Updated: Sep 17, 2020
I LOVE the smell of roses, and would be happy to find it just about everywhere. Lucky for me, rosewater is very natural, easy to make and super versatile!
I’ve tried two recipes: simmering (easier and quick but not long lasting), and distilling - more involved, but resulting in a clear hydrosol with a longer shelf-life.
Now I can use my homemade rosewater in so many ways, and free myself of artificial fragrances (the commercial beauty product industry uses “chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products” especially in fragrances!)
Better to use homemade rosewater as a versatile base. So get ready to delight your home with these do-it-yourself recipe.
(Note: Both methods use fresh or dried petals. Make sure they are organic--you wouldn’t want to spray chemicals along with your precious homemade rosewater. Good to know: roses release their fragrance when they are ready for pollination, which occurs when the flowers are half open. That happens during the early morning hours (and best at the onset of summer) so do your picking then, if you can!
You will need:
Fresh or dried petals
Dark, sterilized bottle
Cheesecloth for straining
In your saucepan,
put about ¼ cup (about 115g) dried rose petals or ½ to ¾ fresh (55 to 75g) with 1 ½ cup water (355ml)
Cover and bring to boil
Lower the heat and simmer until the petals fade - should take less than 10 minutes.
Once the mixture is completely cool, strain through a cheesecloth into a dark bottle (you may need your funnel here.)
This simmered rosewater will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.
You will need about 1 ½ cup (approx. 300g) dried petals or 3 to 5 cups (700g to 1kg, yes!) if fresh,
A brick (a nice clean one)
Large stock pot with lid
Metal or heat-safe glass bowl
Prepare your homemade distiller: place the brick at the bottom of the stock pot and the bowl on top of the brick.
Sprinkle the rose petals around the brick making sure not to get any into the bowl.
Pour water into the pot over the petals until it comes almost to the top of the brick.
Invert the lid and place it over the stock pot. The inverted lid becomes your distilled water catcher by collecting the steam and letting it drip down to the center and into the empty bowl.
The ice now goes on top of your inverted lid: this helps the steam to condense. Tip: use a heat-proof container for the ice so that you can keep on replacing it. The more steam hits the cool lid, the more rosewater!
Simmer on lowest heat possible for at least 30 minutes. Keep replacing the ice.
Remove the pot from heat and let it cool completely.
Remove melted ice from the lid and remove the lid.
The water collected in the bowl atop the brick is your distilled rosewater - pour it into your dark bottle and enjoy! This hydrosol will last at room temperature for a few months, or even longer (if you don’t use it all up!) in the fridge.
Now it’s time to play:
Add rosewater to natural shampoo: mix 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract with essential oils in a 4 oz glass spray bottle, then fill to the top with your rosewater.
Spray and leave on wet hair, or freshen up in between shampoos.
Spray on bedsheets
Use in skincare: add to your reusable washable bamboo cotton pads as it is great as a toner! Rosewater is said to balance PH, reduce redness and irritation, and tighten pores. I like to mix a drop of lavender essential oil (also calming for the skin) with my rosewater for a facial toner, and either mist it on or apply with a soft bamboo-cotton round after washing.
I find it helps with mood too. (Add it to the bath for an aromatherapy treat…)
And in the kitchen? Experiment with adding a few drops to herbal tea, or a teaspoon in yogurt, or a splash in your lemonade. Have fun smelling the roses!
(Thank you Wellness Mama for the beautiful teachings)