Max and I bought a home! We are all moved into our new place—a classic mid-century with lots of “projects” in Marin, CA (aka a fixer upper). We were sad to leave Oakland and are still adjusting to the change, but we love the serenity and nature in Marin. There are golden hills with hiking trails just a 5 minute walk away, a family of deer that regularly wander through the neighborhood and we finally have our own backyard.
One of the previous owners of our home must have loved roses, because we seriously have 30 bushes in every shade of red, pink, coral and peach you could imagine. In the evenings, when things cool down, I like to wander barefoot through the garden and cut fresh roses for the house. I love how colorful and fragrant they are, especially as everything else seems in disarray.
As a zero waster, I got to thinking—what other use could I have for the abundance of roses in our yard? There are lots of uses for rosewater in cooking and skincare routine. In fact, on a recent trip to LA to visit some friends, I had this amazing rosewater pressed juice mixed with pineapple, beet, and lemon. Never mind that it cost $12, I totally deserved it.
But, back home, a $12 rosewater habit isn’t very sustainable (financially), and besides, I have a ton of rose bushes just outside dropping their petals everyday. So I went to work.
I picked a variety of roses (about 6 total) washed them and plucked the petals. You’ll want to choose roses that are fully opened (not tightly closes buds) but haven’t dropped their petals yet. Also, you want to make sure they weren’t sprayed with pesticides. If you want a deeply pink rosewater, choose darker colored flowers—deep reds and pinks. The lighter color flowers will produce a paler color tincture.
I put the rosewater in the fridge overnight and in the morning added it to a juice with beet, orange, lemon, ginger and carrot. It was floral and spicy and super refreshing. I think I’ll call it my Rosy Glow Juice.
I am going to experiment with using the rosewater for some skincare applications as well and will share the recipes soon. Rosewater is anti-inflammatory and reduces redness and heals acne. It’s also full of antioxidants and helps tighten pores and reduce fines lines. Right now I’m thinking about using it to make toner, lip balm and perfume.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 5-6 roses, fully opened
- Wash roses and pluck petals, compost leaves and stems.
- Place petals in a pot and cover with 1-2 inches of water so petals are submerged.
- Boil for 15-20 minutes until petals loose their color.
- Strain rosewater (removing the petals) into a glass jar with lid and place in fridge to cool.