Thursday, July 31, 2008

Attar of Roses


Six Billion Damask Buds Gathered Every Year to Make It.

Since the emancipation of the Balkan provinces the manufacture of attar of roses has become a great industry in Bulgaria and has been taken up on a large scale in Germany. We have all been accustomed to connect the fabrication of attar of roses with Persia and Syria, and even now India and Constantinople furnish probably the largest markets for it, but although the art of making it was discovered in Persia the manufacture has now nearly or quite died out, and the center of the business is now the country about Kazanlik, on the south slope of the Balkans, close to the Shipka, or Wild Rose pass, famous in the history of the Russo-Turkish war. The rose growing belt is situated at an average altitude of 1,000 feet above the sea and extends to a length of about 70 miles, with an average breadth of ten miles. On this ground are produced annually from 5,000,000,000 to 6,000,000,000 rose blossoms.

The number of varieties cultivated is very small. Ninety per cent of all the blossoms are taken from a bushy variety of the Rosa damascene, or damask rose, known to our gardeners mainly as the ancestor from which the infinite variety of hybrid perpetual roses derive a large part of their blood. Of the remaining 10 per cent a part is gathered from the white musk rose, which is frequently planted as a hedge around the fields of pink damascene, while the rest are furnished by a dark red variety of damascene. Other sorts of roses have been tried, but some yield no attar at all, and others give an essence having the perfume of violets or pineapple or hyacinth rather than of roses. — London Public Opinion.

They Warn Crocodiles

Two or three species of birds are known to accompany the crocodile whenever he appears above water. Many a hunter has had his prospects for a shot spoiled by the alarm given to the reptile by his watchful attendants. When they see any one approaching, they will fly at the crocodile's nose, giving loud cries, and the beast never waits to investigate, but instantly shuffles into the water at his best speed.

Not the Girl to Endure a Slight

"We need no ring to plight our troth," he suggested as he kissed her impetuously.
"Yes, we do," retorted the maiden. "None of your sleight of hand tricks with me." — Detroit Tribune.

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