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.