Archive | March 2017

Roses ~ Used As Scent

Synopsis: See part I for the Rose species grown for scent by distillation or by solvent extraction ~ here we discuss how and why you use Rose oil and Rose hydrosol.

These lovely examples of absolutes shown have been supplied mainly by Eden Botanicals

 ROSES ~ How to Use Essential Oil /Hydrosol – Part 2 of 2

By Jeanne Rose ~ May 2017

 I am NOT writing about Roses that smell good or good smelling varietals; I am only talking about the antique Roses, heirloom Roses, species Roses, the real Roses that were used historically and are used now for distillation or solvent-extraction for scent and perfumery. These are 2 totally different matters.

If you will check any of my books you will find much information on the Roses that are grown for scent. Herbs & Things, p. 101; Herbal Body Book, p. 118-119; The Aromatherapy Book, p. 128-129; and 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, p. 132-134; and so, there is no sense in repeating that information here. We are discussing only heirloom or species Roses that are used for scent.


Common Name/Latin Binomial: Rosa alba (Rosa damascena alba) – White Rose • Bourbon Rose, R. x bourboniana (Edouard Rose) • Rosa x centifolia – Cabbage Provence rose or Rose de Mai (confused with the Kazanlik) • and Rosa damascena (Rosa damascena forma trigintipetala or Kazanlik Rose.

 Other Common Name/Naming Information:
Family: Rosaceae, are prickly shrubs, climbing or trailing and usually with deciduous pinnate leaves. A source of important essential oils that are used in scent-making, the herb leaves and petals used locally for both scent and medicine, especially useful as a cultivated ornamental. This family is associated with the Virgin Mary as well as the Rosicrucian’s…” though early Christians considered it decadent.

 Countries of Origins: When France had an extensive area for perfumery flowers, R. × centifolia was a Rose especial to the French city of Grasse, known as the perfume capital of the world. It is widely cultivated for its singular fragrance—clear and sweet, with light notes of honey. The flowers are commercially harvested to produce Rose oil, which is commonly used in perfumery.

Eden Botanicals Harvest Location:   Bulgaria, Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey are all prime locations for Rose growing and distilling. Eden has twelve different types of Rose oil to purchase.

Endangered or Not: There are some endangered and extinct rose cultivars including some of the Roses that we are discussing in this paper, but the species itself is not endangered. We, as people, just need to be growing the true perfume Roses rather than the cultivated Roses grown just for color or shape.


General description of Plant habitat and growth: The Rose has been developed and altered over thousands of years, there are thousands of cultivars and describing the original species is complex with the ancestry of these Roses inexact and disputed. Many horticultural schemes have been proposed. Wikipedia gives a rather simple description of the habitat and growth as …” A rose is a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are over a hundred species and thousands of cultivars. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colors ranging from white through yellows and reds” …, although the true scented Roses are generally white or pink except for Rosa gallica, the Apothecary Rose which is red.

Do not be confused by the pictures of Roses that any company uses when they discuss Rose oil; they are mostly showing you pictures of recent varietals rather than the ancient and true Roses that are grown and used for their scent.


Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields:

If you wish the correct Roses for use, please read

ROSE HARVEST ~ The ideal essential oil for delicate and mature skins, any organic Rose Essential Oil is captured through steam distillation each spring in Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco. “The methods used today are not entirely different than those employed many centuries ago ~ although, with the price of a kilo of oil in the thousands of dollars, one can be certain the science has advanced. Roses are hand-harvested in the early morning; the roses are distilled in copper stills by a water and steam process. Approximately 1,200 liters of water cover 150 to 300 kilos of roses, which float freely in the water. Direct steam injected into the water keeps them from forming a compact mass. The water is slowly brought to a boil and allowed to simmer for about 1½ hours. First, the “direct oil,” or Surovo Maslo in Bulgarian, is drawn off. Then the “first waters” of this and subsequent distillations are bunched and redistilled. This cohobation, as it is called, takes about 2½ hours. The top of the water is distilled off. It is a condensate called the “second water” and contains what is called the “water oil.” This oil is drawn off and the two oils, direct and water, are combined. The ratio, on average, is 25% direct oil to 75% water oil. It takes an average of 4,000 kilos of flowers to make 1 kilo of oil.” — Prima Fleur Botanicals

                  Flowers can also be treated by maceration with warmed fat (not oil) and will give the Pomades and Extraits de Rose.

The rose is an ancient flower that, among all flowers, has been the most treasured throughout history. With its many layers of silky petals, sensual colors, euphoric scent and deeply romantic history, Rose lifts the heart, inspires the mind, and restores the spirit.

