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How To Make Rose Water

If there are lots of scented, pesticide-free rose petals available, the recipe for producing rose water at home is fairly simple.

I was recently given a bottle of rose water purchased in Turkey.  On the bottle it says that rose water is a natural tonic that hydrates the skin and helps restore the skin’s moisture balance. Rose water also allegedly firms and refines pores. It accomplishes all of the above as well as smelling divine. Mixed with glycerin, it is also wonderful for softening the hands.

Making Rose Water At Home

If there are lots of scented but pesticide-free rose petals available, the recipe for producing rose water at home is fairly simple. Here are some tips and instructions:

  • It is best to collect the rose petals early in the day as soon as the dew has dried. Also, the white section at the base of each petal, which is called the nail, needs to be pinched out.
  • Then mix:
    • 2 cups of fresh petals
    • 1 ½ cups of distilled water
    • ½ cup of vodka in a glass container
  • Cover and store in a sunny spot (such as on a window sill) so that the mixture can steep for several weeks
  • Strain and return just the liquid to the jar, adding 2 more cups of fresh petals.
  • Repeat the steeping process.
  • After several weeks strain again and discard the petals and store the liquid in small tightly covered little bottles in a cool dark spot.

It makes wonderful perfume and can also be used on fixative in pot pourri. In Iran, rose water is added to rice pudding. We can also add 1 tablespoon to vanilla pudding or vanilla ice cream or 2 tablespoons to plain cookie dough.

Reference:  Norris, Dorry Baird, The Sage Cottage: Herb Garden Cookbook (The Globe Pequot Press, Old Saybrook,Connecticut. 1991.

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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