10 Ways to Use Rosewater : Perfume, Beauty & Food

Let me shower you with rose petals today. On second thought, as far as I’m concerned, roses are too good to be left only for Valentine’s Day, and whenever I can, I indulge in a bit of pink petal fantasy. Rose perfumes are great to daydream about summer, but my little secret is found in a kitchen cupboard. It’s a bottle of rosewater. I use it in my tea, splash it on my face and sprinkle the bed sheets for a delicious finale to my day. If you want everything coming up roses, it’s hard to resist its honeyed perfume.

Rosewater is the by-product of rose oil production. When the rose petals are steam distilled, the watery substance (hydrosol) that remains behind after the essential oil is removed still has a rich scent. It’s prized for its cosmetic and flavor properties, and genuine rosewater smells like a walk through a blooming garden. Commercially, it’s biggest use is in skincare and flavors. In food, it’s not only used for candy and desserts; a rose accent can add an intriguing layer of flavor to a savory dish.

I could give you 100 ways to use rosewater; it’s remarkably versatile! I will start with these 10, and over time I will be adding other recipes to the collection. You can always click on the rosewater tag to see my favorite rosewater applications.  But first, a few words on what to look for when you shop for rosewater.

Rosewater Shopping Notes

Food and cosmetic grade rosewater can be found at Indian and Middle Eastern stores, Whole Foods and gourmet shops like Dean & Deluca. When you buy your rosewater, pay close attention to the label. Not all fragrant waters are made equal, and while some brands sell the real by-product of rose oil production, others offer reconstitutions of varying quality. Mymouné is my top choice for genuine rosewater. It is produced according to traditional methods by a women’s cooperative in Lebanon. Cortas is another recommended Lebanese brand, and  their product is made out of distilled rose petals, with no additives. The perfume is more citrusy and metallic than Mymouné’s, but for body treatments and cooking preparations that require heating it’s ideal.

When it comes to reconstituted rosewaters, things get murkier. One of the better options is Heritage brand available from natural food stores. It contains only pure rose oil and distilled water and smells like sunwarmed rose petals. Less well-regarded are the brands that spike their rosewater reconstitutions with rose synthetics. While their product is safe to eat, the scent may be sharp and metallic. When you see a label that says “Water, Concentrated Rose Water, Natural Rose Flavors” or “Steam Distillate Made from The Purest Rose Petals. Ingredients: Propylene Glycol, Alcohol(40%), Rose Oil, Natural Flavors,” beware that you may not be getting the best deal.

If you’re a real do-it-yourself type and have access to fresh, scented rose petals, you can try making rosewater yourself.

1. Light Fragrance

Rosewater smells exactly like fresh petals, and what it lacks in longevity–10 minutes is all you get, it makes up for with its sunlit charm. On days when you’re traveling or don’t want to have a perfumed presence, it’s ideal. It feels refreshing and uplifting.

2. Face Toner

An important ingredient in many skin care preparations, rosewater is likely to be already featured in your toners, lotions and creams. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it soothing for dry skin. In Morocco, it’s frequently mixed with argan oil for a homemade makeup remover. I add a tablespoon of rosewater to one cup of distilled H2O for a softening toner. As with any new skin care treatment, be sure to do a patch test before you start using it on regular basis.

3. Hair Rinse 

Another way I incorporate rosewater into my beauty regimen is to use it as a hair rinse (2 Tablespoons per 1 cup of water). After I shampoo and condition my hair, I thoroughly rinse and then follow up with the rosewater mix. It’s excellent for skin and leaves a very delicate scent in my locks.

4. Body Treatments

Rose’s many benefits for skin care make it an interesting addition to homemade body treatments. I use it in my Rose and Vanilla Almond Oil, or if I’m pressed for time, I mix rosewater and my regular body cream. You can also add it to scrubs and directly into bath water. A rose scented bath at the end of a long day is the best antidote to stress.

5. Scented Bedsheets

A recipe for sweet dreams and more! I add 3 Tablespoons of rosewater for every 1/2 cup of water and pour it into a spray bottle. Before getting into bed, lightly mist the sheets with scented water.

