~ Christopher Marlowe
One of the quintessential symbols of Valentine’s Day is the rose. A perennial within the Rosaceae family, this flower has been here on planet earth for 35 million years. That number is based on fossil records, thus, more than likely the rose has been here much longer. Prized and revered in Islam, the rose has been used by many civilizations from fragrant pomades, edible delicacies and elaborate gardens.
The natural botanical perfumer has quite a array of rose essences available to us, from many different parts of the globe, including Bulgaria, Turkey, China and India. We obtain the essential oil of Rose by distilling rose petals. It takes over 60,000 petals of roses to obtain 1 ounce of the essence, this is why the cost of this gem is so steep. There are also specific essential oils that can add a rosey quality without necessitating the real deal. These include: Rose Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), HoWood or an ethically sourced Rosewood, and dilutions of Palmarosa (cymbopogon martini), Lemongrass and or Citonella.
~ William Carlos Williams
Here are a few recipes that utilize Rose Petals:
CRYSTALLIZED ROSE PETALS
Extra fine granulated sugar
Gather fresh rose petals, preferably on a sunny, dry day.
Gently wash them with spring water and allow to air dry.
In a small ceramic bowl beat an egg white until it foams and add a tiny amount of water, 1/2 tbspn at most.
Gently place the rose petals into the egg mix so that they are well coated. Remove one at a time, allowing excess egg to drip off.
Dust the petal on each side with extra fine granulated sugar.
Place each rose petal on a piece of wax or parchment paper and allow to dry.
Use these to decorate a cake. This recipe can be used with any edible petal of leaf.
ROSE PETAL TEA
2 cups freshly picked petals of dark red roses, washed
1 liter water
Place the flower petals in a teapot. Pour in the boiling water, cover and leave the tea to brew for 10 minutes. Serve this tea hot or iced, with honey to enhance the delicate taste.
ENGLISH ROSE TEA
1/2 cup dried red rose petals
2 tablespoons dried lemon balm
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
Mix well. Use 1 teaspoon for each cup.
Place clean, dry rose petals into honey, this is technically called a maceration. This will produce a heavenly treat that can be used on toast or to sweeten tea.
FLOWER PETAL BATH VINEGAR
Herbal vinegars are used in skin tonics, added to the bath, dabbed on sunburned face or pressed on to a throbbing headache.
1 cup of fresh petals or herbs of your choice
2 cups cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
Put flower petals or herbs into a large glass jar and pour in the warmed vinegar. Place on a windowsill in the sun or in some other warm place and leave there for 2 weeks, shaking the bottle well every day. Strain off the vinegar and store the sealed bottles. You can then increase the strength of the perfume by increasing the amount of herbs or flower petals used.
ROSE LOVE SACHET
Dried rose petals
and a small piece of Copal, ideally one that is heart shaped.
Put the following into some rose colored, breathable fabric and stitch together holding while holding your beloved and or thoughts of love in your minds eye.
ROSE PETAL COLOGNE
1 cup vodka
1 cup of dried mint
2 cups distilled water
2 cups of Rose petals
Combine mixture and leave covered for several days, gently shaking daily. Strain off liquid. If the fragrance is not as strong as you would like it to be, take the infused liquid and repeat the process until the fragrance is to you liking. Substitute lavender in place of rose petals for a nice variety.
Read about our Rosa Botanical Perfume dedicated to the California Native rose at this link here at the Journal.