Yield varies: 0.12% +. Some 3000 parts of flowers yield only one part of essential oil.

Biolandes Bulgarian Rose Oil Distillation

Distillation Tips: In June of 2015, we (Jeanne Rose and class) distilled 2.5 lbs. Roses (Rosa centifolia) that had been freshly picked on April 25, 2015, and then quick frozen. On June 13, 2015, the Jeanne Rose Distillation class then picked ½ lb. of Rose Geranium flowers, some Lemon verbena flowers, and leaves. These were all put together in the copper still with 3 gallons of water with the Roses freely floating and a distillation commenced. We kept the temperature of the flame on the low side to have a low and slow hydro-steam distillation. After 3 hours, we had 3 quarts of lovely Rose scented hydrosol.

When you distill, collect at the correct time, know what you are collecting and distilling

  1. Know Your Soil.
    2. Location, Location, Location.
    3. Water source and type.
    4. Choose the correct plant that will match the terroir.
    5. Harvest at the correct time of the year and the correct time of the day.
    6. Harvest the correct part of the plant.
    7. Choose a method of distillation and type of equipment that works for your plant.
    8. Choose whether you are distilling for essential oil or hydrosol.
    9. Distil with the art and craft of careful knowledge and many years’ experience.

Rose Distillation ~ My personal story. Over the years, I have grown a variety of different ‘old Roses’ – purely for the enjoyment of the scent and visual joy of the colors and textures of the Roses. Lately, I have been harvesting and distilling my Roses for the exquisite Rosewater (Rose hydrosol) that is produced. The up side of harvesting and distilling my own Roses is that I have the rosewater for my use for the following year. The down side is that to obtain enough Roses for the distillation, every single Rose bud, and Rose petal from every bush must be picked at the correct time of year and early on the morning of the distillation to have enough roses for the distillation to proceed.  It takes three people one hour to pick every rose that is available in my small city yard. This is approximately 2 lbs. of Rose buds and petals. Of course, that means, that there are no more Roses for at least 3 days.

“The distillation proceeded normally. All the Roses were picked – 2-3 lbs.; they were placed in the copper still on a raised grate, and up to 3 gallons of spring-water was added slowly, enough so that the Roses floated freely. The heat was turned on and gradually raised until the distillate began to come over. The condensate was collected until 1-1.5 gallons was collected (or a vegetative note is detected). We allowed the Rosewater to cool naturally, before bottling it into sterile containers. We hope for another good year.” —JeanneRose Distillation

Many of these lovely examples shown have been supplied by Eden Botanicals and 3 by Prima Fleur
You can see the crystals in the steam-distilled oils on the right side.
From left to right: 1) a synthetic from 1973 * THE ABSOLUTES ~2) Rose de Mai extract, 3) Rose de Mai concrete, 4) Rosa bourboniana-1995, 5) Damask Rose-1995, 6) Rose Abs – Turkey., 7) Rose Abs – Morocco, 8) Rose trilogy (Abs. from Bulgaria/Morocco/Turkey), 9) Rose de Mai (R. centifolia) Abs. Egypt, 10) Damask Rose Abs. Bulgaria •  THE STEAM-DISTILLED OTTO OR EO ~  11) Rose from 1930 – France, 12) Rose centifolia from Russia, 13) Damask Rose organic – Bulgaria, 14)Damask Rose – Bulgaria, 15) Rosa damascena EO 1995 – Bulgaria, 16) Damask Rose – Turkey, 17) Rose species unknown enfleurage in jojoba, 18) Rose-unknown species from Turkey.


This is a very difficult chart to have designed and written, but it is very complete as to what you should expect when you purchase the different Rose oils. The absolutes are red or dark, while the steam-distillates are colorless and should be crystallized at room temperature (look at them first thing in the morning before you touch them). It also includes my 1930 Rose oil and a synthetic Rose from 1973. Scent is very important – please do not be deceived and think you will be able to purchase truly rose-scented lotions or soap or products ~ those prices would be out of one’s budget. A 4-oz. soap would cost about $50 if it were made of true Rose.

Crystal = crystallized
Org. = organically grown

ODOR DESCRIPTION/ AROMA ASSESSMENT: Using the “Basic 7 – Vocabulary of Odor” © that I developed many years ago, I looked at the organoleptic qualities of 20 different named types of Rose oil, from a 40-year old synthetic to a 90-year old French oil and absolutes and essential oils from 1995-2016; 20 different types total. I have more, but this is a representative sample of the scent of Rose. Rose oil or absolute are all varying degrees of Floral, Woody and Fruity notes, sometimes the Floral predominates and sometimes the Woody predominates, and the absolutes often have a Spicy back note. One of these oils also had a green or mint-like odor to it.

