Allied to the oil of geranium in odor are the products of the rose. The Rose de Provence is the variety cultivated. It is grown on gentle slopes facing the southeast. Young shoots are taken from a five-year-old tree, and are planted in ground which has been well broken up to a depth of three or four feet, in rows like vines. When the young plant begins to branch out, the top of it is cut off about a foot from the ground. During the first year the farmer picks off the buds that appear, in order that the whole attention of the plant may be taken up in developing its system. In the fourth or fifth year the tree is in its full yielding condition. The flowering begins about mid-April, and lasts through May to early June. On some days as many as 150 tons of roses are gathered in the province of the Alpes Maritimes.
The buds on the point of opening are picked in the early morning. Scott says they are "sweetest washed with morning dew." The purchaser may think otherwise where the dew has to be paid for.
The flowering season over, the trees are allowed to run wild. In January they are pruned, and the branches left are entwined from tree to tree all along the line, and form impenetrable fences.
A rose tree will live to a good age, but does not yield much after its seventh year. At that period it is dug up and burned, and corn, potatoes, or some other crop is grown on the land for twelve months or more.
In the factory the petals are separated from the calyx, and are distilled with water for the production of rose water and the otto. For the production of the huile and pomade they are treated by maceration. They are finished off, however, by the process of enfleurage, in which the frames before alluded to are made use of. The fat, or pomade, is spread on to the glass on both sides. The blossoms are then lightly strewn on to the upper surface. A number of trays so filled are placed one on the top of the other to a convenient height, forming a tolerably air tight box. The next day the old flowers are removed, and fresh ones are substituted for them. This is repeated until the fat is sufficiently impregnated. From time to time the surface of the absorbent is renewed by serrating it with a comb-like instrument. This, of course, is necessary in order to give the hungry, non-saturated lower layers a chance of doing their duty.
Where oil is the absorbent, the wired frames are used in connection with cloths. The cloth acts as the holder of the oil, and the flowers are spread upon it, and the process is conducted in the same way as with the frames with glass.
From the pomade the extrait de rose is made in the same way as the orange extrait.