I've often wished there was a way we could "record" a flower's fragrance like we can record sights and sounds. When a particularly fragrant flower is in bloom I often tell my long-distance friends how I wish they could smell it, since my powers of description are...not very good! It would also be nice to preserve a flower's fragrance to enjoy during the winter months.
But, this rose water is the next best thing! For some reason I always thought of rose water as something that would be very complicated to make, but really it's quite simple. Best of all, it can also be made with dried petals, which means I should even be able to enjoy my roses in January!
I used about 10 roses from my garden, which was almost more than I needed. I rinsed them, stripped off the petals and put them in a sauce pan. The recipe I used said to put in just enough distilled water to cover the petals. Well the only problem is, mine floated! So I just estimated how much water to use. Of course the rose water will be stronger or weaker according to the amount of water you add. Simmer on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the petals have all wilted and lost their color (about 15-20 minutes). Then just strain out the petals and let cool.
As you can see, it makes a lot! It should keep for about a week at room temperature or 2 weeks if refrigerated.
I'm using my rose water as a facial cleanser and hair spray, and also love to rinse with it after washing my hands, much like the ancient Romans did! It is very refreshing and leaves a wonderful, light rose fragrance on your skin. You can even drink it. I did try it, but am rather inclined to agree with young Tom Canty in Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper: "Nay, it likes me not, my lord; it hath a pretty flavor, but it wanteth strength".
Have you ever made rose water? What is your favorite way to use it?
I don't know why, but my 'Sarah Bernhardt' peonies never fail to open on the day we get a heavy rain! But I won't complain, because that just gave me an excuse to pick some! :) I had a lot of fun putting together this vase with so many of my favorite flowers in bloom right now...
You can see the drooping bush in the background in this picture. The flowers are almost too heavy for the bush even without its being weighed down by rain!
'Sarah Bernhardt' has to be one of the most beautiful flowers in the world! The flowers are usually bigger than my hand and so soft.
'Benjamin Franklin' holds up to showers much better, usually. One little fault I have noticed though, is that the buds take their time opening so the petal edges tend to be a little damaged by the time they open fully. Still, it is a lovely flower and the bees love it too!
Other flowers in this bouquet include Sweet William, Iris, Mountain Bluet, and Valerian...
Picking some flowers for the house is a beautiful way to start off the week! You can view lots of lovely arrangements today at Rambling in the Garden.
I am a passionate gardener and seed-saver, who also enjoys playing the violin and accordion, running, spending time with my 4 golden retrievers, keeping chickens, photography, and reading.