Monday, May 14, 2012

DIY: Rose Water Tutorial

Hi All--

I don't do tutorials very often, but I vow to do more! Today I'm going to walk through how to make rose water.

What is Rose Water?
Rose Water is the aqueous solution, or hydrosol of essential oils obtained through steam distillation of rose petals. It will smell and be "flavored" like roses. Rose water is a revered skin care product, often used as a toner and in facial care products. Rose water can also be ingested; adding sugar to the rose water and creating rose flavored simple syrups allows for a myriad of uses, including adding to teas to make rose flavored tea.

I'm personally not a fan of eating rose. I don't care much for the floral flavor. However, in the last few years. I've developed a fondness for its scent. My plan for the rose water was to experiment and use it as a part of a facial cream I'm trying to develop... and maybe drink a teeny bit because I'm curious about fresh rose water. Else, I would use it as a facial skin toner as well!

My backyard is full of rose bushes: red/yellow/white

I looked at these and thought it would truly be silly for me to not utilize any of this amazing stuff.
So I picked some!


And this is one medium sized mixing bowl worth of roses. I would say about 20 roses. Try to get roses that aren't fully in bloom-- younger petals = better.

To make the rose water, you will need: A big pot, with a little ramekin or other small heat safe bowl to place in the middle of the pot. Fill the pot with water almost up to the top of the ramekin/bowl. You may also use a brick.

Take the rose petals off your roses, and scatter generously on top of the water portion like this:

I used almost all my roses. If you gathered too many roses, no worries. As you boil the mixture, you can add more petals over time.

Now, set a stainless steel bowl on top of the ramekin in the center of the pot:

Put your lid on the pot, UPSIDE DOWN. This allows for steam to collect and drip into the bowl nicely. 

Turn your stove on to at least medium or medium high, and allow your concoction to boil.
When the water has started to boil, add either cold water or ice cubes to the top of the upside down lid; this will help steam collect and drip most efficiently; the drippings = your rose water! These drippings are accumulated in your stainless steel bowl you set down on your ramekin.

Now as your mixture continues to boil, the ice will melt, or the cold water will get warm. You will have to babysit this and continuously replace the ice cubes/cold water as it warms! Yes, this is a tedious process.
I like to scoop the water off of the upside down lid with a large shallow spoon or even little cup.
Discard the water you scoop from the lid.

Keep your mixture boiling, and keep replacing the ice on the lid-- do this for at least1.5 hours! About an hour in, you can CAREFULLY lift up the lid a TINY bit and toss more rose petals in as you desire. Keep going. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Please DO NOT walk away from this at any point since it's pretty dangerous to leave hot water exposed on your upside down lid.

After about 1.5-2 hours, I stopped the process and peaked at my loot-- check out all this heavenly smelling rose water!
I got about 2 cups of rose water. Enough for a few batches of facial cream. 

I completely expected the scent to be overwhelming. I suffer from extreme allergies so I tend to shy away from strong floral scents... generally because flowers = insta-congestion. Surprisingly, during this process, the scent was mild and never very strong-- but very present.. and pleasant!

And this was what was left, after all that boiling:

I will talk about making facial creams some other time. If you're not using the rose water right away, store in a clean, airtight container and put it in the fridge.

If you end up making rose water, document your process and tell me what you do with it!

Hope you've enjoyed! Toodles!



Stephanie Cai said...

this is awesome sauce. that is all.

InsideOut Elle said...

omg the roses in your backyard are beautiful! please don't tell me you also manage to be a gardener on top of working fulltime and running your jewelry shop ><

This post kind of reminds me of Perfume: The Story of A Murderer (in a good way ^^!)...the part where Baldini shows Jean-Baptiste the method of distillation.

Cool post :)!