For about three weeks starting Mid-May, the roses are blooming and can be picked. This means getting up before sunrise to pick the roses before they fully bloom and lose their valuable oil. Once the sun is out and you start smelling them, it means the fragrance molecules escape the petals and thus will not yield as much oil when distilling them.
The morning dew usually keeps them nice and moist, but when they dry up and your hands get sticky, it’s time to hurry up. Between 5 am and 10 am is the time to pick. Only the blossoms that are fully opened or just about to fully open are being picked. Their color is a rich pink but the longer they bloom their color will fade into a very pale pink to almost white.
Not just the petals, but the whole blossom is being picked. A very good experienced picker can pick up to 60 kg of roses a day. The roses are usually collected in plastic sacks to hold the moisture. Immediately after finishing picking for the day, the sacks are brought to the distilleries, so the roses can be distilled as quick as possible. The longer you wait, the less oil you will get!
We are always happy to have motivated pickers 🙂