Online you will find dozens of recipes on how to make rosewater, but very few sites give you the most important information. They don’t tell you about the type of roses to use. There are thousands of varieties of roses, some very fragrant, some have a slight fragrance and some may as well be silk flowers at least as far as your nose is concerned.
I promised in the title of this post to tell you how to make rosewater, so let’s get that simple process done first.
- 2 cups of distilled water
- 1 cup of rose petals. No stamens. (The stamen is at the center of the rose. It’s the male part where you find the pollen.)
Bring the distilled water to a boil and pour over roses. Seal container and let rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. Four to six hours would be better. Too long and your rosewater will become inhabited by those little unwanted critters in the microbial world.
After the petals have soaked, filter the rose petals out of the water and discard. Pour your rosewater into a clean (preferably sterile) glass container and seal. Store it in the refrigerator and it will keep for a week to 10 days.
Since there’s more to this process than simply how to make rosewater, let’s discuss the roses. The best roses to use include three species: Rosa damascena, Rosa centifolia and Rosa gallica. The preferred rose is Rosa damascena. All three of these rose species is edible. You can use them in teas and flavorings, but that’s a whole other subject and I’m not going to touch on that today.
So where do you get these roses?
Of course, the best place to get the rose petals from these roses is out of your own garden. That way you’ll know they haven’t been contaminated with pesticides. You will be absolutely thrilled with the beauty and fragrance if you purchase Rosa damascena semperflorens (autumn damask). Just make sure you’re in USDA planting zones 4b – 9b. When you grow these roses, you end up with a beautiful fragrant garden with flowers that have multiple uses. I like that in a plant. If you check out Google images, you’ll note there are various subspecies of Rosa damascena. The chemistry appears to be very similar, but not identical.
If I had to make a choice between being an absolute purist and simple looking wild R. damascenas or buying something almost identical that’s totally awesome looking flower, I’m going with awesome. Anyway, you can purchase your R. damascenas online or order them from your local nursery.
If you can’t grow R. damascenas or don’t want to, you can purchase ready made rosewater. If you do, make sure the rosewater is from pure organically grown roses of the right species. Be aware that when you purchase ready made rosewater, it may or may not be edible. Keep that in mind if you plan on using your rosewater as a flavoring or tea.
There is so much more I could share with you on how to make rosewater, but I’ll save the rest for another post or ten. The important thing to take from this post is to be sure to use the correct rose species if you are planning on using rosewater for internal or external use. On the post “Forever Young Face Cream Recipe,” rosewater is recommended as one of the ingredients, so I thought it would be a good idea to better define rosewater.
Now go have fun and relax.