If your Rose oil smells soapy it is probably a synthetic.

They are the same but have very distinct differences. My go-to scent for comparison is the 1930 Rose Oil which smells like the species Roses that I have grown and known. I looked at and analyzed the Rose from five different companies including Eden Botanicals (retail), Prima Fleur Botanicals (skin care and wholesale), a lovely Rose from a Turkish company with no name on the bottle, Veriditas Botanicals, and an enfleurage from Scents of Knowing. These oils represented five different countries; Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Morocco, and Turkey. Remember that the absolutes are best in perfumes, applications, and products while the Otto’s, the steam-distilled Roses are probably best used with discretion in blends for inhalations or therapeutic uses.

The gold standard of the Scent of Rose is best exemplified in the Rose from France, distilled sometime around 1930. There is a wonderful story with this Rose that I have given at the end of this article. The scent is sweetly floral, with a soft woody subsidiary note and a fruity back note. It smells just like the species Rose, Rosa centifolia, I have examined over the years. A true to the flower scent. During my classes here in San Francisco, I always let my students examine this scent and compare it to current odors for their personal comparison. I have also found out something that may be odd or just unique to me but the best time to perceive the true odor of something is in the morning when you and the air is fresh rather than the afternoon when your senses are dull or tired. Everything smells a wee bit off in the afternoon. Keep track of what things smell like and when you smell them and you too may find that this is important in your aromatherapy work.

There are very logical ways to describe odor, including the use of my charts and kits, called The Basic 7-Vocabulary of Odor© and The Advanced Circular Vocabulary of Odor© and these are available on my website. There are poetic ways to describe odor that are literate and beautiful but will not help you really understand that odor and there are business-like ways to describe odor used just to sell them. If you want to learn which of these lovely Rose odors you like the best, you should get several samples of different ones and choose for yourself. In quality Rose oils, there is no one oil that is better or worse, just those that you do not appreciate yet.

The Rose trilogy offered by Eden Botanicals is a lovely example of three Rose absolutes combined to make a scent that is truly evocative of a bouquet of Roses. Try it and use it.



The properties are slightly different for the different types. Solvent-extracts are used in perfumery and most product lines while the steam-distillate is used by inhalation or internally by ingestion for “problems of the heart”. Rose properties are that it is slightly astringent, tonic, analgesic, hypnotic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antitussive, and a mild laxative as an herbal tea.

            Properties and Uses (by IG = ingestion or IN = inhalation or AP = application): Used by Application the Herb is astringent and the EO is tonic, stimulant, emollient and cytophylactic (protects the cells against destruction which will aid in preserving the health of the skin).  By Inhalation the EO is astringent, antidepressant, and a soothing tonic stimulant, and relaxant. Rose is often used for chronic bronchitis and asthma, as a respiratory relaxant.

            Physical Uses & How used (IG or AP): Physically by Application in cosmetics, skin care, and body-care products, and home pharmaceuticals.  Some use Rose Abs with Sandalwood as an underarm deodorant. I feel that this is a waste of the Rose and it can be better used in facial care products or EO by Ingestion for menstrual problems, frigidity, the reproductive system, and impotence. Only a drop in a complementary herbal capsule (Hawthorn for the heart, Vitex agnus castus for the female reproductive system) is needed and used only 3 times per day for no more than 5 days. Rose oil can allay frigidity, impotence, and sexual weakness. 

Diffuse/Diffusion: Any combination of essential oils that you formulate with Rose Abs. can be diffused. Often the scent in the air from these mixtures is very relaxing and soothing. Personally, I prefer Rose absolute plus Spikenard EO and then double the amount of a high-altitude Lavender EO ~ this makes a quite lovely combination of scent with low viscosity to put into your diffuser. Use it only for 15 minutes on and 45 minutes off for a scent quality in the air that will enable relaxation and a quiet mind.


Emotional/Energetic Use by Application or Inhalation: Rose absolute can be used by Application, a drop massaged on the temples to relieve a headache. If Inhaled it can relieve a headache and nervous tension, alleviate depression and anxiety, soothe emotions, such as shock or grief, and help one to overcome the fear of the unknown.  If applied on the wrist and inhaled during meditation Rose oil is used for harmony and balance. It gently heals emotional wounds.



