parfum1How to Make an Herbal Hydrosol/Floral Water

In the last post we talked about herbal hydrosols – how they are created and what they are used for. Normally hydrosols are created when an essential oil is distilled. But did you know there is a relatively easy way you can create an herbal hydrosol at home in your kitchen?

It won’t be exactly the same as what you would get if you were using a giant, temperature-controlled distiller on a timer, but it’s a nice substitute that will still be infused with the wonderful fragrance of the herbs or flowers you’re using and many of the benefits. And it’s super simple to make! You’ll find that making a hydrosol at home adds wonderful fragrance to your entire home. Once it has cooled, you can put it in a spray bottle and spritz it where ever you like! Try spritzing on clean bed sheets for heavenly sleep… or your closet, laundry room, bathroom, or living room.

It’s wonderful to use as natural fragrance instead of today’s toxic, chemically scented perfumes and colognes.

You can also use hydrosols for specific purposes, like pet care, because hydrosols are not as concentrated as essential oils and are often better tolerated by small animals.

I got this recipe from Kami McBride at

Making An Herbal Hydrosol

  • Put a 5 gallon enamel pot on the stove and put a brick in the bottom of the pot

  • Pour enough water into the pot so that the water comes to just below the brick, do not completely submerge the brick in the water
  • Add five handfuls of aromatic herbs to the water. You can use one herb or several depending on what you have available. Some of the aromatic herbs that can be used for making hydrosols are; rosemary leaf, sage leaf, thyme leaf, eucalyptus leaf, lavender stem, leaf and flower, lemon balm leaf, lemon verbena leaf, mugwort leaf and flower, orange peels and rose petals. All of these plants can be used in either fresh or dried form
  • Put a stainless steel metal bowl on top of the brick inside the pot
  • Put the lid on the pot, except put the lid on upside downward so that the top of the lid is pointing down into the inside of the pot
  • steaming-pot

  • Empty three ice trays full of ice into the inverted lid that is on top of the pot
  • Turn the stove on low for ten to fifteen minutes or until all the ice melts in the lid, then remove the lid that is now filled with the melted ice and dump that water into the sink.
  • The plant oils will have precipitated into the metal bowl on top of the brick. Be careful to not let the melted ice water drip into the bowl. Let the smell from the plant oils that have been captured in the bowl waft through your house. Take the liquid that has settled into the metal bowl and put it into a sterilized mason jar or a spray bottle. You now have an herbal hydrosol! Easy!

    Your herbal hydrosol is stable for six months to one year (but it’s best to keep it refrigerated). Spray the herbal hydrosol around the house, in your car or use it as a bathroom freshener.

    Here Are Some More Ways To Use Your Herbal Hydrosol

    Bathroom freshener

    One half cup eucalyptus hydrosol One half cup lavender hydrosol Put in a spray bottle

    Driving hydrosol (helps to keep you alert)

    One half cup orange peel hydrosol One half cup rosemary leaf hydrosol

    House cleaning hydrosol

    One half cup lavender hydrosol One half cup eucalyptus hydrosol

    This is a great disinfectant that can be used to wipe down counters and clean the shower

    Sleepy time hydrosol

    One half cup lavender hydrosol One quarter cup lemon balm hydrosol One quarter cup lemon verbena hydrosol

    Home made herbal hydrosols are an easy and inexpensive way to augment the use of aroma in your home. Let the healing pleasure of scent become part of your everyday life!

    Pet care hydrosol recipes coming soon.


    Making Herbal Hydrosol aka Floral Water at Home — 11 Comments

    1. I love this info! Its helps alot! Just got one question? I bought a distiller a glass one but small one with a condenser is this the right thing to make hydrosols with or am i fishing without bait?

    2. Liam,

      I’m not an expert at making hydrosols, so I don’t know for sure, but it sounds like it could work.

      Is there anyone out there who has more info and could comment?

    3. I’ve made some already and they brilliant! Such a freshness about them! I almost send my precious little baby back! But now im holding onto it! There is a chef that wants me to send him hydrosol sprays for his desserts! Well thanks for the encouragement, im staying on a full organic farm and we have a huge vegetable garden so i have alot to make hydrosol from! Im from south africa by the way

    4. Liam,

      Glad it worked! It sounds like your hydrosol turned out wonderfully!

      And, yummm, putting a sweetly-scented floral water/hyrosol in or on a dessert sounds exquisite!

    5. Its super! The chef calls it the science of cooking, got four orders for sprays already! Haven’t even started a business yet, hey all i can say is God is truelly faithful! He supplies our every need! I still would like any tips or advice you can give would be nice?

    6. What can I do with the water that I press out of the marc (the plant material)?

    7. Laura,

      If you mean the hydrosol water, you can spray it around the room for a delightful scent. You can breathe it in for therapeutic effects. You can spritz it on your clothes and linens. You can spritz it on your face to refresh yourself and hydrate your skin, and spritz it on your arms and legs, as well. There’s an endless amount of things you can do with it!

    8. about 4 oz. rose petals in 4 cups water yielded less than a quarter cup of hydrosol. I could tell the process was done, because I started to smell the roses burning. The remaining water was trapped in the petals and I pressed out maybe a cup of dark red liquid. It is this liquid I’m wondering what to do with. I went ahead and further distilled this can got even less hydrosol out of it. You could say I even cheated and added a couple more cups of water to try to get more goodies out of what was still in the pot, which is just getting thicker and darker.

    9. Laura,

      Roses do not produce very much essential oil. The reason Rose oil is so expensive is because it is among the most expensive of the aromatic oils to produce. For one, it is very labor-intensive to extract. The second reason is that it takes over 200 pounds of rose petals to produce one ounce of rose oil – that’s over 60,000 roses!

      So don’t be discouraged if you don’t get very much. I don’t know that much about oil distillation, but I found an article on How to Extract Oil From Dried Rose Petals at Home. Extracting oil from fresh rose petals is much better than from dried.

      Although, there should be more hydrosol than there will be essential oil.

      It sounds like you are using red roses to get rose water. Rose water and essential oil are not normally produced from red roses. The varieties used for rose water or oil are the pink Bulgarian Rosa damascena (high in citronellol) or the Morrocan Rosa centifolia (high in phenyl ethanol), used in Turkey. They are very different in color, aroma and therapeutic action.

      The Rosa centifolia is the one used for perfumes due to its clear and sweet, honey-like fragrance, while the Rosa damascena has historically been used for both perfume and therapeutic purposes.

      I’m not sure what kind of roses you are using, but I don’t know if you can get the same results at home as with professional equipment.

      If the water is getting thicker and darker, it sounds more like it is turning into tea. That could be because it wasn’t distilled long enough at a low enough temperature, or it’s just the wrong variety of rose.

      There are instructions here on how to extract oil from roses using oil:

      There is another very interesting article here about Oman’s Rose Water in Jebel Akhdar

    10. Hey its me again! Hydrosols are amazing really! I made a cinnamon one its incredible! But don’t spray your face! It’ll burn ur eyes! The options for hydrosols are endless! Im planning to make a hydrosol from propolis its a very healthy substance that bees use to seal there hive with and its used in some toothpastes and in surgery sterilizing

    11. Liam, I keep 12 hives of bees too and am wondering if you have successively made the hydrosol with propolis? And how you plan to use it? Sounds really interesting!

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