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  1. #1

    Default Afghani Rose Oil

    Notorious for its rich culture, craftsmanship & luscious fruits and nuts Afghanistan doesn’t usually come to mind when thinking of prized produce. Though now considered a war-torn ravaged country it was as recent as the 70s that Afghanistan was famous for her abundant fruits and nuts; the result of near-perfect weather and fertile soil.

    In the east of Afghanistan, at the foot hills of the Hindu Kush mountains the Nangarhar Valley is from amongst the most fertile lands in the world. Towering snow-covered peaks provide a picturesque background to pristine waters and sunlight-strewn fields - the epitome of beauty.



    In 2005 a vision was brought to life. Local entrepreneurs gave farmers lucratively cultivating poppies for heroin as their livelihood a new proposal; to shift their attention to more beneficial cash crops such as pomegranates, saffron and rose - and so they did. Dubbed locally as the ‘Mohammadi’ rose, Nangarhar Valley took well to the Rose Damascena and today thousands of acres of poppy fields have been replaced by the stunningly-scented pink roses.



    The quality of a rose oil is dependent on 4 main factors: specie of rose, fertility of soil, water supply, and elevation of the land. It seems like both Nangarhar and Ta’if have the perfect elevation and variety of damask rose. The valley also has very rich soil and abundant water supply. In comparison to the other rose-oil producing regions in the world such as Ta’if, Isfahan, Isparta and Kazanlak, the Nangarhar operations are fairly new to the scene turning only 14 years old this year. The reason why many of us have not even heard about the Nangarhar rose oil is because it is in such high demand, almost all of the produce is pre-booked by international perfume brands in Europe and USA. Currently there are only two small distilleries producing the rose oil in the region and much like Ta’if the volume produced per annum is not very large.



    The mainly stainless-steel distillation system was designed and built by the Germans. The units have captured the best of the Bulgarian and traditional designs used in Ta’fi, India and Isfahan. Whereas the Bulgarian systems force out both the oils and waxes from the petals by steam, the Nangarhar system behaves more like the Ta’ifi deghs capturing only the oils. That is why more stems are required for one litre of Nangarhar rose oil compared to the Bulgarian rose oil. To be precise, 7 tonnes are measured for every litre of Nangarhar rose oil in comparison to just 4 tonnes for Bulgarian steam distilled oils.



    Having worked with the best of rose oils from all of the major rose regions I was impressed by the quality and smell of this oil. The Nangarhar oil has a perfect rose equilibrium - you have to smell this oil to appreciate how good it is. There is a resilience in this oil, a testimony to the land and her people. To make this project possible, farmers, collectors and distillers face daily threats from militants in the region. However, the will of the people is such that they wish for a better future and to make rose rather than war.



    As soon as I smelled the Nangarhar Rose I was transported to the middle of a sun-drenched valley, surrounded by rose gardens in which every bush was cascading with fully open blossoms. The oil smells radiant, sparkling and ebullient! It’s fresh with a touch of citrus but not acidic, and the heady scent of roses is so intense it’s as though the entire garden was miraculously squeezed through the neck of that lucky little bottle. When the oil dries down it maintains its buxom rosiness and citrus freshness, while the hint of incense softens and dusts it with a whisper of woodiness. The scent is incredibly long-lasting. It is well rounded, balanced and full, a perfumers delight and a perfume on it’s own to be worn neat.
    Al Shareef Oudh the name associated with artisan perfumery and quality Oudh Oils, Woods and Incenses.

  2. #2
    Basenotes Member
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    Default Re: Afghani Rose Oil

    Quote Originally Posted by AlshareefOudh View Post
    Notorious for its rich culture, craftsmanship & luscious fruits and nuts Afghanistan doesn’t usually come to mind when thinking of prized produce. Though now considered a war-torn ravaged country it was as recent as the 70s that Afghanistan was famous for her abundant fruits and nuts; the result of near-perfect weather and fertile soil.

    In the east of Afghanistan, at the foot hills of the Hindu Kush mountains the Nangarhar Valley is from amongst the most fertile lands in the world. Towering snow-covered peaks provide a picturesque background to pristine waters and sunlight-strewn fields - the epitome of beauty.



    In 2005 a vision was brought to life. Local entrepreneurs gave farmers lucratively cultivating poppies for heroin as their livelihood a new proposal; to shift their attention to more beneficial cash crops such as pomegranates, saffron and rose - and so they did. Dubbed locally as the ‘Mohammadi’ rose, Nangarhar Valley took well to the Rose Damascena and today thousands of acres of poppy fields have been replaced by the stunningly-scented pink roses.



    The quality of a rose oil is dependent on 4 main factors: specie of rose, fertility of soil, water supply, and elevation of the land. It seems like both Nangarhar and Ta’if have the perfect elevation and variety of damask rose. The valley also has very rich soil and abundant water supply. In comparison to the other rose-oil producing regions in the world such as Ta’if, Isfahan, Isparta and Kazanlak, the Nangarhar operations are fairly new to the scene turning only 14 years old this year. The reason why many of us have not even heard about the Nangarhar rose oil is because it is in such high demand, almost all of the produce is pre-booked by international perfume brands in Europe and USA. Currently there are only two small distilleries producing the rose oil in the region and much like Ta’if the volume produced per annum is not very large.



    The mainly stainless-steel distillation system was designed and built by the Germans. The units have captured the best of the Bulgarian and traditional designs used in Ta’fi, India and Isfahan. Whereas the Bulgarian systems force out both the oils and waxes from the petals by steam, the Nangarhar system behaves more like the Ta’ifi deghs capturing only the oils. That is why more stems are required for one litre of Nangarhar rose oil compared to the Bulgarian rose oil. To be precise, 7 tonnes are measured for every litre of Nangarhar rose oil in comparison to just 4 tonnes for Bulgarian steam distilled oils.



