The Valley of the Roses: the best antidote for both the body and the soul
If you are looking for a natural remedy for your whole body, don’t waste your time and sprinkle it with rose water! If you need a cure for your soul, then visit Kalaat M’gouna, a fortified village located only 90 km from Ouarzazate. This village, located at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains, is the gateway to the majestic Valley of Roses that comprises about 30 km of cultivation of roses resistant to frost and drought.
This valley stands out above all for its extraordinary scent. Everyone knows what the roses smell like, but the pleasant aroma that roses release in spring in the area of Kalaat M’gouna is unique and difficult to compare. Thousands of hectares dress with pink and give a wonderful aromatic smell that makes the month of May the best period of the year to visit this zone.
Method of manufacturing
Cultivation of the Damascene Rose has always characterised the countryside of Kalaat M’gouna thanks to the favourable soil and climatic conditions. The growing cycle is considered to be from April until the end of May. Distillation and elaboration of cosmetic products are the main industries in the area. The first step in making the cosmetic is that the women pick flowers and, after this, in the kasbahs the flowers are selected by allowing the petals to dry in the sun and later by taking them to a distillery to start the industrial process that ultimately leads to produce the rose water.
One of the most interesting aspects is to know the procedure of the distillery of roses. A visit to the manufacture of this product that is the subject of repeated demands can be done at any time of the year, although May is the most special month of the year due to harvest for roses.
The village is inhabited by a Berber population and the industry economically supports many families in the area. But, the rose is not native to the area. It was introduced to the area by the French in 1938 and it is when the first distillery was opened and the village became the Moroccan capital of the rose.
The festival takes place annually on the first weekend of May and commemorates the flowering in the Valley of Roses. During the two days of the event, more than 4.000 tons are produced, since one liter of rose water is made with one ton of flowers. After that date, it is common to see the balconies of the houses decorated with flowers to celebrate this remarkable day.
There are a number of rose water benefits which make it so popular, including scar reduction and wrinkle elimination. Also it offers in-depth but gentle cleansing and make-up removal without irritating skin and it norishes and hidrates skin.
Leaving Morocco without buying a product made with rose water should be banned! Perfumes, oils, tonics, soap and a long etcetera that you can only discover if you visit the Valley of Roses to soak up the aroma’s beauty. A unique scent that can’t be easily forgotten.