Where to begin…? Open any window during the harvest season in Ta’if’s rich, sun-dappled valleys and savour the charming fragrance permeating the mountain air; highly tenacious and immensely rich, a deep rose-floral, embellished with spicy yet occasional honey-like notes with a welcoming warmth.
One whiff of this oil and you begin to appreciate why royalty indulged in Rose Oil throughout History.
The 17th century Mughal Emperor Jahangir writes regarding Saleemah Sultan Begum, his mother in law, whom he credits for the invention of Rose Attar:
“This ‘itr is a discovery which was made during my reign by the mother of Nur Jahan Begum,” …. “When she was making rose water, a scum formed on the surface of the dishes into which the hot rose water was poured from the jugs. She collected this scum little by little; when much rose water was obtained a considerable quantity of the scum was collected. It is of such strength in perfume that if one drop be rubbed on the palm of the hand it scents a whole assembly and it seems as if many red rosebuds had bloomed at once. There is no other scent of equal excellence to it. It restores hearts that have gone and brings back withered souls. In reward for that invention, I presented a string of pearls to the inventor.”
Every morning at the break of dawn, our tribesmen gather together with their employees and head to the rose-laden fields to pick the roses for the day. Each rose is picked by hand, one by one. For the pickers there is no time to lose; it is a race against time. As the blazing sun rises and moves higher the harsh rays cause precious oils to evaporate, so much so that by mid-day unpicked roses contain only half of the oil they had at dawn. This treasured Oil requires 40 thousand roses for the creation of a single Tola, making every rose a valuable blessing.
The Ta’ifi rose bush is very productive. A well-established fully matured bush can be blossoming with a 150-200 roses each morning for the duration of the season. Once the picking baskets are brimming with roses the collectors make their way to the distilleries where the counting and weighing begins.
The distilleries are setup in the same manner that they were centuries ago and the same exacting processes are followed to create exquisite rose oil. Until a few centuries ago, Ta’if’s rose petals were collected, sealed into sacks and transported by camel to the Muslim holy city of Makkah where artisanal Indian distillers crafted Ta’ifi Rose Oil and others exotic Attars. These craftsmen discovered that the fresher the roses the higher the quality of the oil, based on this they then left their abodes in Makkah relocating to Ta’if in the pursuit of better quality oil.
After the relocating to Ta’if the Oil became world famous and when pilgrims came to perform the pilgrimage of Hajj they would take back a vial of the distinguished Ta’ifi rose oil as a souvenir of their journey.
The tradition of seeking perfection continues in the Al-Qurashee tribe even today following what I like to call a ‘cultural quality system’. Every one person prides themselves in this rich history and heritage, each tribe enthusiastically competing against others to win the distinguished Royal Award for the best oil.
The highest honour that has been afforded to the Ta’ifi rose is its use in the washing of the Holy Ka’bah and the Yemeni Corner of the holy Ka’bah in Makkah’s Grand Mosque is perfumed with it.
Spoil yourself with the indulgence of royalty and imagine opening your window onto the blossoming valleys of Ta’if greeted by the rich, rose-floral swathing warmth of Ta’if rose…
This is your souvenir from the beloved valley of Ta’if.
0.2ml Sample Vial, 2.5ml Glass Bottle, Combo Taifi + Nangarhar