    Having worked with the best of rose oils from all of the major rose regions I was impressed by the quality and smell of this oil. The Nangarhar oil has a perfect rose equilibrium - you have to smell this oil to appreciate how good it is. There is a resilience in this oil, a testimony to the land and her people. To make this project possible, farmers, collectors and distillers face daily threats from militants in the region. However, the will of the people is such that they wish for a better future and to make rose rather than war.



    As soon as I smelled the Nangarhar Rose I was transported to the middle of a sun-drenched valley, surrounded by rose gardens in which every bush was cascading with fully open blossoms. The oil smells radiant, sparkling and ebullient! It’s fresh with a touch of citrus but not acidic, and the heady scent of roses is so intense it’s as though the entire garden was miraculously squeezed through the neck of that lucky little bottle. When the oil dries down it maintains its buxom rosiness and citrus freshness, while the hint of incense softens and dusts it with a whisper of woodiness. The scent is incredibly long-lasting. It is well rounded, balanced and full, a perfumers delight and a perfume on it’s own to be worn neat.
    Great. Yes Ningarhar is famous for it suitable climate for Poppy and Rose. It is almost adjacent to Pakistan. Nowadays, Rose crop is given much importance by the government. So, this specific beauty, Afghani/ Ningarhar Rose, is available to all. The scent is different from desi/ Indian rose, and more beautiful as well. A lemony citrus-y tone IN OIL counts a lot.

    For Rose lovers, it is a treat. Especially if the distilled flowers were harvested in summer, the time when Rose scent herself is ecstatic by her own beauty.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Afghani Rose Oil

    Quote Originally Posted by Rai Munir View Post
    Great. Yes Ningarhar is famous for it suitable climate for Poppy and Rose. It is almost adjacent to Pakistan. Nowadays, Rose crop is given much importance by the government. So, this specific beauty, Afghani/ Ningarhar Rose, is available to all. The scent is different from desi/ Indian rose, and more beautiful as well. A lemony citrus-y tone IN OIL counts a lot.

    For Rose lovers, it is a treat. Especially if the distilled flowers were harvested in summer, the time when Rose scent herself is ecstatic by her own beauty.
    It is interesting that you mention the Desi Rose, a term that is treated by the public as being specific yet technically it is a broad term referring to a group of roses that were classified as "Old Garden" roses; damask, gallica, cenifolia, alba and a few others that I dont remember off the top of my head. What is interesting is whether the Desi Ruh Gulab is from one single species as is the Nangarhar, Ta'ifi, Bulgarian rose oils or it is a combination.

    Unfortunately as is with the Ta'ifi rose due to the low volume there is a lot of counterfeit happening with the Nangarhar rose by traders, a friend of mine was approached by a trader out of Bangladesh and another out of India selling 1kg canisters cheaper than what the produce is providing them at.. The volumes being produce at this point in time is very small, I hope that there is more funding for these farmers and security to grow more and replace more poppy fields with roses so that we can get more of these oils as i believe it has a promising future.

    Time will tell.
    Al Shareef Oudh the name associated with artisan perfumery and quality Oudh Oils, Woods and Incenses.

  4. #4
    Basenotes Member
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    Kamalia
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    Default Re: Afghani Rose Oil

    Thanks, respected Al Shareef Oudh.

    In fact, here in Pakistan, when we go to a nursery at Pattoki district to buy some rose plants, we have to say ' Desi gula'ab' is required, not 'vila'iiti gula'ab'.

    For those who cannot understand Urdu, 'desi gula'ab' is indigenous rose while 'vila'iti gulab' is better say exotic rose. Of course, both colour and fragrance are quite different. Scent-wise, desi gula'ab is stronger than the other one.

    - - - Updated - - -

    A couple of years before a German company visited Pakistan for indigenous rose yield. Afghan Govt. had already signed a contract in 2015 with that company to harvest Ningarhar Rose crops, and bring into the market some finished products. They deal in bulk quantity.
    http://www.rose-office.com/en/products#pagebreak2

    Thank goodness, after extremely arduous struggle, to some extent the Afghan Govt. has replaced poppy crops by Rose.
    http://www.germancooperation-afghani...e/de/node/1004

  5. #5

    Default Re: Afghani Rose Oil

    So in Pakistan desi gula'ab is referring to one rose?

    Afghan Govt. had already signed a contract in 2015 with that company to harvest Ningarhar Rose crops, and bring into the market some finished products. They deal in bulk quantity.
    http://www.rose-office.com/en/products#pagebreak2
    This is not accurate, the agreement that the Afghan Government signed in 2015 was with GIZ(those who managed the project), The German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development (MRRD) for the hand over of what began as NGO/Public project back in 2004 into Afghan Private ownership.

    Rose Office on the other hand is a separate entity who sources rose oils from all over the world, they were not part of the signing in 2015. I could not see Pakistani rose on their product list.

    There are also two companies that distil the oil, this particular company that is managed by the Afghan Government produces oil using the very same Bulgarian method. The other company uses the hybrid method, it is the oils from this produced that we received. Both oils are amazing and definitely of a higher quality and performance than the Bulgarian.

    The struggle against the drug cartels and militants with loyalties outside the country is not going to be an easy one, but hopefully with time and as the country stands on its feet and the people have other means to feed their families they people will themselves eradicate the poppy.
    Al Shareef Oudh the name associated with artisan perfumery and quality Oudh Oils, Woods and Incenses.




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