We got a bouquet of lovely deeply scented roses from our local organic fruit & flower buying club (check out The Good Peach if you live in our area!). We don't usually buy cut flowers, for many reasons - they are expensive, they are usually not organic and fair traded, and we grow many flowers in our own garden to supply summer bouquets.
However, these roses were gorgeous and from a local organic farm, so to have them in vases around the house during a birthday week was a treat. But once the blooms were open it seemed a shame to simply compost these blossoms, which were still incredibly vibrant in colour and scent. I separated all the petals and dried them on old window screens. Then steeped them in witch hazel to make a rose water, to be used as rose water toner or added into a facial lotion. After only a day the witch hazel was already glowing with a vibrant deep pink colour. Simple, lovely, great way to quickly preserve roses before they neared their end.
I large bouquet (12 roses) made 1 full litre of rose water.
Rose water is a beneficial facial cleanse and skin toner that has been used for centuries. Rose water has anti-inflammatory properties, aids in healing skin irritations, eczema, dermatitis, hydrates dry skin and also tones oily skin, helps reduce the signs of aging on the skin, and so much more. It also helps with gently healing cuts, scrapes, scars and scratches. It's cooling on a hot day as a facial mist and leaves you feeling refreshed. Rose water is so simple to make and great for any skin type.
Making Rose Water
You will need:
1 litre mason jar, lid and ring
1 dozen fresh roses
witch hazel (1 litre)
1) Separate rose petals from the stalks (ideally when flower blooms have just opened). Let wilt or dry slightly.
2) Gently pack into clean mason jar, cover with witch hazel by about 1-2 inches.
3) Shake jar gently to infuse and distribute. Add more witch hazel as needed to cover petals.
4) Let stand on kitchen counter (out of direct sunlight) for at least 2 weeks. Shake jar every few days.
5) When infused, strain witch hazel and compost flowers.
6) Store in dark glass bottle with mister top (to use as rose water). Or add rose water to lotions.
7) Keeps indefinitely. Label your jars FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY.