Damask Rose Botanical Print | AGRARIA

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.

BASKET OF DAMASK ROSES | AGRARIA

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.

CRUSADERS | AGRARIA

These crusaders look like they might enjoy a hot shower with one of our luxurious Atlas Cedarwood Bath bars.

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.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Elisabeth is perhaps best known for the legend which says that whilst she was taking bread to the poor in secret, her husband asked her what was in the pouch; Elisabeth opened it and the bread turned into roses.

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.

Virgin of Guadalupe

According to tradition, on December 9, 1531 Juan Diego, a simple indigenous peasant, had a vision of a young woman while he was on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The lady told him to build a church exactly on the spot where they were standing. He told the local bishop, who asked for some proof. He went back and had the vision again. He told the lady that the bishop wanted proof, and she said "Bring the roses behind you." Turning to look, he found a rose bush growing behind him. He cut the roses, placed them in his poncho and returned to the bishop, saying he had brought proof. When he opened his poncho, instead of roses, there was an image of the young lady in the vision.

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.

Saffron and Rose in Westwood | AGRARIA

Saffron and Rose in Westwood has an amazing selection of rose-flavored ice creams.

And while Rose ice cream is certainly delicious, we are avoiding extra calories by enjoying our Damask Rose sensations in a fat-free form.

These are just a few of the products from our newest fragrance family. See our newly improved web site and learn more about Cedar Rose.

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