Rose water is a wonderfully creative way to use Mother Nature’s gifts in versatile, fragrant, natural and healthful ways.
Simmering vs. Distilling
There are two simple ways you can make rose water at home. The easiest and quickest is to simmer rose petals in water. You can use either fresh or dried rose petals for this.
The result will be an aromatic, rose-coloured water.
The only thing to remember with simmering to create your rose water is that is has a much more limited shelf life, so is great for tasks and recipes where you may want to use it up more quickly.
When you distil your rose petals, you turn them into a hydrosol. Hydrosols, also known as floral waters, hydroflorates, flower waters or distillates are products from steam distilling plant materials. Hydrosols are like essential oils but in far less of a concentration.
The distilling method is slightly more time-consuming, however rose hydrosol is clear and much more shelf stable.
Choosing your rose petals
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – Shakespeare
There are hundreds of varieties of roses. If you’re blessed with a patch of earth and a green thumb (or you live close to your Nanna or any Nanna that does… 😉 then you can pick and use your own rose petals. Do so in the early morning when the rose blooms are at their most fragrant.
You can also purchase rose petals though please make every attempt to be sure they are organic. The Source Bulk Foods does organic rose petals here in larger towns in Australia which are also edible. It is very important to use pesticide-free rose petals so you don’t end up with a fragrant ‘chemical-water’.
Ways to use Rosewater
You know how much I love to get creative and there are so many ways you can use rose water.
Anti-Ageing Face Mist
Rose water is our star ingredient acting as an anti-inflammatory. It soothes skins and has a rich source of antioxidants, which can help strengthen skin cells and regenerate skin tissue. It’s also a great choice for sensitive skin.
Rosewater is said to stimulate the circulation of tiny blood vessels underneath the skin, thus helping reduce the appearance of thread veins and broken capillaries.
- 40ml rose water
- 5–10 drops rosehip oil (OR apricot kernel oil OR Jojoba oil)
- 5 drops frankincense essential oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- 5 drops geranium essential oil
- Place all ingredients in a 50ml amber glass bottle with an atomiser.
- Shake and spray before bed or when you awake in the morning. Allow to dry before you apply make-up.
Many of the chemicals used in commercial perfumes are endocrine disrupting, thalates that are known to cause cancer. Synthetic fragrances that we inhale through our nose, reach out limbic system – our emotional brain – and can affect the way we process our emotions, our heart rate, and our blood pressure. There is no doubt that natural perfumes (or pure-fumes as many call them), are a better option for our body and those around us.
Using rosewater as the base for a beautiful perfume spray adds a light, floral scent. It is also a wonderful little gift you can make for a little girl, who can dab some rose water ‘pure-fume’ on her wrists before school or before a birthday party.
You can also use rose water perfumes and mists to spray directly onto your hair.
Hydrating Lavender and Rose Water Toner
- 4 tablespoons rose water
- 2 tablespoons witch hazel
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 5–10 drops rosehip oil
- 5 drops tea tree oil
- 5 drops lavender oil or your favorite essential oil scent
- Get a small bowl and a small whisk or spoon.
- Place the rose water, witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, rosehip oil, tea tree oil and lavender oil in the bowl. Mix well.
- Transfer to a small glass spray bottle.
- To apply, cleanse the face well, then, eyes closed, spray the toner onto the face. Add your favourite natural facial moisturiser.
Mix 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract with in a 125ml glass spray bottle and fill to the top with rosewater. Spritz on your hair as it is drying and style as usual. Rose water hair perfume is great for when you haven’t washed your hair for a few days. Keep it in the fridge. My current favourite combination is:
- 4 drops Ylang Ylang
- 3 drops White Fir
- 4 drops Sandlewoord
- 5 drops Lavender
- 4 drops Lemon
- 2 drops Frankincense
Face and Body Spray
- 2 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 2 drops Geranium essential oil
- 4 tbs Rose Water
- 3 tbs coconut water
Sheet and Linen Spray
Make a linen freshener by putting rosewater in a spray bottle. You can also add a couple drops of rose or lavender essential oil. Mist on your sheets before going to bed in the evening.
Sunburn or Windburn
Rose Water is believed to support and relieve PMS symptoms, menopausal symptoms, and gently balances hormones by reducing stress and anxiety (use as a body mist as needed).
And is believed to improve feelings or states of depression and anxiety (breathe in the fragrance while spraying it on your skin)
How to Make Rose Water
There are two different ways to make rose water, either by simmering or distillation.
YOU WILL NEED
- dried organic rose petals (or fresh from an organic, pesticide-free source)
- large saucepan with a lid
- muslin cloth, nut bag/cheese-cloth or fabric for straining and squeezing the petals.
- dark amber glass bottle for storage – I purchase mine from PackMyProduct (spray nozzle optional)
- Place 1/4 cup of dried rose petals into your saucepan. Use 1/2 to 3/4 cup if you are using fresh rose petals
- Pour 1 1/2 cups filtered water into your saucepan.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce temperature to the lowest setting while still allowing the water to simmer
- Simmer until the colour of the rose petals has faded dramatically. This will take around 15 mins and you will be left with almost colourless rose petals.
- Turn off the heat, leave the lid on and cool completely.
- Strain the water and petals through the cloth or nut-bag into a dark, glass bottle. Use a funnel if needed or strain into a larger bowl and then pour into the bottle from there.
- Will keep in the fridge for several weeks or on the counter for up to one week.
YOU WILL NEED
- dried rose petals (or fresh from an organic, pesticide-free source)
- large stock/soup pot with lid
- clean brick – you need something HEAVY okay? Something stable and able to rest a bowl in in simmering water. You can go to Bunnings or a hardware store and get one if this is your method
- metal bowl or large heat-safe glass bowl
- amber glass bottle for storage (spray nozzle optional)
- Place a clean brick down in the centre of your large soup/stock pot. I used an 8 quart stock pot and an average sized brick.
- Put the metal bowl or heat-safe glass bowl on top of the brick.
- Measure about 1 1/2 cups of dried rose petals into the stock/soup pot. Place them around the brick down in the pot, making sure not to get any into the bowl. Use 3-5 cups if you are using fresh petals. Press them down gently down around the brick.
- Pour water into the pot over the petals until it almost reaches the top of the brick.
- Flip the lid upside down over the stock pot. This allows the steam to collect on the concave of the lid and drip into the bowl on top of the brick.
- Place the ice in a plastic bag in a tea-towel and rest it on top of the lid, which will encourage the steam to collect on the underside and drip into the bowl. Replace as it melts. The steam is your rosewater, so you need to promote as much as possible.
- Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to the lowest heat possible that still allows the water to simmer.
- Keep replacing the ice and simmer for around 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Remove the ice and very carefully remove the lid.
- Carefully pour the rosewater that has collected in the bowl into your dark bottle.
- This will last for up to 6 months at room temperature and is the way we create rose water for gifts as it is much more stable. You can also keep it in the fridge.