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 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.