6. Yogurt and Custards

Almost anything milk based works perfectly with rose: cream, yogurt, fresh cheese. Delicate and light, rice pudding is one of my favorite desserts falling into the comfort food category. Just substitute rose water for orange blossom water in my recipe. Or stir a dash of rosewater into pannacotta. Be careful not to add too much, because the rose flavor can be very strong.  Another interesting recipe to try is Indian Yogurt Mousse with Rose and Saffron.

7. Lemonade and Tea

I love starting my day with a cup of rose scented tea, thanks to the fantastic recipe developed by Andy, our resident tea expert. The marriage of lush rose and bitter tea is irresistible.

Since rose and lemon share some flavor components, it’s only natural to try blending them. Start by adding a teaspoon of rosewater to your favorite lemonade recipe and notice how the floral nuance of lemon grows stronger.

8. Cakes and Cookies

Old Russian pastry recipes often include rosewater as one of the optional aromas, along with vanilla, cardamom, lemon peel and cognac. Added to the cake batter or the dough for butter cookies, rosewater will not make them taste perfumey, but it gives more depth and complexity. A tablespoon per each cup of flour is my favorite ratio (be sure to adjust the amount of liquid used in the recipe).

9. Berry and Fruit Salads

Rose and lychee is one of the most beloved pairings in perfumery, from Chloé to Serge Lutens Sa Majesté la Rose–these notes complement each other perfectly. Raspberries, strawberries and even apples take well to rose. One of my favorite winter fruit salads involves julienned apples and pears sprinkled with lemon juice, rosewater and sugar. Macerate for 15 to 30 minutes and serve with lady fingers to soak up the delicious juices.

In the summer, I give raspberries a boost with rosewater, sugar and a pinch of thyme. The flavor is magnified tenfold.

10. Almonds and Pistachios

If you have a recipe in which you use almonds or pistachios, you can be certain that rosewater will fit in perfectly. The milky sweetness of these nuts blends so seamlessly with rose that you will wonder why you haven’t tried this pairing sooner. Most traditional Indian and Middle Eastern sweets usually rely on this flavor combination–a classic!

Do you have your favorite ways of using rosewater?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin (except for photo #2, rosa damascena via wiki-images, some rights reserved).

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98 Comments

  • Marieke: What a delightful post! You’ve inspired me to wear my favourite rose perfume, Stella. I’m going to have to search for rose water here. February 14, 2013 at 7:55am Reply

    • Victoria: Glad to hear that! Are you having the same rainy, gloomy weather as we are? Today is a perfect day for an uplifting rose perfume. February 14, 2013 at 10:19am Reply

  • Jacqui: Victoria, I’m usually a lurker, but I read your blogs every day. This post made me smile. The pictures are lovely and the ideas are interesting. Thank you for all of your hard work and for making my mornings brighter.

    Happy Valentine’s Day! February 14, 2013 at 8:41am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for your nice words, Jacqui. Happy Valentine’s Day to you as well. Hope that you can try some of these rose ideas too. February 14, 2013 at 10:21am Reply

  • Jillie: Those photos are so beautiful – the colours seem to sing. You’ve made me want to bath in rosewater now.

    I like to pair rose and rhubarb together, and now there is a hint of spring in the air, young rhubarb will soon be available. I just add rosewater to the poached fruit, and then sometimes put this into my frangipane tart, or just eat as it is with cool, creamy Greek yoghurt. February 14, 2013 at 8:57am Reply

    • Victoria: I love bright colors in general, and it’s hard for me to resist roses. There is a nice little florist around the corner, and whenever I pass him by, I’m tempted to buy something. So, we often have fresh flowers at home.

      I love the idea of eating rosewater scented fruit with Greek yogurt. I sometimes also mix honey and rosewater and drizzle it over my morning yogurt. Can you think of a better way to start your day! February 14, 2013 at 10:23am Reply

      • Annikky: I find that figs work perfectly in the fruit/Greek yoghurt combination as well, both poached and raw and flavoured with rosewater and/or honey. February 14, 2013 at 2:55pm Reply

        • Victoria: They do take so well to both rose and honey. Another successful pairing! February 14, 2013 at 5:37pm Reply

  • Annikky: Lovely post. I’m a long-time fan of rosewater, but there were some great new ideas: I have never though to use it on my hair, for example.

