Spoil yourself: homemade rosewater

I got a massage last summer where the masseuse ended the session by spraying homemade rosewater on my face - the smell and freshness was instantly uplifting, and I made a mental note to myself to get some of that goodness to use on a daily basis. Months later, when scanning through my pantry, I came across a bag of organic dried rose petals which reminded me of that massage session, and on  a whim, I decided that my pathophysiology case study and diabetes project would have to wait - it was now the time to make rose water (there are infinite ways to procrastinate, it seems).

The past few months have been overwhelming. Between work, grad school, and settling into our new place (which has been quite the process - the movers damaged half our stuff), I have been craving some downtime - a quiet space, unplugged, with simple luxuries to help me rebalance. Being so close to the mountains has been a blessing, and spending time in nature almost every weekend has kept me sane. But for the days that I am not able to make it more than a few feet away from my computer (alas, there are too many of those), simple projects like making this homemade rosewater have been a good way to recharge and spoil myself in the simplest of ways.

I'll be honest, I had never made rose water before, and I totally improvised. However, the results were wonderful (and my kitchen never smelled so lovely). I ended up with a little under 2 small jars (this size) of beautifully-scented, ruby-colored liquid that I have since used as a face toner, a room spray, and even added a few drops to my morning oats. You can add some to your bath,  homemade cosmetic products, and baked goods. If you are a fan of rosewater, I urge you to give this project a go - it's an uplifting and easy DIY project.

A few notes before I share the recipe: I used dried red petals, which is what gave the water this glorious color. However, please note that this can and will stain your clothes and furniture if you are not careful where you spray (it may also give your face a bit of a "rosy" hue - pun intended!). Pick up light/white colored petals if you want to avoid this issue. Also, please do buy organic roses - conventional ones have been sprayed with all sorts of chemicals that you don't want anywhere near your face or food (these chemicals are not even food-grade, so not safe to eat). A good source for organic rose petals and other goodies is Mountain Rose Herbs (love them!).


  •  1 cup dried, organic rose petals. For a more intense smell use up to 1.5 cups.
  • 2.5 cups filtered water


  1. Add the water and petals to a small saucepan. Bring the liquid to a very low simmer. Cover the saucepan, and let "cook" for about 20-25 minutes (let your nose be your guide). Turn off the heat and let the mixture sit for another 20 minutes to further infuse.
  2. Strain the petals from the liquid into a jar or other storage container. There you have it, fresh, homemade rosewater.
  3. Since this is a fresh product with no preservatives, store in the fridge once it has been brought down to room temperature if you do not plan on using it right away.  I have stored them in mason jars, and also in this spray bottle.

NOTE: I have found other, more "advanced" methods of making rose hydrosols such as this one which you might want to explore if you are feeling more adventurous.