I never understood what my grandmother was talking about when she said that ladies of good breeding should go easy on the rose water. Roses smell delicious, said 12 year old me (and also me now).
We have such a huge variety of perfumes available (often made with questionable ingredients) that it’s easy to forget that throughout history when they didn’t have real science LIKE WE DO they just used whatever plants and flowers were available. And now that we have all those perfumes with questionable ingredients we just want to make beauty products with whatever plants and flowers are available. Circle of life everyone.
With that said, I shall now teach you how to make your very own floral water! This recipe does not use any alcohol so this floral water (or herb water if you so desire) is good for use as a refreshing mister, facial toner, or even a pillow spray. The other great thing about this recipe is that you already have the tools you need, all you need to get is some distilled water and plant material.
Let’s do this!
What you need
1 pot with lid
1 glass bowl or glass measuring cup
Distilled water (found in the water aisle at most grocery stores)
Flower petals or chopped herbs of your choice
1 mason jar or empty spray bottle to store your floral water
How to make floral water
Take your glass bowl or measuring cup and put it in the center of the pot. Make sure that the pot is big enough to accommodate it’s size. Now, take your flower petals and spread them out around the glass bowl. How much to use is dependent on how much liquid you want. If you have a small bottle and you want to make rose water, you really only need the petals from 2-3 roses (yields roughly 4 oz). If you want to make a larger batch use more petals. If you’re using chopped lavender or peppermint, etc, use enough to cover the bottom of the pot (generally 1/2 ounce to an ounce of the herbs will yield 2-4 ounces).
Now that your bowl and petals/herbs are in place, take your distilled water and completely cover the plant material (kind of like making rice or quinoa in a pot). You want enough so that the plant doesn’t burn but not so much that it dilutes the flowers. Once you’ve got the flowers covered by water, flip the pot’s lid upside down so that the handle is facing the glass bowl and cover. Again like rice or quinoa, put the stove on a high temp so that the water boils. Once boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer. At this point, put some ice cubes on top of the lid. You’ll notice that the water condensing in the pot is slowly spilling into the glass bowl. The water falling into the glass bowl is your flower water!
I periodically check the pot to make sure the flowers aren’t burning and place fresh ice cubes on top. Simmer the plants from 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how much liquid you want (the more you want, the longer you go). If you see that the plants are burning you can either add some more distilled water or just take your flower water and call it a day.
Once finished, carefully pour the flower water into your jar or bottle, label, and refrigerate. Keeping the water in the fridge helps it stay fresher longer and quite frankly feels AMAZING when you spray it on your skin. You don’t have to keep it in the fridge, but if you don’t make sure you replace it within 2-3 weeks as it can start to smell funky (there’s no alcohol remember?).
For my shop, my favorite two blends that I used to sell are Rose & Peppermint, and Chamomile & Vanilla Bean. As you can see, there are countless possibilities When using plants, make sure you check their properties so that you don’t end up using anything that could be bad for your skin. Aromantic has a great list of herbs for skin care.