There are many blends and applications you can use with Rose, just check your nearest ‘energetic’ aromatherapy book, or the formula books written by Scott Cunningham. A simple blend is one using a variety of base notes, as follows:

                                        Earth Mother ~ An oil blend used in ritual for psychic protection.
Use a combination of Patchouli, Rose, Spikenard, and Vetiver in any amounts. The odor is used for physical stamina and for sexual potency, (herb Patchouli is used in woolen clothes to deter moths). Rose we have discussed and it mixes well with these other essential oils. The Spikenard is the Mother of Scent and a great woman’s odor because of its reference in the bible. Mix these as a base note in all your female perfumes. Sandalwood can be substituted for Vetiver as a base note in men’s odors and is used for psychic protection.

                                                                                   Love Oils with Rose Otto
Rose Otto is another name for the essential oil or attar of Rose and is used for the body, usually taken by ingestion or by inhalation or in perfumery, while the Rose absolute is strictly in products for external care or by inhalation for the mind.  Rose Otto is for the body and Rose absolute for the mind.  I don’t really consider Rose to be an aphrodisiac although older men (over 50) seem to think it (the true Rose) is a fabulous odor on a woman and will often go ‘gaga’ over it. Try a blend of Rose absolute, Lavender absolute and Sandalwood or Neroli EO.

Triple Rose oil Potion
Take 5 drops of Rose absolute and mix with 5 drops of Rose essential oil and add 20 drops of Rosehip seed oil. Succuss thoroughly. Drink a cup of Rose petal Tea. Now draw a heart on the floor around you in Rose petals, and anoint yourself with the Rose Potion. Anoint a pink candle and light it. Anoint your clothes. Think about all those items that you wish or that you want or that are important to you. Close your eyes and bring in the Rose scent. Sit or stand in the center of your heart and expand your vision. Love? It will come to you.

Wish for only good and with no harm to come to others.


 Key Use: Perfumery & skin care. Oil of the Heart©.

 Historical Uses: A long vast history as perfumes, unguents, pomades, magic, and as medicine.

 Interesting Information: “Mystery of the Rose” was a powerful concept in Medieval times; the term ‘sub rosa’, that is, in private, comes from the tradition of putting a Rose above a council table where secrecy was expected, this possibly from the legend that Cupid gave Harpocrates, the god of silence, secrets, and confidentiality, a Rose to keep him from revealing Venus’s indiscretions. Herodotus, born 484 BC discussed double Roses.

The Emperor Nero built the Domus Aurea which is Latin for “Golden House”). It was a large landscaped portico villa that was built in the heart of ancient Rome, after the great fire of 64 A.D. had cleared away the aristocratic dwellings on the slopes of the Palatine Hill. It was built of brick and concrete and with murals and stuccoed ceilings that were covered with semi-precious stones and ivory veneer. Celer and Severus also created an ingenious mechanism, cranked by slaves, that made the ceiling underneath the dome revolve like the heavens, while perfume was sprayed and Rose petals were dropped on the assembled diners. According to some accounts, perhaps embellished by Nero’s political enemies, on one occasion such quantities of rose petals were dropped that one unlucky guest was asphyxiated.

 Contraindications: None known, although recently someone told me they were allergic to Rose but did not clarify if it was the plant or the scent. I believe that she had only smelled synthetic Rose and probably did not know the difference.

 Safety Precautions: None known.  Non-toxic.  Non-irritant.

                                                                                   HYDROSOL OF ROSE
Rose hydrosol is a timeless tonic. It is a very mild astringent and can be used as a light toner for extremely sensitive and mature skin. It is prized as a restorative for mature skin, but can be used on all skin types. Hydrosol uses of the Rose are innumerable. Everything that you can think of can be done with the Rose hydrosol.  It can be drunk, used in foods, cosmetics, and medicines. The best comes from the Rosa gallica. But this species is not much grown or distilled now.
And finally, the Medicinal Rose, Rosa gallica officinalis – Apothecary Rose, French Rose or Rose of Provins (distilled for Rosewater) was once was the principal Rose used for Rosewater in cosmetics and medicine, although now many distillers collect any of the ‘water’ of a Rose distillation. Some of this water has been cohobated to extract every molecule of the Rose oil and some has not. So, it is good to know your distiller, and to carefully read the bottle and ask questions. The most pungent and medicinally active hydrosol would be the one that has not been cohobated.
Production of Rose Otto is via water-steam distillation; Rose blossoms are added to water in the still for a water-steam distillation (Roses are soft and somewhat mucilaginous and stick together with just steam distillation). The water is brought to a boil, producing steam which percolates through the Rose mass. The steam produced is captured, condensed and collected where the water and the oil produced are separated.

