The beautiful month of May is the season of the Rose in the Grasse region of the south of France. In the fields of roses, which still exist in the region around the old perfume city, the pickers go out every morning throughout the short season, and harvest the open blossoms. These are then taken to the factories where primarily solvent extraction takes place to yield the concrete, and then the absolute of rose. The Rose de Mai is traditionally the Rosa centifolia variety, but there is also some production of Rosa damascena in the area. In the new collection of perfumes soon to be announced from 1000 Flowers, we will be featuring an organic Rosa damascena extract sourced from a small producer near Grasse.
In the meantime, here is a lovely report from French TV about the current season of roses.