Half the fun of introducing a new fragrance family into our home fragrance collections is doing the research on the basic elements we combine. In our newest fragrance family, Cedar Rose, which incorporates Atlas Cedarwood of which we have written previously, we also have combined the heady fragrance of the Damask Rose.
Roses play such an important role in our various cultural histories, works of art, music, and medicine that they are practically a mythological character of their own. And the Damask Rose —Damask taking its name from Damascus — has it own varied story.
The Crusader Robert de Brie is sometimes given credit for bringing the Damask rose from Syria to Europe sometime between 1254 and 1276. Other stories say the Romans brought the rose to England, and a third account says that the physician of Henry VIII gave him a Damask Rose, as a present, around 1540.
The Damask Rose is also known as the Rose of Damascus and the Rose of Castile — or the Castilian Rose. The Castilian Roses play an important part of many Christian miracle stories from St. Elizabeth of Hungary to the Virgin of Guadalupe.
One of our favorite uses of the rose essence is in cooking and food preparation. Western cookery today does not make much use of roses or rose water. However, it was a popular ingredient in ancient times and continued to be popular well into the Renaissance. And the Damask Rose is especially known for it use as an edible food. If you have never had rose flavored ice cream, go immediately to your Middle Eastern grocer — you are in for a divine treat.
And while Rose ice cream is certainly delicious, we are avoiding extra calories by enjoying our Damask Rose sensations in a fat-free form.