Rose Cultivation Partnership Projects

Damask Rose (Rosa damascena)

In creating the formulations for Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products, we draw on the many things that nature has to offer. For example, medicinal plants, botanical oils and waxes and genuine essential oils. Working with renewable natural raw materials has many logistical challenges, therefore long term planning is imperative for us. Many of the medicinal herbs we need are grown by our gardeners in our own biodynamic garden or in the fields on our Demeter certified farm, Sonnenhof. We also purchase other raw materials from regional sources as the climate is not suitable for growing some of the plant species from which we obtain raw materials. WALA*/Dr. Hauschka initiates and supports organic or biodynamic cultivation projects all over the world to ensure premium quality, sufficient quantity, continuity and longevity of ingredient supplies, and we embrace social responsibility and fair price principles. A prime example of this is Rose Essential Oil partnerships in Bulgaria, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and our most recently launched Rose Project in the Ethiopian Highlands.

Did you know?

• There are 30 organic or biodynamic roses in every tube of Rose Day Cream.

• We sell tubes of Rose Day Cream per minute worldwide!

• We purchase the highest quantity of the world’s highest grade organic rose essential oil. It comes from our biodynamic or organic cultivation partnership projects in Ethiopia, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria and Afghanistan.

• Approximately one hectare of roses is needed to obtain 1 kg of precious Rose Essential Oil, which is used in nearly all Dr. Hauschka Skin Care and Make-up products and in many WALA medicines.

Harvesting roses in Ethiopia; Rosenernte Äthiopien
Rose Project – Ethiopian Highlands


When it comes to sources of Rose Essential Oil, countries such as Turkey, Bulgaria, Iran and Afghanistan come to mind – but Ethiopia? As it turns out, the Ethiopian highlands, which are well known for their coffee, provide the ideal conditions for growing the very fragrant Damask Rose, and it yields an exceptionally precious essential oil.

WALA/Dr. Hauschka Skin Care support the Terra PLC Damask Rose Farm, a fair trade initiative in Ethiopia. We are helping to create a self-reliant and economically sustainable community by establishing a biodynamic resource for Damask Rose Essential Oil, a key ingredient in the Dr. Hauschka range.

In 2005 WALA/Dr. Hauschka Skin Care provided Ethiopian grower, Fekade Lakew, with rose cuttings and introduced him to a consultant to train and advise on biodynamic cultivation methods. It took 7 years before the first harvest of rose blossoms. At that time, in 2012, Lakew also initiated the biodynamic certification process. Once certified, his farm was the sole certified biodynamic source of rose essential oil in Africa.

A key benefit of growing roses near the equator is that the lifespan of the bloom increases substantially, giving farmers twice the time to harvest, and requiring fewer pickers who can often be employed beyond the typical picking season. Ethiopian roses in particular are nearly twice as heavy as blossoms from other countries resulting in a greater yield from fewer plants.

WALA/Dr. Hauschka Skin Care committed to purchasing all of the rose essential oil produced at Fekade Lakew’s farm for a period of ten years, and 60-70% thereafter. This ensures that the initiative has ample time to establish itself without becoming dependent upon a single customer for all its revenue in the long term.

Damask Rose Essential Oil from Ethiopia is used in the formulations of nearly all Dr. Hauschka products, including Rose Day Cream, Rose Day Cream Light, Rose Nurturing Body Wash, Rose Deodorant, Rose Nurturing Body Oil, Rose Nurturing Body Moisturiser, and many of our make-up products. When a Dr. Hauschka customer purchases products featuring this hero ingredient, she/he helps support the growth of this fair trade effort in Ethiopia and Dr. Hauschka’s other rose cultivation projects around the globe.

WALA medicines; WALA Heilmittel GmbH
Rose Project – Iran


The cultivation of roses in ‘Persia’ is an ancient tradition. There are 1500 growers who work as independent operators for Zahra Rosewater Company, our partner in Iran. Through biodynamic practices over the last few decades the annual production yield is now 900 tonnes of rose water (rose hydrosol) and 150 kgs of rose essential oil. WALA/Dr. Hauschka purchase more than one third of all the rose oil and dried rose blossoms that Zahra produces. The Iranian government subsidises chemical fertilisers, so initially it was extremely difficult to convince the farmers to refrain from using them, and to embrace biodynamic agriculture. Education and training were and still are important pillars of the collaboration with these growers.

Anyone working with Zahra is family and as part of this family-oriented collaboration, older people no longer able to work receive a kind of pension, Zahra has improved the water supply to the villages and supports the schools. A local health centre set up by Zahra guarantees primary health care. Zahra makes it possible for gifted children to attend a special school. The hope is that they will return to their villages with a good education and work there. The idea is working, Lalehzar has the lowest unemployment rate in the region. Zahra also donates part of its profits to the orphanages of the Sanati Foundation.

WALA Medicines; WALA Heilmittel GmbH
Rose Project – Bulgaria


Rose oil has been produced for the French perfume industry since the end of the 19th century. These days, however, the perfume industry uses mainly synthetic chemical ‘perfume’ as a much cheaper option. WALA/Dr. Hauschka  instigated long term supply contracts with Bulgarian rose growers and the provision of loans to support our new partners. Organic Certification was gained in 2003.

rose flowers, Ethiopia; Rosenblüten, Äthiopien
Rose Project – Turkey


Some 320 mountain farmers in the Baskoop Rose Co-operative have adapted their methods of cultivation to supply certified organic roses. WALA is significantly contributing to securing the livelihoods of the local farming families and to the survival of the traditional and labour intensive rose distilling industry. WALA also bears all costs for agricultural, technical and organic consultations and some of the costs of certification.

