We source from less controlled environments to harvest botanicals with
greater concentrations of beneficial phytonutrients.
From soil quality to harvesting techniques, there are countless elements that impact on the bioactive capacity of our botanicals. Here, we map the journey to skin, from plant cultivation to our master formulation.
We work hard to ensure that Rosa de Rose oils contain the highest levels of nutrients and phytonutrients so your skin can enjoy their restorative and healing benefits.
We are passionate about promoting biodiversity with more natural farming systems.
We look for environments that can support healthy, more self-sufficient, pollution-free farming systems. As part of this process, we review a number of elements, such as terrain, altitude, soil and climate. This helps us to identify agricultural systems that effectively make use of natural ecological processes to increase sustainability. For example, our Rosa Damascena is naturally irrigated and fed through the mineral-rich Dadès Valley by the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
We source from growing environments that feature greater species diversity to ensure natural sustainability. And we work with farms that apply agroecology to recycle existing nutrients and biomass. Increased biodiversity in the soil improves nutrient uptake, water use and crop disease resistance.
Ecosystem & agroecology
Cultivation & Harvest
We have developed close relationships with our growers to ensure their cultivation, harvesting and curing techniques meet our high requirements. This gives us the best opportunity to obtain matured botanicals at the perfect moment.
Inspired by founder Zizzi Shoman’s experience of working traditional techniques, such as long stick olive harvesting, we prioritise less intrusive harvesting methods. We have selected growers who harvest with minimal damage to local foliage, fruit, plant parts and blossoms, which can occur when using heavy machinery. As a result, we can preserve greater concentrations of beneficial phytonutrients.
We say yes to sourcing from organic agroforestry, permaculture, selected organic intercropping and rotation systems, Demeter International-certified biodynamic farms, and ethical wildcrafting practice.
But we say… NO to monocultures
Typically, these are large areas of land cultivated with a single crop, often using a high level of machinery. In addition to the overuse of chemical fertilisers, these farming systems are often detrimental to soil health as ground cover crops are eliminated, leading to greater soil erosion. Furthermore, monocultures don’t provide the framework for socially-conscious cultivation processes that involve the local population.
In contrast, our tamanu is cultivated from wild trees grown in coastal areas across the Pacific, before being harvested by the local villagers.
Wildcraft growing environments can be characterised by their ability to naturally generate fertility without needing applied fertilisers or pesticides. It’s essential that our wildcrafted botanicals are ethically sourced so we ask our growers to demonstrate a number of criteria, such as not over-harvesting a specific area and not selecting immature plants.
Traditional Moroccan agroforestry systems:
For our core Moroccan ingredients, we harvest from mixed polyculture farming systems that are inspired by our founder's family farms in Taounate. These feature traditional agroforestry with clusters of olive trees surrounding intercropping and crop rotations with animal grazing areas.
In addition to producing a rich harvest, olive trees are perennial plants that are highly resistant to climate change. Their root systems help to reduce soil erosion and water loss and support the growth of annual legumes in the same area.
Nestled between the olive trees are barley, hemp and fava bean crops, which meet the needs of the surrounding villages. Fig, citrus, jasmine and almond trees are strategically located amidst pest-supressing ground cover, farmed alongside natural irrigation channels.
When used in rotation, the animal forage grasses and legumes have more fibrous root systems, which are better at increasing soil carbon and nitrogen content than the other crop rotations. We also harvest wildcraft from trees and shrubs that are naturally clustered across the hilly terrain, in-between the predominant farming plains.
All our ingredients are sourced from systems that apply organic farming principles… but we demand more. Our growing environments must also demonstrate levels of biodiversity that mimic nature's own principles of sustainability.
The core principles of organic farming are centuries old and are the basis of many traditional farming systems. Organic farms don’t use genetically modified seed and recycle organic residue and nutrients back to the soil.
As demand for organic produce increases, so does monoculture farming among organic farmers. We will not source from monoculture plantations, even if they’re classified as organic, unless the grower can demonstrate additional levels of biodiversity and sustainability. For example, introducing ground cover alongside the main crop, which promotes biodiversity but can also facilitate growth. A semi-parasitic species such as our sandalwood grows best when surrounded by other plants and trees.
If a farm is certified biodynamic, it has met organic farming requirements with some key additions.
An organic farm can buy in organic fertilisers and pesticides, but biodynamic farms must produce their own compost and nutrients. This is achieved through the integration of livestock and with crop rotation. Biodynamic farms must also grow half of their livestock feed and set aside 10% of the farmland for biodiversity.
Permaculture takes a holistic approach to farming with productive systems that are designed to have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. Permaculture works with the existing landscape, for example by creating cultivation areas around natural water catchment and irrigation channels, with a harvest environment that is shared with animals.
We focus on the most beneficial parts of the plant to enrich our active formula. These are harvested when fully grown and are selected and graded based on a number of characteristics, such as colour and length of plant, seed or flower.
With some species, it is more productive to use whole plants, such as with flowering herbs like lavender.
To maximise the bioactive capacity of our botanicals, we prioritise steam distillation and expression (cold pressing) extraction methods.
When using steam distillation, we emphasise a gentle process using lower temperatures to obtain the purest essential oil. Almost all constituents of essential oils are unstable at high temperature.
The delicate and heat-sensitive nature of some blossoms, such as jasmine, means that we use absolutes for 3 of our 25 botanicals. Similar to essential oils, these are concentrated, highly aromatic, oily mixtures extracted from plants.
Some botanicals require a specific extraction method for an optimum blend with oils. Our CO2 vanilla extract is a key example; we obtain a beautiful rich extract with no microbe or solvent contamination. It is technically not an essential oil but blends amazingly well with our oil synergy.
The words 'pure' and 'natural' are often used to describe the blending of a higher quality oil with a lower quality version of the same species.
We only use 100% unadulterated extracts sourced from the highest quality harvest yields. There is no dilution of our 25 botanicals prior to formulation, whether it be with a carrier, a blend with the identical species grown elsewhere, or by adding a synthetic constituent.
From distillation to storage to transportation, we establish optimum environmental conditions to ensure the highest quality plant constituent. We review these processes with growers and distillers, looking for fewer logistical steps in the supply-chain. Prior to formulation, our botanicals are stored in Miron glass, which blocks out visible light to prolong the oils’ shelf-life.
We’ve set high quality controls at every step in the journey, from harvest to formulation. Our main goals are to:
Deliver consistency by using botanicals that have been selected and graded on set criteria for harvest and distillation (see journey to skin summary for each ingredient).
Obtain the highest quality extracts, aided by analysis of the essential oils’ composition. The levels of some compounds may be notably different when harvested from different growth environments.
Ensure that none of our processes ever involve testing on animals.