The first time I distilled these red roses, I was creating some content for our YouTube channel, Essential Oil Apothecary. I wasn’t sure I was in love with the scent of tea roses and decided to distill the rose petals with rose hydrosol I had done earlier in the spring while on the road. I liked the co-distillation but thought the flower deserved better and could be a beautifully scented hydrosol all on its own. I’m glad I decided to distill the flowers solo because it came out luscious.
I forage for these flowers in an area where I harvest white roses to distill (Rosa Alba). I live close to the outskirts of Sacramento so its easy to be out in the wilderness in no time to find Mother Nature’s little gifts. These flowers were originally someone’s carefully chosen cultivar but had been long abandoned. I cared for them over the last year while I plotted for my year of distillation 2022 and make sure they’re in the still within 30 minutes of harvest which, for delicate florals is no later than sunrise. One of the jewels of these rose distillations is the water left behind in the still which is the same rich color of the fresh flower. This leftover water is a treat for either the bath or a rinse for my hair. Work with this flower is truly the kind of sensory experience I began as a child “cooking” my mothers flowers. This rose hydrosol is pure floral luxury.