    My favourite home-made flavoured tea combines black tea, cardamom pods, orange peel and rosewater. I also love rosewater in cooking and inspired by you, I use it my own, simplified version of Shirin Plov. It smells like an exotic fairy tale. February 14, 2013 at 9:07am Reply

    • Victoria: Another great idea I’m jotting down. I will try it later tonight. A perfect variation on my usual chai recipe.

      Rosewater hair rinse is something I’ve started to keep in a large carafe in the bathroom, so that I don’t have to premix whenever I shampoo my hair. In India rosewater is used to encourage hair to grow better, so I don’t know if my treatment has that benefit exactly, but it certainly feels good (and it’s very good for skin). February 14, 2013 at 10:25am Reply

    • maja: Will try this, too. Thanks. February 14, 2013 at 12:48pm Reply

  • Alexandra: … οr add some in your milk! A delicious drink from a Cypriot friend of mine. February 14, 2013 at 9:09am Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds delicious! Will definitely try that too. Thank you! February 14, 2013 at 10:25am Reply

    • Tendr’Aimada: Sounds perfect before bed. February 14, 2013 at 9:52pm Reply

  • Bhama: Thanks for this wonderful post! I adore roses and anything rose flavored. From Jo Malone red roses to FM PoaL I can’t get enough of them! I recently tried rose flavored Turkish delight and it reminded me of something called rose milk that I used to drink growing up in India. It was rose essence mixed with cold milk and sugar. I need to find that rose essence. Can you recommend a good rose jam V?
    Happy Valentine’s day dear V! February 14, 2013 at 9:11am Reply

    • sara: mymoune brand that victoria recommended has awesome jams and rose syrups. February 14, 2013 at 9:19am Reply

    • Victoria: In India I’ve tried the most decadent rose scented milkshake that was made with cream and rose syrup. I didn’t even try replicating it, but a touch of rose water in plain lassi is always a treat.

      As for rose jams, I don’t have a specific brand recommendation, but almost anything Turkish made that I’ve tried was good. If you live in the US, you can check Tulumba.com. It’s an online store offering everything Turkish, and the quality is very good. When looking for rose jams, I try to pick a brand that doesn’t have artificial flavors and colors. I haven’t tried Mymoune’s rose jam recommended by Sara, but all of their products are so good that I’m sure that it’s excellent. February 14, 2013 at 10:30am Reply

      • Bhama: Thanks Sara and Victoria. I ‘ll check out mymoune and tulumba.com ASAP! February 14, 2013 at 3:06pm Reply

        • Victoria: I just remembered that I also liked gulkand, rose jam from the Indian stores. As long as I picked the kind that had only the rose, sugar, and citric acid, it turned out to be good. February 14, 2013 at 5:42pm Reply

  • sara: i’m happy that you like mymoune too! i buy its jams from a little gourmet shop in my town and i can’t get enough. i recommend oasis, a mix of dates and walnuts.

    thank you for a great post! i’m going to sprinkle my bedsheets with rosewater and rose petals tonight. :) February 14, 2013 at 9:22am Reply

    • Victoria: Me too, I’m glad to see another Mymoune fan, because it’s such a good brand. Plus, I like to support these kind of small, artisanal initiatives. February 14, 2013 at 10:31am Reply

  • rosarita: What a lovely start to the day! I have a big bottle of Heritage Rose Water in my bathroom; I use it as a facial toner. Now I’m keen to try these other ideas. Thanks so much, V! February 14, 2013 at 9:23am Reply

    • Victoria: You’re welcome! It was such a fun post for me to write. These days I have to ask my mom to send me Heritage Rosewater, because I can’t find it here, and I really like it for skincare preparations. February 14, 2013 at 10:32am Reply

