Choosing the Right Rose Oil: A Buyer’s Guide

A white mortar filled with dried roses, showcasing a brown dropper bottle of essential oil blends, surrounded by scattered rose petals on a soft pink background.

Rose essential oil, with its therapeutic properties, offers many benefits. From creating a soothing environment to helping you destress and relax, rose oils greatly benefit your mental health.

Besides, rose oil’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help fight infection and treat pain and swelling. In fact,a few drops of rose oil can do magic to your mind and body!

But do you know that different types of rose essential oils are available in the market? Then, how will you select the one you want?

Here is a guide to understanding rose essential oil, how it is extracted, and what you should consider before purchasing it.

What are the different extraction methods of pure rose oil?

Steam distillation

The effectiveness of the steam distillation method depends on the timing of plucking roses. Roses undergoing this oil extraction method should be plucked early in the morning before the oil is evaporated by bright sunlight. 

In this extraction method, dry steam is passed through the plant material, vapourising the volatile compounds of the plant. These are then condensed and collected as rose extract. 

Solvent extraction

The solvent extraction method is mostly used in roses that yield little oil or cannot withstand the high temperature of steam distillation. 

In this method of essential oil extraction, solvents like ethanol and hexane are used to extract the essential oil from the plant material. Essential oils extracted through this method will have a mild fragrance compared to steam distillation. 

What are the different types of rose essential oils? 

Rose absolute (Rosa Damascena)

Two vivid pink roses in full bloom, infused with pure Bulgarian Damask rose oil, surrounded by lush green leaves, in a garden setting with soft focus on additional greenery in the background.

The Rose Absolute essential oil is extracted from Rose Damascena, a species of rose indigenous to Syria. This rose variety stands out with its deep, rich colour and matching smell.

The Rose Absolute essential oil is extracted via the solvent extraction method, wherein solvents are added to extract the oil. 

This variety of roses is used to make perfumes with a strong rose aroma and essential oil blends with a strong fragrance.

 If you are using this oil directly, always remember to mix it with a carrier oil like jojoba oil or almond oil before applying it to the skin.

Rose Otto

A small amber glass bottle with doterra essential oils stands open next to a blooming pink rose; loose petals are scattered on the rustic wooden surface.

Like Rose Absolute, rose otto is also derived from rose Damascena, which is found in the Persian region. Otherwise called the Rose Attar, rose otto is exported from Persia to different parts of the world. 

Rose otto is derived through the steam distillation method. The rich, floral scent of Rose Otto makes it a popular ingredient in perfumes and lotions. 

The peculiarity of rose otto is that it has a waxy texture at cooler temperatures, which can later be converted to fluid when heated.

Moreover, the fragrance of rose otto becomes more prominent when applied to the skin. 

Rose Alba

A single pink rose with green leaves stands against a plain, light-colored background. The Rose Fragrance Oil | Perfume Oil – 100% Pure is positioned slightly off-center, infused with the essence of rose oil, displaying its delicate petals and stem clearly.

Rose Alba oil, or white rose otto oil, is derived from a special white to-pinkish rose called rose alba. This type of rose has a more intense aroma when compared to Rose Damascena. 

Rose Alba essential oil is extracted through the steam distillation method. The process is labour intensive, as a large quantity of roses are required to extract oil. Because of this, Rose Alba essential oils are expensive. 

Rose Bulgaria

A person's hands gently holding a cluster of pink rose petals, infused with pure Bulgarian Damask Rose Oil, with blurred pink roses in the background in a garden setting.
Beautiful Bulgarian Damask Roses in the Valley of Roses in Bulgaria , petals holding in hands

As the name suggests, this variety of roses is cultivated in certain regions of Bulgaria. Bulgarian rose oil stands out because of its rich, deep floral scent with a sweet undertone. 

Oil is extracted from Rose Bulgarian through a steam distillation method. Because of its long-lasting fragrance, this essential oil is primarily used for producing high-end perfumes. 

What are the things to consider while purchasing rose essential oil?


You do not want to purchase an essential oil and later realise that it is not 100% pure! Thus, you should first check the purity of the oil.

You can check for labels like “pure rose essential oil” or “therapeutic grade” to understand the oil’s purity. If terms like ‘fragrance oil’ or ‘perfume oil’ are mentioned on the label, it indicates that an artificial scent has been added.

Botanical name

Each variety of rose essential oil is derived from a particular type of flower. For example, Rose Absolute essential oil is made from rose damascena.

Thus, before purchasing the essential oil, you should check for the rose’s botanical name. If this is mentioned in the label, you can consider it pure essential oil.

Sourcing information

Pure essential oils are generally sourced from their native region. For example, rose otto is generally sourced from the Persian region. If the source region is mentioned in the label, then you can consider it pure rose essential oil.


Rose essential oil is part of our everyday lives mainly because of the various advantages it offers. It not only offers a soothing and calming effect but is also highly therapeutic for physical ailments.

However, you should always have a clear understanding of the different types of rose essential oil so that you can make an informed decision. Moroever, you should clearly check the label for its authenticity and purity before purchasing the essential oil.


What is another name for rose oil?

Rose oil is known by different names, such as attar of rose, rose essence, and rose otto, depending on the type of rose from which the essential oil is extracted.

Are rose oil and rosehip oil the same?

Rose oil, or rose essential oil, is derived from the petals of Rosa Damascena. Rosehip oil, on the other hand, is a fruit oil extracted from the fruits of rosa moschata, rosa canina and rosa rubiginosa.

What is the difference between rose oil and rose essential oil?

Rose oil and rose essential oil are the same thing. Both are extracted from rose petals.

Which rose is used for essential oil?

Different varieties of roses like rosa damascene, rosa alba and rosa centifolia are used for making rose essential oil.