Auf dem Rosenfeld
Rose Project – Afghanistan


Did you know that 80% of the world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan? In order to combat the opium trade in Afghanistan and on the initiative of German Agro Action a project was set up for producing rose oil in 2004.  This project offers an alternative means of securing a sustainable and honourable livelihood for local farmers. WALA/Dr. Hauschka expressed an interest in the project in 2006 and has been supporting it ever since. Today over 700 farmers are growing organic Damask roses on more than 100 hectares of land. A large volume of organic rose oil is produced, most of which is sold to WALA/Dr. Hauschka.  This ancient Afghan tradition has been brought back to life with this budding partnership.

Our Rose Essential Oil is derived from Rosa damascena, named so from Damascus in Syria, also known as the Damask Rose.  This most fragrant of roses produces the highest quality Rose Essential Oil, also known as Rose Otto, or Attar of Roses.

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 5.29.59 pm

We use Rosa gallica also known as The Apothecary’s Rose for precious Rose Wax and Rose Petal Extract.

Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 9.30.17 PM

Rose Hips from Dog Rose (Rosa Canina)

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 5.34.31 pm

*WALA produces Dr. Hauschka skin care and make-up and WALA anthroposophical homeopathic remedies.

Thanks for reading our blog. xx

Dr. Hauschka Quality

  • Authentic natural and organic skin care and make-up, certified to NATRUE standards
  • Free from synthetic chemical fragrances, dyes and preservatives
  • Free from mineral oils, parabens, silicone and PEGs
  • Dermatologically tested for sensitive skin
  • Wherever possible, all raw materials come from controlled organic or biodynamic (Demeter certified) cultivation and are recovered under fair conditions
  • We do not test on animals


Online Shopping
NEW Make-up

Join our eNewsletter for skin and make-up tips, promotions, new products and giveaways


Dr. Hauschka Roses

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 5.17.47 pm

The Damask Rose – Rosa damascena

Our Rose Essential Oil and Rose Water (Rose Hydrosol) are derived from The Damask Rose, so named after the city of Damascus in Syria. The Essential Oil from the most fragrant of roses is also known as Rose Otto (Ottoman Empire) or Attar of Rose(s).

Rosa damascena is a cultivated flower, no longer found growing wild, and the history of just where it came from is varied, but it’s generally understood as originating in the Middle East.

The Crusader Robert de Brie has been credited for bringing the Damask Rose from Syria to Europe sometime between 1254 and 1276. Other stories say the Romans brought the Damask Rose to England, and yet another account states that Henry VIII’s physician gifted him a Damask Rose around 1540.

The Apothecary’s Rose – Rosa gallica

We use Rosa gallica for Rose Wax and Rose Petal Extract.

The Apothecary’s Rose, known to botanists as Rosa gallica officinalis, is one of the most celebrated of all ancient roses.

In the Renaissance art of the 15th and 16th centuries, Rosa gallica (often depicted red, although really a deep pink) was one of the two most often painted roses, Rosa alba (white) being the other.

The petals of this rose were dried and rolled into beads, then strung into what became the rosary, hence the name.

The Apothecary’s Rose dates back much further in history than the Renaissance and is believed to have originated in ancient Persia. The rose is thought to have come to Europe either in the 12th or 13th century with knights returning from the Crusades.

By the middle of the 15th century, civil wars in medieval England had broken out in a melee of power grabs for the throne, known as the War of Roses. The Apothecary’s Rose had become the symbol of the House of Lancaster and the white Rosa alba the symbol of the House of York.  After Henry VII came to power in 1485, he chose to symbolise peace by creating a new symbol: the Apothecary’s Rose laid on top of Rosa alba, the ‘Tudor Rose’, which to this day remains the plant symbol of England.

The other story of how the Apothecary’s Rose came to Europe, the French side, is less dramatic. It is believed to have been returned to the Castle of Provins, a city close to Paris, by Thibault IV in 1250 upon his return from the Seventh Crusade. (Thibault died just three years later — apparently not because of the rose, however.) Provins became the European capital for the Apothecary’s Rose and it was renamed The Rose of Provins.

Dog Rose – Rosa canina

Our Rose Hip extract comes from Dog Rose, Rosa canina (canine).

Also known as Wild Rose, Dog Briar and Wild Briar, it has been used medicinally since the time of Hippocrates and was named Dog Rose by the Roman naturalist, Pliny, because it was believed the plant’s root would cure the bite of a mad dog.

The Dog Rose is high in antioxidants and the fruit, Rose Hips, are a rich source of Vitamin C used to make syrup, tea and jam.

Although it had been used medicinally for centuries it was during World War II that the plant came in to its own. During the war it was impossible for Great Britain to import fresh citrus fruits and without them scurvy became a threat to the population. Knowing rose hips were rich in Vitamin C the government arranged to have them harvested and processed into syrup. Because of this wise action scurvy was prevented.
Read about our Rose Cultivation Projects here 


Thanks for reading our blog. x

Online Shopping


Dr. Hauschka Trained Estheticians