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ATTAR (AT-uhr)

A fragrant essential oil obtained from flowers

Common clues: Essence of roses; Rose oil; Oil of rose petals, e.g.; Fragrant oil; Perfume; Rose extract; Essential oil; It makes scents

Crossword puzzle frequency: 3 times a year

News: Candymaker claims bonbon leaves skin rose-scented

Video: Rose Oil

Rose oil, meaning either rose otto (attar of rose, attar of roses) or rose absolute, is the essential oil extracted from the petals of various types of rose. Rose ottos are extracted through steam distillation, while rose absolutes are obtained through solvent extraction or supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, with the absolute being used more commonly in perfumery. Even with their high price and the advent of organic synthesis, rose oils are still perhaps the most widely used essential oil in perfumery.

[Courtesy: Michael W. Davidson] Photographed with a molecular microscope by the Florida State University, USA the exquisite and heavenly colors of pure rose attar are seen here at the crystalline level.

Due to the labor-intensive production process and the low content of oil in the rose blooms, rose oil commands a very high price. Harvesting of flowers is done by hand in the morning before sunrise and material is distilled the same day.

In the process of distillation, large stills, traditionally of copper, are filled with roses and water. The still is fired for 60–105 minutes. The vaporized water and rose oil exit the still and enter a condensing apparatus and are then collected in a flask. This distillation yields a very concentrated oil, direct oil, which makes up about 20% of the final product. The water which condenses along with the oil is drained off and redistilled, cohobation, in order to obtain the water-soluble fractions of the rose oil such as phenyl ethyl alcohol which are a vital component of the aroma and which make up the large bulk, 80%, of the oil. The two oils are combined and make the final rose otto.

Rose otto is usually dark olive-green in color and will form white crystals at normal room temperature which disappear when the oil is gently warmed. It will tend to become more viscous at lower temperatures due to this crystallization of some of its components.

The essence has a very strong odor, but is pleasant when diluted and used for perfume. Attar of roses was once made in India, Persia, Syria, and the Ottoman Empire. The Rose Valley in Bulgaria, near the town of Kazanlak, is among the major producers of attar of roses in the world.

Due to the heat required for distillation, some of the compounds extracted from the rose undergo denaturing or chemical breakdown. As such, rose otto does not smell very similar to "fresh" roses.

The hydrosol portion of the distillate is known as rosewater. This inexpensive by-product is used widely as a food flavoring as well as in skin care.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rose oil".  

ATTAR (180) 28 We- >1 09 Fragrant oil

26 We >1 07 Rose oil ATTLR

14 Tu+ >1 01 Rose essence

11 Mo >1 04 Essence of roses

10 We >1 02 Perfume AROMA CENSE SCENT

9 Tu- >1 96 ___ of roses

6 We- >1 09 Perfume from petals

6 Th- >1 08 Perfume oil IRONE

6 We- >1 02 Rose extract


3 Mo+ >1 93 Essential oil

3 >1 87 Fragrance of roses

3 We NYT 06 It makes scents

3 Th NYT 93 Perfume base ALDOL ORRIS

3 Th Rea 05 Rose perfume

2 Tu >1 00 Floral essence

2 Th >1 00 Floral fragrance

2 Th >1 99 Floral oil

2 Th >1 95 Flower oil

2 Tu >1 04 Flower-based perfume

2 Fr NYT 09 Fragrance AROMA SCENT

2 Tu >1 09 Fragrant essence

2 Tu >1 09 Perfume essence

2 Mo >1 96 Perfume ingredient ESTER IRONE MYRRH

2 Tu >1 04 Perfume source