  • nastja: Thanks for the post, perfect timing, as I just stopped by my favorite Lebanese shop on Atlantic in Brooklyn (it’s been there since the 70s, smells like a spice bazaar, run by a lovely gentleman (sic) who wears tweed vests and invites you to sample the nuts and dried fruit) and, anyway, bought rose water for baking and then wondered how else to use it (without bludgeoning my partner’s nose with it, who is decidedly averse). Thanks! February 14, 2013 at 9:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Atlantic Avenue was one of my favorite places in NY to shop for the Middle Eastern things. I usually would go to Sahadi, where I would stock up on olives, barberries, date paste and feta cheese. There are plenty of the Middle Eastern and Moroccan stores here in Brussels (and there is a whole street of Moroccan stores, restaurants and cafes), but I still miss Sahadi. February 14, 2013 at 10:36am Reply

  • CC …: I’m usually a lurker too, but a faithful reader. What a gorgeous post. Stunning photos and delightful suggestions. Thank you!
    Happy VDay to all! February 14, 2013 at 10:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! Very happy that you liked them.

      Happy Valentine’s Day to you too! February 14, 2013 at 5:23pm Reply

  • Allison: Thank you for the wonderful tips! I have enjoyed rosewater in my tea as well, especially white and green teas. I have also used it in a glaze for angel food cake which works really well. February 14, 2013 at 11:16am Reply

    • Victoria: It never occurred to me to add rosewater to green tea until someone mentioned it in the comments during one of our tea discussions. It’s a brilliant combination, especially when I use rosewater with a very light hand. It really seems to highlight the floral violet notes of green tea. February 14, 2013 at 5:24pm Reply

  • nikki: I love that rose syrup, too! I buy it at the local Indian store and use it to make rose scented water with ice cubes in which I freeze rose petals. It looks very pretty. February 14, 2013 at 11:33am Reply

    • Victoria: Wow! It does sound beautiful! February 14, 2013 at 5:24pm Reply

  • Elizabeth: How lovely! I love splashing rosewater on my face in the evening, after washing and before moisturizing. Today I am going to wear Tauer’s Une Rose Vermeille and enjoy some chocolate marzipan hearts, a gift from my own valentine. February 14, 2013 at 12:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: Enjoy your V-Day! My husband was held up so late at the office today that by the time he left the florists were already closed. Well, no matter, we have plenty of chocolates and some champagne. :) February 14, 2013 at 5:25pm Reply

  • Raluca: After reading Victoria’s post and all your comments, I don’t know what to try first since I am craving for all! Should I go and make the rose tea? Or the rose chai? Or maybe the rose milk?Ahhh! so many cravings in just one morning! February 14, 2013 at 12:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: :) That’s a delicious case of indecision! February 14, 2013 at 5:26pm Reply

  • maja: I made rose syrup last summer with petals from an old breed Turkish rose. It smells heavenly and has the most vivid pink colour. Keeping it in the fridge. I use it in my teas or over a scoop of ice-cream :) I am afraid that I won’t be able to find such wonderful, pesticide-free petals ever again. It is sad how store-bought roses have lost their perfume, the don’t even open up anymore. Truly sad what they/we have done to them. Have you seen this documentary, by the way? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cW_Zp6dnrQ February 14, 2013 at 12:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s truly sad. Most roses are bred for looks, and the old-fashioned varieties are hard to find. I haven’t seen the documentary, but I’ve read about it. February 14, 2013 at 5:32pm Reply

  • Kellz: I like to put rose water in sauteed spinach. So many uses! February 14, 2013 at 12:58pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s another interesting recipe I’ve added to my growing collection! Thank you. February 14, 2013 at 5:33pm Reply

  • Sofia: Hi Victoria, Thanks for giving wonderful ideas on rose water! It never occurred to me to try it in cooking, but I will :) February 14, 2013 at 1:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: I use more rosewater than vanilla in my cooking, it’s that versatile. :) February 14, 2013 at 5:33pm Reply

  • G.: You’re so inspirational! Thank you Victoria, for another beautiful post. :) February 14, 2013 at 1:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for your nice words! It’s my pleasure to share. February 14, 2013 at 5:34pm Reply

