Rose is in the Air
A Turkish rose farmer assesses whether a crop is ready for harvest by biting into the Rosa damascena petals and assessing its bitterness, said Jerome Epinette, perfumer for Robertet, during a morning panel at the Elements Showcase in New York.
There may be about 7,000 varieties of rose in the world, but only three are regularly processed for use in the fragrance industry. There are about 15,000 tons of rose petals processed in Turkey each year. Robertet, which has been sourcing rose from the country for about 65 years, controls about 1/3 of that total production, making the company second only to the Turkish government itself, said moderator Jennifer Powderly, director of marketing for Robertet. The company also sources R. damascena from traditional growing areas such as Bulgaria and Morocco (due to geopolitical issues, rose is not currently sourced from Iran), and Rosa centifolia from France and Tunisia.