Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Rose Water

I love the smell of roses. As a child I tried to make rose perfume as a present for my Mum's birthday. I systematically picked the most fragrant rose petals to be found in her garden & carefully added them to a jam jar of tap water. Two weeks later there was a jar of yellowish, scummy, not so fragrant 'perfume'. I don't really recall my Mum's reaction! (This is what I should have done...)

A very confused rose in our chilly October garden...

On the whole, rose perfumed products tend to smell fake to me. The intense smell of essential rose oil is amazing but the prices put me off. I think that the next best thing is rose water. It is a by-product from the essential oil process, it's much cheaper & it smells wonderful!


I get my rose water from the shop at the end of the road. It's about £2-£3 for 330ml.  I use it in lots of different ways. Here are my top ten...

10. Added to meringues (replace 1 egg white with 1 teaspoon rosewater & 1 teaspoon water)

9. Folded into whipped cream (really good with strawberries)

8. Sometimes I splosh it into the ironing water (only for my clothes- Mr TH isn't as keen!)

7. Add it to smoothies (no recipe here, just whatever potential is lurking in the fridge/freezer)

6. I add it to white wine & soda (it's also good with fizzy water & cucumber)

5. On a really hot day add a few cap fulls to a small spray dispenser & use as a facial spray (or the rest of the year as a toner- add a bit of Witch hazel too if wanted)

4. For decadence a few cap fulls in a warm bath is wonderful (sometimes I do a 'Cleopatra' & add a paste of water & milk powder too)
  
3. I put about 2-3 teaspoons of rose water & the same of honey on about 6-8 sticks of chopped rhubarb to roast it (the combination is so good that I can no longer cook rhubarb any other way)

2. If I want an instant smile or pick-me-up, I unscrew the cap & just inhale...

1. My most regular use of rose water is to mix with a teaspoon of ground almonds to make a facial scrub. I think it's much better than commercial scrubs because it isn't too abrasive, it moisturises your skin, it smells wonderful, I know exactly what's in it & it tastes good too.

Even with all these uses, a bottle tends to last me about 4-6 months.

This winter I'm going to try making Turkish Delight flavoured with rose water. I have the recipe ready & fully intend to get started one cold, damp evening.

What do you use rose water for?

10 comments:

Rachel said...

Take a can of mango slices in syrup and beat up in a blender, then pour into the ice cream maker. About half-way through, add a splash of rosewater...

noknittedknickers said...

Not a huge fan, but absolutely love rhubarb, so I may just have to try your rhubarb/rosewater/ honey delight. (I usually use freshly grated ginger and the juice and rind of an orange to stew rhubarb.) C.x

Claire said...

A splash is nice in the icing for a plain vanilla cupcake. Or rose flavoured marshmallows. Or in Keskul (Turkish dessert). I love the stuff too.

Calico Kate said...

Will definitely look out for it now. Might have to wait for a trip to Glasgow, think it might be a bit too exotic for Lochgilphead! Such lovely ideas, thank you.
CKx

Tabiboo said...

I did exactly the same as a child. I'm not too sure if my mum was all that pleased I had plucked all the petals from her roses in exchange for a bottle of smelly water. She never said.

Nina x

litlove said...

This all sounds wonderful! I've never used rosewater, although I have looked at it longingly. I remember a baklava recipe I haven't made in an age that suggested the addition of rosewater if you had it to hand. I'd love to spray it on the sheets as they're ironed, too.

Thrifty Household said...

Thank you for the ideas- Mango & Rose ice-cream sounds particularly amazing! Baklava & Keskul too, where to start? Also good to know that my Mum wasn't the only, erm, 'lucky' (!?)recipient of homemade perfume.

Pomona said...

I use rosewater as cleanser and/or eye make up remover - I buy a litre at a time and it lasts forever. It is also soothing for children with hay fever eyes in the summer.

Pomona x

harmony and rosie said...

I used to use it years ago as a toner. I was thinking of rosewater just the other day, my girl is starting to think about skin care and although she's way too young, it crossed my mind that this one will eventually be top of the list!

katiecrackernuts said...

Lordy, these all sound wonderful uses of rosewater. I have a Turkish grocer near my work. I'll be ducking off at lunchtime one day soon.

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