Taif, or more commonly called ‘The City of Roses,’ is one of Saudi Arabia’s distinctive tourist attractions due to its iconic pink roses. Rosa Damascena trigintipetala, i.e Taif’s popular rose, is a beautiful pink rose whose perfume is intense, spicy, and very unique. It is said that it was transplanted during the Ottoman times, and since then, it has been cultivated in Taif, and processed into rose oil. Located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Taif is home to nearly 1,000 rose farms, with their fragrance stretching from Wadi Mahram to Al-Hada.
Every spring, towards the end of March and early April, farmers harvest these pretty rose petals, following which, they take them for extraction in factories, and eventually produce originals like rose water and rose oil. The fragrance from this oil-rich 30-petal rose is used as an ingredient for the finest perfumes by prestigious brands such as Carolina Herrera, Givenchy, Ormonde Jayne Perfumery, Perris, Chanel, and Guerlain. Often times, it is also used as one of the spices added to foods in lavish restaurants, due to its sweet aroma. Rose’s fragrance is similar to damask rose, but bears a stronger scent.
This year, unfortunately, Taif Rose Festival will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Organized by Taif University, the festival is held under the patronage of the Governor of Mecca, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, with the slogan ‘Taif roses bring us together.’