All prices listed in USD | 1 USD = LL 3,900 for the room rate | 1 usd = ll 1,500 for the farm shop products

Rosa Damascena – the Lebanese queen of flowers

Rosa Damascena – the Lebanese queen of flowers

May 05, 2020

Over the years, the Damask Rose has become the symbol of love and beauty worldwide, but Lebanese people revere it, as the queen of flowers.

 

 

Rosa Damascena (also known as Damask rose or Damascene rose) was named after the capital of Syria – Damascus, where it was first cultivated. It travelled to Lebanon around the 16th century.

 

"The delicate pink rose petals gently surround and pervade with a passionate perfume that could possess the hardest of hearts."

 

For generations, the Damask Rose has been associated with feminine charm and beauty in local societies.

Economically, this enchanting flower has influenced the lives of the inhabitants in Lebanon since first trading into Europe under the Ottoman Empire in 1860.

By an extraction process, Rosa Damascena provides rich valued rose water and oil that enriched farmer’s lives.

 

 "This magical little flower transformed Bekaa valley’s culture for centuries."

 

One of Lebanon’s richest regions, the Bekaa Valley is a must-visit destination for its historical heritage and lush nature, the high altitude and dry weather makes the valley fertile land for Damask Rose cultivation.

During April and May, the valley turns into a brilliant scenery of pink hues as the blooming of the queen rose permeates the air with powerful fragrance.

In accordance to centuries old traditions, every year, the rose festival is celebrated throughout the harvest. During this short season roses are harvested and processed into rose water.

Located in the heart of the Bekaa valley the villages of Niha, Tamnine El Faouqa and Qsarnaba, are known for their rose cultivation. Al Hausha short distance from these villages, cultivates over 3,000 Damask Roses. 

Here, the process of making rose water is pure art, knowledge inherited through generations of Rose farming.

 

"Al Haush’s guests can attend the rose water making workshops held every year throughout May."

 

 

Starting at 6am, when the roses’ fragrance is at its best, locals begin the harvesting process. 

 
They must carefully select the roses. Placing the fragrant petals into big baskets ready for distillation. Culturally, harvesting must be done by hand and finished before noon to preserve the scent and aroma.
 
Steam distillers are set up in the workshop, protected from the sun’s heat. Their basins are filled with the delicate petals and water and sealed with dough to prevent any leakages.
 
Rose distillation starts when the distiller is fully covered by dough to avoid leaking and a fire is started.
 
On a gentle fire the distiller gradually works it’s magic as rose extract lightly soars as smoke into the pipe. Cold water is used to cool down the essence resulting in rose water  gently dripping into a sterile glass bottle.

---

During harvesting time, when guests come to their house, as a warm welcome, hosts would sprinkle rose water into their palms.

Since ancient times, women use rose water for skin care and to stimulate relaxation and headache relief.  

At Al Haush, rose water is infused into handmade organic soaps that produce a thick smooth foam and a delicious aroma

Check the online store here

 

Al Haush estate is a must-visit place for its unique beauty. Experience seekers can enjoy their stay in a the agro-guesthouse while overlooking the pristine sceneries of the valley from its terraces.

 

A series of on-field activities like yoga, painting classes, cooking classes, wine & arak tasting, trekking & biking, and special seasonal farm workshops make the visit a memorable trip.