  • Claire: Ahh… everytime I read a blog post on this website, my nose can almost smell the scent described in it. I’m ashamed to admit I have yet to make Andy’s version of Rose Scented tea, but this post has inspired me to use SL Sa Majeste La Rose today. My favorite rose drink is Rose Lassi (the Mango Lassi version is most popular but I much prefer Rose). February 14, 2013 at 1:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also prefer either a rose lassi or a plain salty lassi with roasted cumin. Also, whenever I manage to get good mangoes, I don’t want to do anything but eat them unadorned.
      Andy’s rose tea is a gem of a recipe! February 14, 2013 at 5:35pm Reply

  • Kerrie: Happy Valentine’s Day Victoria – what a lovely way to bring pink petal fantasy into our lives! February 14, 2013 at 2:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: Same to you! I like to fantasize a bit every day, especially when it’s cold and gloomy like today. February 14, 2013 at 5:36pm Reply

  • elvanui: Victoria, what a lovely post. I have never tried rosewater for dishes, except for the rose petal jam I once made (catastrophy in the kitchen but heaven on my lips!!!), but I would love to. I also like rose water tonic for my sensitive skin.
    But what made me sigh was the overall idea of using rose water. It’s just so lovely to imagine You -ethereal, sophisticated and effortlessly radiant as I always picture You to be – sipping rose-scented tea after emerging from rose-scented sheets, like a heroine from a 19th century novel… Oh why the old days are gone:)? This post, Your suggestions and the beautiful pictures flew me back in a time when being a woman meant being fragile and dewy, refined and soft-voiced and soft in general. Thank You :).
    By the way, I’ve never thought that rose and milk are so great together. I’ll have to try a custard now. February 14, 2013 at 3:11pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve started using rosewater toner on regular basis shortly after coming to Belgium. The water here is really the worst thing about living in Brussels. It’s hard and irritates my sensitive skin. So, now I rinse my face and hair with distilled water after every wash (+rosewater), and it turned out to be a perfect solution. Rosewater on its own has numerous great benefits for skin.

      Thank you, your comment made me smile. While I definitely don’t have a 19th century romantic heroine lifestyle (I wish!), it’s been a great lesson for me over the past year to take time for little pleasures. Our lives are so rushed and stressful, and it’s easy to neglect taking a moment for yourself, taking a little break. It made me happier and more productive overall. February 14, 2013 at 5:50pm Reply

  • Laura: Sigh of relief as it’s not about rose fragrance as it works really bad with my chemistry. I cried after trying all Rosines – the headache was also part of it.

    At home we traditionally use roses for:

    - jam – with whole rose petals – one teaspoon is absolutely enough as it’s so scented

    - rose sherbet – a thick rose syrup that you mix with a wooden spoon until it crystallizes into a cream, the way honey does. You use a long teaspoon to scoop a measure of the rosy sweetness into a tall glass of iced water and you nibble it with the water.

    - used to flavor milk semolina puddings – or rice puddings

    - spoon into liquid heavy cream before whipping, then drizzle melted 70% Guatemala chocolate on top – voila! an exquisite dessert

    - you can use it to flavor heavy sweets like baklava

    Of course these are special “jam roses” not every rose is fit for the purpose. February 14, 2013 at 5:20pm Reply

    • Victoria: A treasure trove of rose ideas! Thank you, Laura. I haven’t made semolina pudding in ages, so the rose flavored variety is at the top of my list. I absolutely love the idea of thick rose sherbet. Too bad that I can’t find fresh scented roses here to make something like this myself. February 14, 2013 at 5:53pm Reply

  • Laura: Oh and I forget the rose-scented vinegar my grandmother used to rub on my temples when I had a headache or was feeling too hot. Funny how that worked, and now almost every rose fragrance gives me a headache. February 14, 2013 at 5:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s possible that the rose fragrance contain manmade rose materials to augment the rose character, and you find the scent too sharp, too obvious? February 14, 2013 at 5:54pm Reply

      • Laura: I am not sure why it is that Rose gets so intense and soapy on me. The Rosines are lovely but far too intense. An eau de Toilette or even Eau de Cologne would be nice

        Then there’s a bottle of Voleur de Roses in my fridge somewhere but it’s absolutely vile, and I can’t even tell if it’s the rose or the oud

        Then there’s Tumulte by Christian Lacroix, that’s a jammy rose and it works but not for everyday.

