Floral Waters

Herbs infused in water will not keep, so some form of alcohol or oil must be employed in order to preserve the scent. Use alcohol for a stronger scent. A floral water can be made with a strong infusion, adding 20 percent by volume of a 90% proof alcohol (ethyl alcohol) or 30% by volume of a 60% proof alcohol such as vodka.

Do It Yourself Floral Water
Like aftershaves, floral waters and splashes are weak tinctures of herbs, sometimes with an extra boost of essential or fragrance oils.

Base:
Grain alcohol, witch hazel, glycerin

Add herbs and/or essential oils:
Some suggested herbs -
Floral herbs such as: Lavender flowers, rose petals; Citrus herbs such as: orange or lemon peels

Instructions:
Basically, you're making a weak tincture of herbs that either smell nice together, or are beneficial to the skin. Choose your herbs, just enough to loosely fill the bottom 1/2 of a jar, pour grain alcohol and/or witch hazel to cover the herbs. Cover and place in a dark fairly cool place. Shake the jar once or twice a day for 2 - 3 weeks. Strain out herbs; if desired add eo or fo. Add distilled water to fill the remainder of the jar, shake to mix well, and decant into a dark glass bottle.
Susan Couvia

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Floral Water Recipes

Lavender Water
1 cup lavender flowers, scented rose petals or orange blossom.
1/4 cup ethyl alcohol at room temperature.
Steep for 6 days in a screw-top jar, shakeing vigorously each day.
Strain and Decant into a dark glass bottle.
(referenced from the "Complete book of herbs")
Kathy Petal Pusher

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Rosewater
It is so easy to make rosewater, I wish I would have known about it before.
This is how I do it.
Use a one quart canning jar and fill it with rose petals. Add 1/3 cup or slightly less Everclear (190 proof alcohol from liquor store - you might know about this but I didn't), and fill the remaining space with distilled water or tap water. (I am trying my well water to see if I really notice a difference. So far I don't.) Set it out in the sun and stir a couple of times a day, or more often if you are like me and can't resist opening it up and checking it. I have been making mine pretty strong, so it takes a couple of days sitting out on our south facing deck. You can remove rose petals as they become very pale or as they sink to the bottom and add more rose petals as space allows or to strengthen the rosewater as you like it. When it is as I want it I strain it through a cheesecloth and then I am going to start freezing some for future use. I am keeping mine pretty strong at this point because I can dilute it down later, and use less freezer space while storing.

Before using it you can add glycerine or even some other EO's to your taste. I started with just a teaspoon of glycerine and I am not adding anymore EO's because I like the sweet smell of just my roses. I found that after a day or two after it was done and left in the refrigerator the sweetness of the roses seemed to be stronger in the water. Just my opinion. One thing that I noticed with my first batch, which was quite strong, is that it might stain. I sprayed some in my bathroom sink to adjust the nozzle on my spray bottle. I didn't rinse the rosewater out and it left a stain that I had to use Ajax on to remove. I have also sprayed it on me and have gotten some on my clothes. So far I have not noticed that it stained my clothes but just be careful with it around fine fabrics until you know for sure.

This is really very simple, and I am told you can use it to mix your lye in for making soap. Haven't done that yet because I am skeptical that there is not a whole lot that can get by lye. I know that it would be a wonderful addition to lotions, creams, etc. Also, if and when I get enough lavender going I would like to try it with that. I tried it with some honeysuckle that I have but I really didn't think the fragrance of the honeysuckle came through pleasantly.
Jennifer

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Fragrant Waters
Materials:
Pretty bottle with top, as desired.
5 drops essential oil (orange, lavender, rose, etc.)
1 cup distilled water
1/8 cup vodka
Mixing jar with lid
Measuring Cup

1. Pour vodka in mixing jar, together with water and oil, swirling gently to mix ingredients.
2. Screw on lid and let jar stand undisturbed in cool, dark place for one week.
3. Into clean, pretty bottle, pour fragrant water to within 1 inch of lip, then replace top.

*Variation:
To make other bath waters, substitute drops of oil in desired fragrance, using recipe above. *To refresh water, add more drops of oil, as needed.
Peggy J. Dorton 5/15/98

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