Rosa damascena, considered to be one of the most important of the ancient rose varieties, is one of the two main species of rose sought after to make essential oil. It belongs to the category of "fragrant rose bushes". The origin of the Damask rose is unclear. Its genus name, "Damascena", refers to the capital of Syria, where a Byzantine governor is believed to have planted a few cuttings from Iran. The roses are picked very early in the morning, shortly after they bloom, and it is a race against time to gather them quickly enough before their essences evaporate in the sun.