A rosewater by any other name would smell as sweet.

There are a lot of techniques for making rosewater. From what I’ve read, rosewater made by distillation (rose hydrosol) is the preferred method, but I made the simpler version (below). Although mine may not be distilled, hopefully I’ll still reap all the rosy benefits:

  • tightens skin pores, thereby reducing wrinkles
  • hydrates, cleanses and tones
  • nourishes, calms and soothes
  • antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory
  • when consumed, acts as a mild sedative and antidepressant, and aids digestion

Rosewater alone makes a lovely, gentle toner. For a more astringent toner, combine 1 1/4 c. rosewater + 3/4 c. witch hazel. Apply rosewater to burns, bites, and skin irritations, use as a hair rinse or body spray, and add to homemade shampoos, lotions, and face and body washes. If you want rosy scents, though, you’ll have to add rose essential oil.

Rosewater is even used in culinary creations—I’ve seen recipes for rosewater cakes, ice creams, frostings, lemonades… Oh, my! I might give this one a whirl, just to see what rosewater tastes like: blend together 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice + 3 tsp. rosewater + 3 cups cold, filtered water + sugar (or honey) to taste. Serve over ice, garnish with mint leaves.

Easy Rosewater

If you have a bush full of roses in your yard (as I do), then making rosewater is practically free! Just be sure your roses are pesticide-free.

Rinse any bugs or debris from rose petals and place in a pot. Pour in enough filtered water to cover. Bring water to steaming, but not boiling. Remove from heat and let petals steep until they lose their color and become somewhat translucent (about 30 minutes). Pour through a sieve into sterilized jars, squeezing excess water from petals. Store in the fridge.


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