        And the best of the bunch is a Rose Elixir by Stella McCartney. No idea why it works on me as it is most certainly chemical, but it does, and it’s not too sweet. But I’d love a light, dry rose fragrance, a Pinot Gris of rose fragrances. February 14, 2013 at 6:01pm Reply

        • Victoria: That’s a good question for our Recommend Me a Perfume thread! I need to think about it, and honestly, I myself would love such a perfume–a light, dry rose. Most of my favorite roses are on the dark and sultry side like Portrait of a Lady or La Fille de Berlin, my most recent love. But I don’t think that those would work for you.

          Have you tried any of Goutal’s roses like Rose Splendide or Rose Absolue? They are very different from Rosines. February 14, 2013 at 6:11pm Reply

        • nikki: I like Rose de The de Bulgarie by Creed, it is like a fresh rose, just rose, nothing else. Maybe something to try? February 14, 2013 at 7:12pm Reply

          • Andrea: Diptyque has a good rose, as well. It is rather simple yet lovely… February 14, 2013 at 11:46pm Reply

          • Victoria: That’s a good one, as well as Diptyque Eau Rose, which Andrea recommended. February 15, 2013 at 5:35am Reply

      • Laura: You can make sherbet with everything – fruit, roses, chocolate … this time of the year you may try citrus fruit or chocolate. Lemon and lime or tangerine would be particularly fresh.

        Let me know if you want a recipe translated. But keep in mind it’s like making at least three large mayonnaise bowls by hand, in sequence.

        Loved your post as it reminded me of happy times, quiet times, when I had the luxury of these small pleasures and did not value them enough. Ah, the nostalgia! February 14, 2013 at 6:10pm Reply

        • Victoria: Oh, I would love a recipe! Thank you so much in advance, Laura.

          My grandmother used to make rose jam, and I have lots of memories of helping her pick roses, weighing out sugar and skimming the foam. Skimming was my favorite part, since I got to eat the foam right away. :) February 14, 2013 at 6:16pm Reply

  • Tendr’Aimada: What lovely photos, Victoria. I’ve never thought of spritzing my sheets, I must do this! I’ve never thought of adding rose water to lemonade, that also sounds delightful. Thanks for the tips.

    I had the most wonderful brioches mixed with rose water (and another mixed with orange blossom water) in a bakery/cafe/creamery in a small town in Morocco. The flavor was ever so subtle, but combined with that warm, eggy delicacy, it was a simple luxury! February 14, 2013 at 9:50pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! Those rose brioches sound amazing. I remember eating brioche stuffed with rose jam in Poland, and it was out of this world. I keep meaning to replicate it at home. February 15, 2013 at 5:37am Reply

  • solanace: I love this post! Thank’s for sharing!
    (And your pics are getting better and better, congrats) February 15, 2013 at 12:08pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much! :) February 17, 2013 at 2:48pm Reply

  • Andy: This post made me smile. I’m actually out of rosewater at the moment, so I’ll have to order more. My favorite is the rosewater from Mountain Rose Herbs, which is also where I buy some spices, essential oils, and carrier oils for different uses. I like that their rosewater is a hydrosol produced exclusively as a hydrosol, rather than being a byproduct of essential oil distillation. I also like that it’s Bulgarian (since the Bulgarians have a reputation for producing such wonderful rose oil) and organic. I’ve never tried anything else, because I’m so satisfied with their product. February 15, 2013 at 1:09pm Reply

    • Victoria: Mountain Rose Herbs’ hydrosols are impressive. I have tried several different ones, and they were all great. I also love their spices and herbs. They are also my source for tonka beans. February 17, 2013 at 2:50pm Reply

