10 luglio 2014

A trip to Taif with Gian Luca Perris (3/3)

(This article originates in a previous post)

And if extreme expensiveness is not enough to make it rare, the fact remains that very little of it is exported: they prefer to keep it for themselves and use it, in pure form, to perfume body, clothes, hair, the environment where they live; obviously, thousands of years of perfume culture have contributed a lot to the refinement of Arabs' taste for scent! 
So, do you want to know how the Taif rose oil smells? 

Imagine a damask rose oil of good quality and take off that typical oily, heavy layer: you'll discover an incredibly bright and clear rose, gently sparkling due to a bitter citrus, green top. A teen, naive and poetic rose in her bud. Very special and charming, indeed. 
Unfortunately, it is difficult to find true Taif rose essential oil out of Arabia; not only because very little of it is exported, but also because often, what passes for Taif is actually damask rose (yes, they also grow it, in the highest part of that area) "cut" with essential oils of geranium and citrus or lemongrass to add the citrus sparkle characterizing its most precious sister. Only gas-chromatograph analysis can confirm it is true Taif rose, because its composition is slightly different.
Unfortunately, the ground around Taif is becoming precious, and building on it is getting even more profitable than growing roses. Although the current Governor is sensitive to the preservation the area and is trying to protect it, it's still possible that the most sought-after typicality of the area becomes increasingly rare, as it has already happened in Tuscany (orris) and Grasse (jasmine, rose).

(Heartfelt hanks to Gian Luca Perris of Perris Monte Carlo for the pictures!)

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