A few years ago when I brought my first visit to Morocco, we made a tour through a large part of Morocco. There are many beautiful places Morocco. One in particular is Kelaa ait M’Gouna, the ”Rose water capital” , located in the Valley of Roses. Here bloom every year from early April beautiful roses. The region is famous for its perfumes and cosmetics based on rosewater and the hospitality of the people. Kelaa ait M’gouna is the centre of rose production, with two large factories for rose water.
In this region grows ”la Rosa Damascena”. This rose is known for its excellent resistance to cold and drought, but most of her fragrance.
The Rosa Damascena is the most widely-used rose in perfumery. Rose water is not only used for it fragrance but also for Moroccan traditional cooking.
In the month of May is the annual Festival of Roses, at which the rose-harvest is celebrated. The city is perfumed with roses, the women are beautiful dressed and they dance folkloric.
Currently 3 to 4 thousand tons of roses are harvested each year. In order to make one single litre of rose water, there are needed about 3000 kilo of rose petals. Not strange that pure rose water is pretty expensive. There are 4200 km of rose hedges, with the capacity of only 1400 litre of rose water.
The festival is held in early May. If you’re in Morocco by coincidence it’s really worth going there.
Photos by C.Tréal<