  • theperfumeddandy: Dear V
    I to have always been a huge fan of that most versatile of flowers, the rose.
    For me it is neither male nor female in its fragrant aspect and can be worn easily by men and by women.
    I have, strangely one might think, never wandered to way of the water before.
    This will quickly change now!!
    To Edgware Road tomorrow I shall go where my city’s Lebanese population has it’s stores and with your ever reliable tips in hand this Dandy a rosewater shopping will go.
    Thank you as ever for your gentle guidance.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy February 15, 2013 at 3:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds like a fun excursion! I look forward to hearing what you’ve discovered. February 17, 2013 at 2:50pm Reply

  • Jan Last: What a marvellous post. It brought back some memories. My Grandmother would make a white cake, and put lemon balm leaves in the bottom of the cake pan. After the cake baked, she peeled off the leaves and made an icing with rosewater in it, and decorated the cake with sugared rose petals. The pairing of that light, lovely lemon in the cake, with the rose flavors, was delicious. February 15, 2013 at 8:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for sharing this memory, Jan. How beautiful! As I read, I kept imagining the taste of that cake. It must have been heavenly! February 17, 2013 at 2:52pm Reply

  • Wendy Hardy: Hi Victoria

    just a quick question: do you – or anyone else – know if it is safe to use (diluted) rosewater or orangeblosson water as an ironing spray? At the moment i use storebought ironing water but surely there must be a recipe that’s cheaper and not bad for your clothes?
    thanks in advance!

    cheers, Wendy February 18, 2013 at 9:45am Reply

    • Victoria: Rosewater should be ok, but orange blossom water might stain. It also depends on a fabric type, so I would experiment first. February 18, 2013 at 12:04pm Reply

  • Daisy: Lovely, lovely, lovely! One of my 2013 food resolutions is to learn how to work rosewater into more of my cooking. This post is great inspiration! Thank you!

    Also, is that Baume de Rose by Terry that I spy? I love that stuff. Nothing heals chapped lips better even if it costs a fortune. February 18, 2013 at 7:46pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s just an empty jar I use to mix rosewater and body cream. I don’t make too much at once.

      Baume de Rose is on my to-try list. Right now, I’m using Sensai’s Lip Therapy, which is the best thing for my super dry lips. I’ve applied some this morning, and my lips are still soft and smooth. February 19, 2013 at 12:21pm Reply

      • Daisy: Now I will put Sensei’s Lip Therapy on my list! I am a sucker for a good lip moisturizer. February 19, 2013 at 12:51pm Reply

        • Victoria: It’s a Kanebo line, so it’s also pricey (although slightly less than by Terry, if I’m not mistake), but it really works. February 19, 2013 at 3:47pm Reply

  • Lia: Wonderful article! I think, I too love roses as much as you do. I use rosewater & rose otto combined with argan oil in my daily skincare routine. And when there are roses blooming in my garden, I love to pick one of them & eat the petals straight away. I preferred anything scented with rose or anything flavored with rose. In fact I dream about roses all the time! February 18, 2013 at 8:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: I smile at the image of you eating the rose petals off as you pick the flowers. The taste of rose is the essence of summer for me. When I was little, my grandmother would make candied rose petals for me. She would dip them in whipped egg white and sugar and set them to dry. It was so good. February 19, 2013 at 12:23pm Reply

  • Marge Clark: Just wondered across this post and remembering the rose sponge cake I’ve not made in too long! Thank you for the reminder ;) March 28, 2013 at 10:08am Reply

  • lokesh: rose water has so many uses !Thank you . May 12, 2013 at 4:26am Reply

  • Charlie: Hi,

    I bought rose water purely for use on my body, however after getting it home and looking at the ingredients I’m concerned it will make my skin worse rather than better. It’s Star Kay White Rosewater the ingredients are 50% alcohol, propylene glycol and natural rose oil.
    Should I be ok using this on my face and body? June 18, 2013 at 5:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: I wouldn’t use that on my face! You can put into your bath though or better yet, just use it to sprinkle your sheets. This is not a true rosewater, but a reconstitution. June 18, 2013 at 5:26pm Reply

  • Erin: Hi! I love rosewater and can’t wait to try out some of your suggestions. Can you please post your other 90 ways to use rosewater? I’d love to learn just how versatile it really is :) July 12, 2013 at 2:20pm Reply

