Rose oil is one of the most sought after and expensive oils in the world. It was discovered hundreds of years ago, during the time of the Moguls.
The story goes that Princess Nour-Djihan and Emperor Djihanguyr rode through a garden canal filled with rose water on their wedding day. The heat of the afternoon sun separated the oil from the water, and the couple couldn’t help notice its intoxicating scent. The oil was skimmed off the water to create perfume. And so began the production of rose oil, traced back to 1612 in Persia.
It takes about 2,000 rose buds to produce 1 gram of oil. The Damask rose, Provence rose and Eglantine rose are considered to be the most fragrant in the world and have long been used to make rose oil. The roses must be collected in the early morning dew. Once the sun hits the petals, they begin to dry out and lose their fragrance. Bulgaria supplies 80 percent of the world’s rose oil, which is commonly used in perfumes, pharmaceuticals and liqueurs.
It’s best used in its pure state.
Rose water, a byproduct of distilling rose oil, is inexpensive and widely used in skin care, food flavoring, and other beauty products.
Some ways you can use rose water:
- Hydrating face spray – Fill a small spray bottle with rose water and add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Evening primrose is a good option. You can add other ingredients that are good for your skin as well, like aloe vera or witch hazel.
- Makeup remover – Moisten a cotton face pad with rose water and add a bit of liquid coconut oil and massage over your face to remove makeup.
- Linen freshener – Spritz rose water on your bedding, clothing or furniture. Add a few drops of lavender oil for an even more fragrant scent.
- Hair rinse – After conditioning your hair, finish with a rosewater rinse. It will leave your hair soft and with a delicate scent.
- Food flavoring – A few drops or rose water can transform a recipe. It’s great in pastries, salads and even in fruit jams.
- Cocktail syrup – Mix rosewater and simply syrup for a nice twist on cocktails.
Make sure you buy rose water made from rose oil and not a manufactured version which won’t have quite the same smell or properties.