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Rose Aroma

What will you do with that Valentines bouquet after the 14th? Here are some ideas for rosewater, dried bouquets and potpourri.

Floating rose petals.

If you were lucky enough to get roses for Valentine’s Day, you can make the fragrance last by using some of the petals to make your own rosewater.

  1. Gently detach and wash some of the petals before they wither. (The water will rinse off any pesticides.)
  2. Place the petals in a heat-resistant glass bowl and boil two cups of distilled water.
  3. Pour the water over the petals and cover the bowl and let steep for thirty minutes.
  4. Then use cheesecloth to strain the water into another glass jug or container and cool, before…
  5. …transferring the liquid through a funnel into bottles.

Store the bottles in a refrigerator and use within a week.

To keep the rosewater for longer periods add a tablespoon of witch hazel or alcohol to the cooled rosewater and shake well before storing in the bottles. They will then keep for several weeks in the refrigerator, and even longer if the liquid is frozen into ice cubes.

Red rose petals make the best rosewater, as they turn the water pink. Yellow or white roses do not color the water, though the perfume is as strong.

If you wish to dry a bouquet of roses, hang them upside down in dim light in a cool garage or basement. Secure the stems with a rubber band and remove the lower leaves.

Rose petals can also be dried in a basket or shallow bowl and used in potpourri.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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