  • Lavinia John Cignelli: Hi!!I love the scento of roses and would love to know your opinion about the Sanya Maria Novella rose water,i am thinking of buying it…..have you tried?Thanks,I love your blog-:) August 26, 2013 at 6:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried it, but SMN products are usually very good. Just check that it is all natural (see my shopping notes for some pointers), just to make sure you’re not ending up with a perfumed water. August 27, 2013 at 2:36am Reply

  • Lavinia John Cignelli: Santa Maria Novella,sorry…..my 3 year old daughter is sort of typing with me-:)) August 26, 2013 at 6:36pm Reply

  • Christine Bachiller-Serrano: Ms. V,

    Hello! Just want to ask how many tablespoon will i put for bathing,..?!

    Thanks,
    Christine September 16, 2013 at 6:46am Reply

    • Victoria: About 1/4 cup should be good or 3-4 tablespoons. It depends on how strong the rosewater is. September 16, 2013 at 4:52pm Reply

  • Rita Khatun: What lovely suggestions you have! The rose tea with apricot jam sounds divine. Now I want to add rosewater to everything! I have a question about making a toner. Is it one tbsp per cup of water ? Thank you! December 7, 2013 at 12:45am Reply

    • Victoria: Rita, yes, one tablespoon would be enough. Glad that you liked the suggestions! :) December 8, 2013 at 5:58am Reply

  • Satia: While at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, an Ayurvedic teacher said you can spray rosewater in your eyes when they feel dry, even if you are wearing contact lenses. She did it in the class. January 17, 2014 at 6:00pm Reply

  • Ali: Fab post! Inspired me to make rose water and coconut milk porridge with chia seeds and lashings of honey! So tasty! March 27, 2014 at 4:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: It sounds so delicious, Ali! I love the texture of chia seeds, and I can just imagine how delicious this combination turned out to be. March 27, 2014 at 4:26pm Reply

  • Subhra Subhadarsini: Hi. I am an indian and here we use rose water in food, skin care, cleansing and almost everything. Its available in almost every general or drug store here and is quite cheap, like 250 ml @ 55 INR. I so loved this article. I had never thought rose water could be used on bedsheets and I am going to try it tonight :)
    Here are some more uses of rosewater which I always do :
    1. When some dust particle falls into the eyes or the eyes are irritated or reddened put 1-2 drops of rose water and close the eyes for a minute. It might hurt a little on the first use but has got no harm. It refreshes the eyes and gives a glow.
    2. When liquid makeup dries, rosewater can dilute them. Add a few drops of rosewater, close the cap of the makeup bottle n shake it a little. The makeup is as good as new. But don’t add too many drops of rosewater as it may overdilute it. I always do it with liquid eyeliner and foundation.
    3. Rosewater is an excellent toner. Add a little bit of camphor or mint leaves to rosewater and use it as an astrigent.
    4. Mix rose water and olive oil together to make a moisturiser and use it every night after cleansing face. Regular use gives a glow to the skin. My mom has been using it and I have seen the visibility of fine lines too though it takes a long time and patience.
    5. Use rose water to soothe sunburn skin.
    6. Mix rosewater with honey and lemon juice and apply on skin to remove suntan. April 24, 2014 at 3:20am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much for these terrific tips. I especially like the idea of using rosewater to soothe skin after too much sun. April 24, 2014 at 5:05pm Reply

  • Diana Spivak: The rose fragrance is one of my favorite, along with gardenia and jasmine. I remember my mom and grandmother use cotton soaked in rose water for puffy eyes!

    I, however, am using it in a martini with made with grapefruit, St. Germain, and vodka. I can definitely taste and smell the rose water, and it is exquisite. I purchased the rose water at Whole Foods, which carries an organic Bulgarian rose water. Glad I found your post because I didn’t know where to buy the rose water. Thank you! Beautiful pics and info! August 15, 2014 at 3:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for these extra ideas! I love collecting new rose inspirations. :) August 16, 2014 at 10:43am Reply

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