Hydrosol – Flower essences
Maybe you have heard it mentioned in the ingredients of a face mist or room spray. Well, it certainly has a place there, because hydrosols can freshen up your complexion and your home!
Hydrosols are the delicious aromatic waters that are created during steam distillation of essential oils.
Hydrosols are different in their healing properties than aromatherapy spritzers where essential oils are simply added to water. This is because in addition to small amounts of essential oil, hydrosols also contain water soluble healing compounds. Among these compounds are plant acids which lend themselves beautiful as toners for the skin. Hydrosols are generally considered to be gentler and safer to use than their essential oils counter parts.
Hydrosols, also known as floral water or hydrolats, are the byproduct of the essential oil distillation process.
They’re made of plant constituents, traces of essential oil and filtered water, which is what gives them their heavenly aroma.
Hydrosols are primarily composed of hydrophilic plant compounds and contain less than .02% of essential oil. Because it’s water-based, you don’t need to dilute them any further before applying.
You can use aromatic as well as non-aromatic plants when creating your homemade hydrosol. But given the choice between the two, why wouldn’t you choose something that smells divine? Some of the most popular hydrosols are made with aromatic plants, including:
- Orange blossom
There’s plenty of room for creativity. It’s common to add Thyme, Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Mints and other types of ingredients for the best possible outcomes.
Hydrosol uses include:
- Effective facial toners for skin care
- Wound healing
- Anti-inflammatory, cooling
- Skincare products: Serve as hydrating components in a product, e.g. cream, cleanser, etc.
- Safe for infants and young children in baths (1 tbsp) or spritzers
- Skin inflammation
How To Make Your Floral Perfume
To begin, grab a large stock pot and domed lid, a smaller heatproof bowl (such as a liquid measuring cup), some water, a bag of ice, and the rosemary, mint and grapefruit peels. You can use fresh or dried herbs, just be sure to buy organic, pesticide-free material whenever possible because you’re using it on your skin.
Place the heatproof bowl in the middle of your pot, arrange the herbs and fruit around it, and pour in your water. Now turn the lid upside down and place it on top of your pot with the handle directly over the smaller bowl. Put a bag of ice on top of the lid, then bring the water inside to a simmer.
Let the water simmer for about 25-30 minutes, replacing the ice periodically when it melts. As the steam rises in the pot, it will condense on the lid and drip down to the handle into the heatproof bowl, bringing good things from the herbs along with it!
Once you are finished simmering, remove the pot from the heat and take out the smaller bowl to let the aromatic water cool. Pour the cooled water into a darker colored, glass misting bottle and enjoy your new naturally scented perfume.
To keep the hydrosol from spoiling, store it in a cool location away from direct sunlight (the refrigerator is perfect). Your homemade hydrosol should last for between 8 and 18 months.