infusion or capsule, verbena officinalis came from European meadows and spread all over Asia and Africa. It’s an annual herbaceous plant whose 30 to 70 cm high hairy stems are erect and ramified. The oblong leaves, cut out into serrated lobes, flower from June to October in varied colours, but mainly light purple. The fruit of the verbena has four achenes that separate on maturity. The flower head is picked at the beginning of flowering. Verbena is a very easy to cultivate plant that prettily decorates gardens.
Orange blossom comes from the bitter orange tree. Its distillation gives the essential oil of Neroli (perfumery) and that of its leaves, the essential oil of Petitgrain (food). They can be used as a spray, mixed in bath water or as a massage, diluted in a vegetable oil. To begin with, the orange blossom water was sold in little blue bottles to distinguish it from medication contained in brown vials. Today, it’s because this blue reflects UV rays. Very fragile, it means the floral water can be sheltered and its qualities thus protected.
The essential oil of orange blossom is recognised for its invigorating, sedative and anti-depressant properties. Thanks to its relaxing effects, it is indicated in the event of palpitations, anxiety attacks or insomnia. In cosmetics, orange blossom refreshes and invigorates; it soothes the senses and revitalises the skin. It is also known for its anti-oxidant and therefore anti-aging properties. Used as a lotion, orange blossom is used to purify and soften the skin. In Morocco, orange blossom is highly used in cooking and pastry cooking.