I was never a huge fan of rosewater, mainly because it seemed frivolous, until I started making my own. Now I know how incredibly useful it is, as well as easy to make at home. I have a pot simmering on the stove right now full of rose petals and a huge jar cooling on the counter of the batches already made and waiting to be put into cute jars to hand out to friends.
“Who brought you roses?” Geoff is eyeballing the roses in the sink, savvy enough to spot red roses, but a little confused as to why their stems have been removed and they’re rinsing in a pot of water in the sink.
“I bought them for myself. To make rosewater.” He shakes his head and goes back to looking around the kitchen for food.
Making rosewater is incredibly simple. All you need is distilled water, roses, and time. I rinse the rose heads under cool water after pulling them off the stems, then pull them apart into a pot on the stove. My smaller pot holds about three roses at a time. I cover these with distilled water (just enough to cover the petals), then put a top on it and set it to simmer.
Check it periodically to make sure it’s simmering and you didn’t turn on the wrong eye and pull it off the heat when the color has leached from the petals. Pour the water through a strainer into a pot (the water is HOT and will melt many plastic containers, so I pour initially into another metal pot). I let it cool before adding my extracts and transferring to the final container.
You don’t have to add extracts, but I do because I primarily use the rose water with my face wash and the added seaweed extract just boost the anti-oxidant properties. There’s also a touch of preservative, so it’ll last a little longer when sitting out.
Any rose water that isn’t going to be used or given away within a few weeks I freeze for safe keeping.
Uses for Rose Water
It’s not just pretty to look at! Rosewater is also a great addition to your beauty routine, you can use straight, with additives like I do, or diluted with additional distilled water. Rosewater is hydrating, anti-bacterial, and a good anti-oxidant. It also helps reduce redness in your skin and the smell is said to be a mood enhancer. (I particularly like subtle scents since the men in my life vehemently dislike strong perfumes.)
- Skin Toner: Put diluted rose water into a spritzer and use it to moisturize your face. Bonus in that it smells amazing.
- Face Wash: I use a two-part face wash, so rose water is the liquid that I use to mix my dry ingredients into. I’ve found it works much better than straight water.
- Bath: Pour a cup full into your tub and relax to the scent of roses. Add some Epsom salts for even more decadence.
- Cooking: Some recipes call for rosewater to add subtle scent and color.
- Cocktails: Rose water has a distinct color and flavor that mixes well in certain drinks. Look up some options online!
There are many more uses for rose water, from scenting lingerie to making hair masks. It’s a great liquid base for many home beauty concoctions.