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Latest Posted June 27, 2024

“Authentic” Rose Oil Often Is Not

Damask rose essential oil (Rosa × damascene) and products claiming to contain this oil, or “authentic rose oil” may often be adulterated or contain less expensive oils instead, according to a recent bulletin from the American Botanical Association (ABC).

Authentic Damask rose oil is very expensive to produce, requiring approximately 1.6 million rose flowers to produce 1 kilogram of oil. For this reason, it may often be diluted with vegetable oils or adulterated with marker compounds for rose, such as β-citronellol and geraniol, that can also be obtained from less expensive oils, which could potentially fool some laboratory tests for authenticity. In some products, rose oil may be replaced entirely with cheaper oils such as geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) or palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii, syn. Andropogon schoenanthus) and falsely labeled as rose oil.

(See ConsumerLab’s Lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oils Review for our tests of these essential oils.)

“The more affordable personal or home care products and food and beverages with a rose scent are unlikely to contain authentic Damask rose oil,” warned Stefan Gafner, PhD, chief science officer of ABC, in a news release about the issue. “This is acceptable as long as the ingredients are transparently labeled. Unfortunately, there are some suppliers and manufacturers who sell all kinds of mixtures with a rose-like aroma — but no actual rose oil — that are labeled as ‘authentic rose oil’ at a premium price for financial gain.”

According to Gafner, the problem with authentic rose oil is not new, although there appear to be relatively few investigations into the issue in the recent past. Among studies of rose oil products in countries such as Iran, Italy, Saudia Arabia and Turkey have found adulteration rates to range between 56% and 100%.

For more information, use the link below.

Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program Publishes Bulletin on Damask Rose Essential Oil Adulteration

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