TAKE TIME TO SMELL THE home­grown roses

Cel­e­brate the scent of the rose and cre­ate your own sig­na­ture per­fume, skin soft­en­ing bath prod­ucts, and more.

NZ Gardener - Gifts from the Gardens - - Natural Gifts -

Rose colour is strongly cor­re­lated with the rose smell, writes Anna from The Smell of Roses (thes­mellofroses.com). “Gen­er­ally, roses with the best scents have darker colours, more petals, and thick or vel­vety petals. Red and pink roses of­ten smell like what we think of as a “rose”. White and yel­lows of­ten smell of vi­o­lets, nas­tur­tium, and le­mon. In­tense yel­low and or­ange roses of­ten smell of fruits, nas­tur­tium, vi­o­lets, and clove.”

If us­ing rose petals to per­fume home­made beauty prod­ucts, use the most scented you can find. Pick them in the early morn­ing as that's when the scent is at its most strong­est.

To make rose and vanilla per­fume you need • 2 vanilla pods • 1 cup dried rose petals • 70ml vodka • 15ml rose­wa­ter • 10 drops rose gera­nium es­sen­tial oil • 10 drops vanilla es­sen­tial oil (not the vanilla ex­tract used in cook­ing)

• 10 drops pet­ti­grain es­sen­tial oil

• 5 drops ylang-ylang es­sen­tial oil

Crush the vanilla pods and steep with the rose petals in a glass jar with the vodka for 1 week. Strain the vodka and add the rose­wa­ter and es­sen­tial oils and mix well. Pour into a bot­tle and leave for 1 month to al­low the per­fume to de­velop. Strain again, then pour into a dec­o­ra­tive per­fume bot­tle. Make dou­ble or triple batches to al­low for gifts.

You can also make your own rose­wa­ter by steam dis­til­la­tion or hot wa­ter in­fu­sion. For the lat­ter method, place a good amount of freshly picked rose petals in a dou­ble boiler and cover with wa­ter. Heat over a low to medium heat and lightly sim­mer (don’t boil) un­til the petals lose their colour. Re­move from the heat and al­low to cool. Strain into a ster­ilised jar and store in the fridge.

Rose­wa­ter makes an ex­cel­lent gift, es­pe­cially if you in­clude a note with in­struc­tions for this DIY face mask.

In a glass bowl, com­bine

3 tea­spoons rose­wa­ter,

½ ta­ble­spoon ben­tonite clay and 1-2 drops of laven­der es­sen­tial oil. Ap­ply to face and al­low to dry be­fore wash­ing off.

The most pow­er­ful rose scents are pro­duced by the first blooms of sum­mer, and the strong­est early in the morn­ing. That’s when to pick your roses.


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