“Cohobation is done to reclaim all the essential oil that is produced and not for extracting or reclaiming some chemical constituent that was not in the Hydrosol first time around. Following the first distillation of plant material, cohobation is done for extracting more essential oil from the oil-bearing waters as Rose oil is highly hydrophilic.” These types of ‘waters’/hydrosols come primarily from Rose Otto and Melissa distillations.


                              Uses for Rose Hydrosol/Rosewater:
            Cooling Mist: Keep in a bottle with a spray top. Have an extra bottle in your purse. Store any extra in the refrigerator Mist on face to cool skin and freshen up.
            Facial Toner: To 1 oz. of Rose hydrosol add a drop of Lavender or Rose essential oil and apply to your face with a cotton ball after you shower or wash your face to keep skin smooth and toned.
Clay Facial for Skin: Add 1 teaspoon of white clay to 1 tablespoon of Rose hydrosol and add 1 scant drop of Rose oil. Let it integrate, and apply the clay masque to your cleansed skin, let it dry, gently rub the clay off with fingertips, rinse thoroughly and follow with a Rosewater spray. This would be useful for any teenager, mother, man or young person as it is healing, tonic and adds suppleness to the skin.
            Sunburn Relief: Mix equal parts rosewater and Rose vinegar in a spray bottle and spray onto sunburned skin for relief.


Religious Uses of Rosewater: In Iran, rosewater is an abundant product of R. damascena which contains 10-50% rose oil. The most usage of Rose water is in religious ceremonies. It is used in mosques especially at mourning ceremonies, to calm and relax people. The highest quality rose water is produced in Kashan. Kaaba (God House) in, is washed yearly by unique and special rose water of Kashan. Rose water is also of high value in the food industry and some special foods are prepared using this product


Culinary Uses of Rose Hydrosol: Rose water or Rose oil is used in many cuisines, including the delicious treat called Turkish Delight.  There is also Ms. Rohde’s book, Rose Recipes with many ways to prepare Rose petals and hips. Rose petals are also delicious when mixed with Lemonade for a flavored pink drink for a hot summer day. This Rose Lemonade can also be made with Rose hydrosol. It is an excellent and tasty aperient for a child.
                        Rose Lemonade: Make 1 quart of Lemonade with organic Lemons, water and sugar to your taste. Add 2-4 tablespoons Rose hydrosol or 1 cup of an infusion of Rosa centifolia made with the petals and good water. Sweeten to taste. Fill beautiful crystal glasses with ice or ice made with champagne and pour over the Rose Lemonade.  This would be a good drink as an aperient for a child (not the one with the champagne) or for the woman in PMS or in menopause.

PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distil for a product by using plant material that is fresh.


                                                                               HERBAL USES OF THE ROSE:

Two kinds of dried flowers are produced in commerce. A) Dried bud which is mostly for export. B) Dried petals for different purposes; its major use is for eating, as it can solve problems with digestive system. Some Iranians eat the petals with yogurt. Another reason for drying petals is to store them when the distilleries cannot accept the whole produced flower anymore.

Use Rose petals whole or infused or macerated in herbal baths, herbal lotions, creams, unguents and just any way you can think of to prepare them. See my books for ideas. Rose hips also have great value and make a delicious syrup.


Hips, both dried and fresh hips of R. damascena are used in Iran both processed or not processed. Rosehips of R. eglanteria or any species Rose that produces big hips can be used as a tea, or syrup or processed for Rosehip seed oil. They contain a goodly quantity of vitamin C.

            Rosehip Syrup: This vitamin C herbal tonic is easy. Rose hips are the ripened fruit of the rose and contain the seeds for the growth.  You just must have the Rosehips and remember that they are ripe and ready for picking in the fall, when they are very red and beginning to soften. Take 2-4 cups of ripe Rosehips (probably picked toward the end of September). Twist off the dried flower ends.  Put them into a quart pot and add just enough water to cover them (2-3 cups).  Cover the pot and simmer gently until the hips are mushy (1-2 hours).  Mash them with a potato masher, simmer 10 minutes more to integrate.  Push this mush through a small Potato ricer or a chinois.  Put the strained liquid from the mash back into the pot and add an equal quantity of sugar (about 2 cups- 1 lb.). [IF you seeded and halved your Rosehips first you can make jam out of the mushy mash].  Simmer liquid and sugar gently until the sugar has dissolved which should take about 5-10 minutes. Let cool enough to use. Pour this into a wide-mouth bottle and add equal quantity, about 2 cups, of 90% Eau de Vie/Lemon Vodka/or like substance.  Eau de Vie works best because it tastes good with Rosehips, although you can use an ethyl alcohol like Everclear or neutral grain or grape spirits. Mix it well together. Label and date the product. Store this in the refrigerator.  This can be used throughout the year as a cough syrup, sore throat cure or the base for an herbal cordial. Take 1 teaspoon by mouth every hour or so to soothe the throat or a cough.

