Our grandmothers knew about roses. Many old fashioned roses had a beautiful spring fragrance. Of course, they did not bloom all summer, so Grandmother had to capture the rosewater and essential oils before they stopped blooming. Roses have been bred to bloom longer, but many have lost their fragrance. The intoxicating fragrance of old fashioned roses (Rosa damascena) is not only lovely to smell, it is also good for your skin. Even the left over
water from heating the rose petals in water, called Rosewater, is good for your skin.

They created rose absolute by steaming the petals of their favorite fragrant roses and collecting the fragrant water with the oils from the petals suspended in it. When the water is evaporated and the oil is collected it is essential oil. It takes bales and bales of rose petals to make even an ounce of essential oil. That’s why rose essential oil is sold for about $300-$500 per ounce. Grandma probably couldn’t make essential oil, but the rosewater helped to purify
her skin, remove dirt and oils and kill germs. It did all that without drying out her skin. Rosewater is very good for rejuvenating and cleansing skin. And it will help you to fall asleep if you use it before going to bed.

Distilling rose petals to collect their essential oils is the method most commonly used. Added to skin toners and lotions, Rose essential oil has antioxidant qualities that strengthen skin cells. Rose essential oil and rose absolute open skin cells to absorb more healthy ingredients such as oils and emollients.

Rose essential oil helps acne by cleansing the site without drying it out. The essential oil can be used by dabbing on a drop mixed with coconut oil. Use only a tiny amount of oil and dab it on with clean tipped swab. Because of the high price of the essential oil, rosewater may also be used. Dab rosewater on directly with no oil.

Rose essential oil is a strong antidepressant and some consider it an aphrodisiac. It creates a pleasant euphoria for most of us. That’s why we love to walk in rose gardens and through rose covered arbors. Splash rosewater on after a bath, or spray it onto a pillow, or towel.

Pure Rosewater adds a wonderful fragrance to iced tea, or mix a little into whipped cream and top off your favorite dessert. It is a wonderful addition to jellies and fruit compotes.

Our grandmothers were able to use their own roses to improve their complexions and their recipes. Now rosewater is available in health food stores and other markets. Essential oils are becoming increasingly rare and expensive, but I love to use a little in my lotions and toners. I also grow old fashioned roses to make my own rose products.