Rose hydrolat (rose hydrosol) is one of the most versatile of all the pure flower waters. The aroma is quite delightful, exactly like the divine fragrance of the plant: rich, floral, sweet, uplifting, heavenly – simply beautiful. And it has almost universal appeal.
So how should rose hydrolat be used?
In aromatherapy circles, rose is associated with the heart, with the emotions (especially love and forgiveness), and with skin care; particularly skin that is showing signs of aging. So perhaps it is not surprising that rose hydrolat is a wonderful natural skin toner, especially useful for mature skin. But it can also be used for skin that is suffering from heat. In both cases simply spritz it onto the face a couple of times a day.
But because rose also has a cooling effect, it should be the hydrolat of choice for anyone experiencing hot flashes, or who is naturally inclined to sweating, or a red face.This ‘cooling’ influence also transfers itself to the emotions. Try using it for adolescent boys, whose moods are a little out of control…
Hydrolats are the ‘waters’ that result from steam distillation of plant material (in the case of rose it is the petals that are used). So hydrolats contain the water soluble essences of the plant. It is significant that they generally have a pH value of between 4 and 6. This means that they are very slightly acidic in nature, and are therefore perfect for skin care, because the skin in naturally slightly acidic. This so-called ‘acid mantle’ protects the skin from bacteria and fungus, and when the balance is upset, the skin’s natural functions are compromised. So ideally we want to maintain this balance, and many skin care products which are not pH balanced, actually have the opposite effect.
Have you noticed that if you bathe your face in water, afterwards it can feel a little tight? That is because water is pH7, which means it is neutral. However a quick mist of rose hydrolat will restore the skin to the correct pH, and it will feel natural again. A true hydrolat does not contain any preservatives or alcohol, although you may find additives in many store bought products. It is worth being aware of this, because man-made additives will obviously affect the therapeutic properties of the hydrolat.
As well as its direct application on the face, rose hydrolat can add a touch of luxury to water, especially on a hot day. You can add it according to taste, but just a little will be enough to create an effect.
Rose hydrolat is immensely romantic. Cleopatra loved rose and her palace was strewn with rose petals. You can emulate this by spraying your linen with rose hydrolat.