Rose Petal Laxative Tea. Rose petals are a gentle laxative (aperient) and particularly useful for children and the elderly. Make a mild Rose petal tea, sweeten with honey or mix it with Lemonade and enough honey to make it palatable. Drink several cups and soon it will work gently but efficiently. It is very useful on hot summer days in May and June. Use only the best medicinal Roses such as Rosa centifolia and Rosa gallica. …



 Sweet Bags to Lay with Linens for Sweet Odor

Take 8 oz. of damask sweet, scented Rose petals, 8 oz. of fresh crushed Coriander seeds, 8 oz. of crushed or powdered sweet Orrisroot, 8 oz. of dried and crushed Calamus rhizomes, 1 oz. of c/s^ Mace, 1 oz. of c/s^ Cinnamon bark, ½ oz. of crushed Cloves, 4 drams of Musk powder (try substituting Ambrette, the seeds of Hibiscus abelmoschus), 2 drachms* of white loaf sugar, 3 oz. of whole sweet Lavender flowers, and some Rhodium wood. Beat all together (mix altogether) and bag in small silk bags. —Mrs. Glasse. —from the Art of Cookery, 1784.

^ c/s = cut and sifted
*Drachm is a unit of weight that equals about 1/8 oz. by volume



Rose Skin Care & Acne Cream
Any mixture of vegetable oils or creams or lotions can be mixed 50% with Calophyllum oil. Then the essential oils are added at 2-10%.  Essential oils particularly useful are German Chamomile, Lavender, Rose Geranium and Rose and others.


Rose Skin Healing Lotion
Ingredients: In this formula, our ingredients will be as follows:
4 oz. by volume Rose or Rose Geranium hydrosol (or distilled water if you have no hydrosol)
¼ oz. by weight or more beeswax or Rose floral wax
½ oz. by weight or more of a combination of butters (Use Avocado, Coconut, Shea or other)
½ oz. by volume vegetable oil (Use Olive, Hempseed, Calophyllum or Sunflower oil)
8-10 drops Rose Absolute
6-8 drops Helichrysum EO

1. In a small 8 oz. Pyrex container, combine the oils and waxes. Stir the oils/waxes together to make sure they are evenly combined and heat gently until incorporated.
2. In a separate container, warm up the hydrosol or water. You want the temperatures of these two items to be similar so that they can be incorporated.
3. Begin stirring the oil/wax mixture with an immersion blender and add the hydrosol mixture slowly as you stir. You will see the mixture begin to thicken. Continue mixing until Rose Skin Care Lotion is fully formed.
4. Add the essential oils and continue to stir until thickened a bit. Pour into clean jars and allow to cool completely before capping.
5. Open only one jar at a time and to prolong shelf life, refrigerate the extra jars. Do use this lotion with a small wooden spatula or spoon rather than the fingers. This is to prevent the addition of fungal or bacterial agents to your lovely lotion.


Simple Rose Oil for Fine Skin Care ~ Normal Skin
40 drops Lemon/Clementine EO
20 drops Rose absolute
10 drops Spikenard EO – 10 drops
½ oz. Olive oil or other to fill a 1 oz. bottle
Succuss the essential oils, add the carrier oil and succuss again. Use by massaging a bit on your face in the morning after you have cleansed your face.  You can also apply a bit of Rosewater afterwards and massage this in.

Cammy Bath Herbs was #3 New Age Creations Formula. – Diaphoretic bath, helpful in losing skin impurities and possibly weight loss and contains Lavender to reduce puffiness, citrus buds for young looking skin, Rose buds for hydration, Chamomile flowers for youth and rejuvenation, Linden leaves for nerves, Calendula flowers as a diaphoretic and for skin inflammations. Take this bath for health and as a slight diaphoretic. Formula from Jeanne Rose Herbal Body Book. All books and courses available at
2 oz. Calendula flowers
2 oz. Chamomile flowers
2 oz. Lavender flowers
2 oz. Linden leaves and flowers
3 oz. Orange bud
3 oz. Rose bud
2 oz. Rosemary leaves
some Bay leaf
Mix these herbs all together and store in airtight container. When you wish a bath, take a large handful of the mixed herbs and bring to a boil in a quart of water. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Run your bath. Pour the herbal water into the tub, collecting the herbs in a porous container (pantyhose leg or muslin bag). Relax in the bath water for at least 20 minutes, wash and dry. This bath can be taken as often as you wish. This mixture makes 8 full baths.



