May rose

“The May rose starts to open in the evening and develops sweet, honeyed and spicy scents.” Olivier Polge, CHANEL Perfumer

A harvest day in Grasse

The sweet rose of May

The sweet rose of May

Each morning in May is a race against time to harvest the roses with their delicate petals.

Harvest

For three weeks, the gatherers work in pairs, nimbly filling their apron pockets with the freshly blossomed flowers. The roses are then ever so gently gathered into big burlap bags, taking care not to crush their fragile petals.
1 kg of roses represents 350 flowers.
Each gatherer picks 5 kg of flowers per hour.

Weighing

Weighing

The bags are then taken to the nearby extraction plant for weighing and processing before the flowers wilt in the heat. The race against the clock continues.
50,000 rosebushes are cultivated.

Extraction

Extraction

Once the flowers have been weighed, they are poured into five stacked perforated trays. The flowers are given three consecutive baths with a solvent, gently stirred and then brought to high temperature. The solvent absorbs the odorous components, giving concrete form to the fragrance.
Each extractor contains 250 kg of flowers.

Concrete

Concrete

is the wax obtained after floral extraction using solvents. It is preciously stored like a treasure.
400 kg of roses are needed to produce 1 kg of .

Absolute

Absolute

Under the guidance of the CHANEL Perfumer, the is transformed into . , a liquid used in the formulas of the CHANEL N°5 Parfums.
1 kg of concrete yields 600 g of rose absolute.