Rose oil concum: rose oil shipping and storage container

A one gram sample containing identical oil is attached to the neck of the concum. The neck has a cap that is soldered on. Cloth is applied on the entire vessel. Wax seal on the neck of the concum and the manner the Bulgarian Rose State Laboratory certificate is attached. The neck of the concum is secured for access with rope that is sealed at the top and goes through the attached certificate.

Rose oil shipping and storage vessel full size

The Rose oil's shipping and storage container is only for the Rose oil! Unique Bulgarian developed tin cooper container is used for hundreds of years for the Bulgarian Rose oil! It is called concum. The name comes from the sound made when pouring the oil from the container. Safe transportation of the costly rose oil required good packaging. The concum serves that purpose unequivocally. It has been in use for centuries in its current form. It is a tinned cooper vessel, hand made and pressure tested to prevent leaks.

The Rose oil shipping and storage vessel serves several purposes

  • For one: it allows safe delivery of the rose oil.
  • Two: it prevents adulteration.
  • Three: allows uniformity of quantity and quality.
  • Four: testing of the oil by the buyer without disturbing the large vessel.

In order for the rose oil to be demonstrated without compromising the larger vessel a 1 gram sample containing identical oil is attached to the neck of the concum.

Rose oil vessel neck view
  • The Laboratory is an agency of the Bulgarian Government charged with the authority to certify the genuine rose oil.
  • The Laboratory accepts the rose oil from various distillers and confirms that it complies with the minimum indicators set with the Bulgarian State Standard.
  • Then all the rose oil is mixed together in a uniform bulk mass.
  • The standard sets lower and higher limits of various indicators. Rose oil with indicators that are below the standard is not accepted, but returned to the distillery.
  • When a distillery makes a sale an order is placed with the Laboratory. As a matter of procedure the Rose oil is retrieved from cold storage and left at room temperature for six hours. A commission of three people measures the oil, fills up the concum and certifies it.
  • Rose oil is available directly from the distilleries, but in the majority of cases the certified oils is sought after.
  • Concums are available in sizes of 50, 100, 250 grams and 1, 5 and 15 kilograms.
Tin cooper concums unassembled

Rose oil container: How to open the concum and handling?

The Rose oil's unique shipping and storage container is used only for the Rose oil. The Rose oil Concum was developed and used specifically for the Bulgarian Rose oil and in use for over 350 years.

First of all, the concum needs to be placed in a vessel of warm water for about 30 minutes. This is to gently melt the stearoptene's, which are a natural part of the Rose Otto. These natural waxes are produced during distillation.

Rose oil consists of 30% stearoptene (the solid phase containing such hydrocarbons as eycosan) and eleopten (the liquid phase). The former is odorless but it fixes the scent well and endues it with durability. When cooler temperatures prevail the stearoptenes present in the oil cause the entire contents of the concum to solidify, but it only requires gentle warmth to cause the Rose Otto to become liquid again.

The lid of the concum is soldered on. It is a precautionary measure adopted by the Bulgarian Government to ensure that no adulteration will occur by "middle" traders. In order to penetrate the solder you will need a sharp but hard pointed screw driver and a hammer. Tap the screwdriver with the hammer at the very edges of the concum until it penetrates through the solder. Then you will easily be able to pry up the metal lid.

Rose oil stages of preparation of concum

Once you have pried up the metal lid, you will find a cork further sealing the entrance to the bottle. The cork is surrounded by a cellophane type material from beneath. Once again you will need your screwdriver to lift the cork out. Be very careful not to exert to much downward pressure on the cork as it may be forced into the bottle containing the rose otto. Gently pry the cork upward until it comes free.

At this point I personally recommend pouring the rose otto into whatever sized cobalt blue, violet or amber glass containers you wish to store the oil in. The reason for this is that it is much easier to pour from glass containers than from the concum and also you can warm the glass containers in your hands or in warm water easier from small containers than the larger concum containers. Also there is less danger of spillage. This is a personal preference and can be adopted or not adopted according to the personal preferences of the user.

The description above is a contribution of Christopher McMahon of White Lotus Aromatics.

Stages of the preparation of the rose oil concum.

Rose oil concums final stages

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