             My class, about 15 people, all met in Napa, CA. at the grower’s home to harvest and distil Rosa centifolia. We went on a holiday weekend and many of us wanted to stay overnight to enjoy the beauty of the Napa Valley and eat at the wonderful Napa restaurants. We arrived by driving down a country road, alongside a beautiful field of blooming pink Cabbage Roses. Our distillation was in a kitchen in a small, lovely, old-fashioned farmhouse in the Valley. Everything in the house was decorated with Roses from the rugs and curtains to the towels and wall hangings.  Our hostess had prepared a delicious fresh Rose petal lemonade from her Roses and home-grown lemons and sweet fresh well water. She served this at the dining room table during a break in the distillation.

The air was heavy with the scent of Roses petals in a bowl and the odor of the distillation. On the dining room table was the rose-colored Lemonade from Rose petals in a rose pitcher with rose decorated plates, roses on the rugs, roses on the towels, rose paperweights, Rose everywhere and on everything. During a break in the class, while the men and I attended to the distillation, most of the women retired to the dining room and the Rose Lemonade. I had mentioned to my class that Rose tea was both somewhat hypnotic and even a bit trance-inducing and that too much would have a laxative effect. I don’t think that they much listened.

However, that tea was so delicious and the Roses odor in the air so entrancing that by the time I could take a break and have a glass of the Rose Petal lemonade, the women at the table had already started on their 2nd glass and were already overcome with the scent of the Roses. Their eyes were glazed over and they had silly expressions on their faces. I had to smile at their faces, they looked like what I imagined Alice might look in her travels to Wonderland.

I had the tea, then gathered up my ladies to complete the distillation. One of them told me that she was a bit nauseous and had to use the bathroom, I don’t think I saw her again. Others were quite sleepy. They were all looking rather ‘high’ and really relaxed. We finished the class, the only students that were now competent were a few men who helped me empty and clean the still outside in the fresh air, while the women were all looking rather Rose ‘stoned’ and were drinking more of the Rose-Lemonade. Powerful stuff that Rose Petal Lemonade.

Eight of us went to dinner while the others drove home. The reports I got later were quite amazing. One woman was driving and had a serious need to use the bathroom but the road ahead was flat with fields and wineries on both sides. She was desperate, saw a winery and had to rush into one of the winery’s outhouses. Two of the woman having dinner with me continually got up and went to the restroom, coming back looking rather dazed. One student had a rather unpleasant accident in her clothes as she was on the bridge on her way home. The woman who stayed in the same hotel as me told me the next day that she spent the night in the bathroom and felt ‘rather cleaned out’.

In the future, I suggest that if your teacher mentions to you that a substance is a laxative or aperient, that you listen and maybe not have that 2nd or 3rd glass of laxative tea ~ oops! I mean Rose petal tea or Rose-Lemonade. This was a lesson well-learned about the power of herbs.

Rose petal Lemonade ~ picture source is unknown


Rose 1930: The story of an old scent.
By Jeanne Rose with Judy Komatsu

In the early part of 1996, while preparations were underway to produce the first World of Aromatherapy Conference as the President of  NAHA, a fascinating letter arrived at my office describing a Rose oil that has been in the possession of one family since the early 1930s.  This prized possession was taken into bomb shelters with the family’s canary when the sirens went off in their town.  No other item was ever taken into the shelters and in the words of the family this is the story of this precious oil. This oil was sold to me and I still have it in my collection.

Dear Jeanne Rose,

            I would like to share a story with you that you may find interesting.  I grew up in a small German village.   During the war, in the early 30s when the air raid sirens went off, my parents would gather the children, the family canary and a wooden box with a handle on top and off we would go to the public shelter.  The shelter was only a block away, it was all made of stone and was several hundred years old.  I’m not sure, but I think it used to be a wine cellar.  It is still standing today.  While we waited out the raid my father would tell us stories, of his travels, of the world.  He had spent time in France in the early 3’s, before the war.

