Our 'Ancestral' Rose Production

Imagine the fragrant gardens of a refined ruler of the past. Since Rose Otto's (essential oil)  origin is often attributed to Nur Mahal (without definite historical proof), queen to the Mogul emperor Jahangir, we can make or ruler a prince of Moghul times, say in the 1700’s.

Many such rulers of the pre-industrial era built fragrant gardens modelled on the gardens of paradise evoked in their holy Quran. More significantly, they also were producing their own in-house (or rather in-palace) oils and perfumes. Some had their own perfumers attached to their court, or estates (a profession with much with wider scope than today)

Let’s imagine the princely estate. How was it run? How was their Rose Otto produced, from the orchard to the bottle?

That is what we have tried our best to re-create here:

An Original Royal Rose Otto

produced entirely naturally, with traditional / ancestral techniques

Situated in an area with vast and historical horticultural traditions, our orchards are cultivated in entirely natural fashion. All the process from cultivation, to distillation, to conditioning is done by hand without any mechanization whatsoever.

Our estates are run entirely organically. The fertilizers are made on the property with composted plant materials and locally made pigeon guano (a remarkable ancestral fertilizer with a remarkably rich history across civilizations). No pesticides, even organic ones, are used as the Rose gardens use ancestral techniques of planting selected vegetables, interwoven with the rose bushes, whose predators attack rose predators without touching the roses plants themselves

We wait a minimum of three years after planting before using blossoms from bushes for distillation, as they have not reached full potency until that time. Also, we only plant new bushes / cuttings from mature highest quality established productive bushes from within the orchard to make sure the quality of the for the new bushes is not only preserved but always refined.


During the May-June harvest season, the roses are harvested early mornings before the sun fully rises. This way, the rose blossoms can be processed them before they open up and consequently lose some of there fragrant molecules in the air to attract pollinators.

The rosebuds are transported by hand in basket over very short distances within the estate itself. First to be weighted and then directly distilled. This way the very delicate rose petals are totally pristine and unspoiled when distillation starts. This is important because if the flowers are late harvested, or late distille during the day, or if they are transported over distance, they rapidly undergo fermentation. During fermentation, geraniol and nerol ratios decrease, among other unwanted transformations.

As per tradition, we conduct manual slow low-pressure double distillation on genuine fire, in high quality handmade copper stills, carefully sealed for perfect vapour/pressure tightness and operated by a very skillful distiller, with us since 2014. Around 3.5 to 4 tons of flower are necessary to produce one kilogram of essential oil. Our copper stills are locally made, by skilled artisans, under our direct supervision.


We have made all the transfer of know-how and equipment for the production (for the orchards, the distillation and the conditioning) to be Swiss quality, while maintaining the traditional rosework know-how in this historically important orchard of the Hindu Kush Himalayas, that I co-run alongside its hereditary owner and my local project partner, who has also been a friend for over three decades (we met at Uni) and a business partner for two.

We are developing a couple of nearby estates that we run in the exact same way, resulting with slight difference in terroirs. 

For all of them, we choose location with optimal soil, sun exposition, natural local irrigation and the right altitude and seasonal climate. 

We offer the oil we produce from them as separate offerings in the webshop (and wholesale).  All our offerings are single batches and single-estate.

No barbarious communelle or other blending, alteration or rectification ever takes place. Our oils are 100% pure, natural and untampered with. 

We also produce and market dry rosebuds for teas and cooking and rose hydrosols, and other derived products.

 You can discover the important social and ecological aspects of our project here

 Discover all our rose offerings, and creations here