            It was during this time that he purchased one of his most prized possessions, several pints of Rose essential oil.  This was what was packed away in the heavy wooden box we took with us to the shelter.  It was the only valuable we took with us, and it came on every visit. As an adult, I have had thoughts of what I would take from my house if a disaster arose.  It would be mementos, pictures, letters and the like.  I’m sure there was a reason my father bought the oil, but he never told, and I never thought to ask.  As a child, I never questioned why the obvious valuables were left behind, and the box would accompany us.  He claimed it was an investment, but he never sold it and it is still in the family.  I think it may have reminded him of happier times, of his youth perhaps.  He would always tell us of the tons of rose petals that went into the making of the oil.  I would sit with my sisters and pretend to be sleeping on pillows of rose petals rather than in the dark, damp shelter.

            He passed away in the 50s.  At this time, the oil was divided among the children, it was his legacy.  I have continued the legacy and have given my own daughters some of the oil.  What I have left is in an unusual, old brown bottle with a glass stopper.

            I do use aromatherapy, so I know that it is rare to have such an old oil, especially one kept in less than ideal conditions.  Let me tell you this one is still quite potent; a quarter of a drop will last all week.  Its strength is important to me; the oil has traveled from France to Germany to New York, where I now live.  It has lasted at least 70 years and will out-last me.  With it, I have given my daughters some sense of their family history.  I am sharing this story with you now, because I feel it is an important one.  Maybe you know of some others, or maybe you know some history that may help me understand where the oil came from back in France and why it was so significant to my father.  If you do please let me know. 

                        Thank you.  Helga R.   6/24/96



Chemical Components: Phenyl-Ethanol, Citronellol, Geraniol, Nerol, nonadecane, Stearopten, and Farnesol in various proportions as well as 300 other compounds. Rose is one of the many scents that cannot be duplicated by humans in the laboratory. If you ever smell a Rose that is ‘soapy’ that is a clue that it is a synthetic.

            Physicochemical Properties: It does not make sense to give the physiochemical properties of Rose because the different varieties grown, the different terroirs yielding different numbers, and the ancient and historical complexity of the Rose and the way it is distilled and/or the differing equipment. If you will consult the Guenther book (see Bibliography), you will find many examples of these properties.

One of the interesting numbers given is that 400-450 kg. of Rosa damascena from Bulgaria, yield 1 kg. of Rose concrete which, in turn, gives 520 g. of alcohol-soluble absolute. That the Bulgarian rose absolutes have a pronounced dextrorotation while the distilled Rose oils are levorotatory.

Scientific Data: There is a long and wonderful article about the Rose online ~ Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2011 Jul-Aug; 14(4): 295–307. PMCID: PMC3586833

Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena

Rosa damascena mill L., known as Gole Mohammadi in is one of the most important species of Rosaceae family flowers. R. damascena is an ornamental plant and beside perfuming effect, several pharmacological properties including anti-HIV, antibacterial, antioxidant, antitussive, hypnotic, antidiabetic, and relaxant effect on tracheal chains have been reported for this plant. This article is a comprehensive review on pharmacological effects of R. damascena.

There is a strong bond between Iranians and this plant. Its popularity is not only because of the medicinal effects but also is due to holy beliefs about it. People call this plant Flower of Prophet Mohammed (Gole mohammadi), because they believe its nice aroma reminds them of prophet Mohammad.

At the present time, this plant is cultivated in Iran (especially in Kashan) for preparing rose water and essential oil. Because of the low oil content in R. damascena and the lack of natural and synthetic substitutes, essential rose oil of this plant is one of the most expensive ones in the world markets

Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Vol. 5, pages 3-48. 1st edition, Krieger Publishing Company. 1952,
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
New Age Creations Formulas by Jeanne Rose. 1969-1982
Rohde, Eleanour Sinclair. Rose Recipes. Originally published 1939 and now a reprint by Dover.
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California:
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose. San Francisco, CA. 1988.
 Patch Test:  If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64
Do not Ingest essential oils: Although some oils are important flavoring oils in the flavor industry and thus ingested in very small amounts in many foods, especially meats and sausages, it is not a good idea to use them yourself either in capsules or honey to take internally.
Safety Precautions: Do not apply the essential oil neat, especially to the underarms or delicate parts of the body. Most oils are probably not to be used on babies, children or pregnant women. Many aromatherapists suggest that there are some oils not be used at all. However, as with many plants, essential oil chemistry is subject to change depending on species and terroir.
DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor.  The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©

If you have read this far and like what you have read, please help support this work by the purchase of books and courses by Jeanne Rose. The web address is    … thank you.


Picking Rosa centifolia in California – 2010




~ JR ~

whew! 7876