Rose Water & Oils
What do you do with all the lovely bouquets, or single roses, you are given for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or just because? They are still too lovely to toss out, even when the buds begin to droop.
Plus all those beautiful bouquets have so much sentimental value, even when dried up. They also have many practical uses too.
Instead of sending those once beautiful remembrances to the trash bin or compost pile; why not try mixing those bouquets with other garden flowers to make lovely scented floral waters, oils and potpourri?
They make delightful gifts to give, or to keep, creating welcoming, floral fragrances wafting around you, and throughout your home.
Potpourri or Gardening Compost?
The trick to using a withering gift bouquet, garden buds, or flower petals, is to dry them upside down, helping to retain as much color and fragrance as possible.
When completely dried, combine buds, petals, and a few leaves into large baggies, to store in a dark, dry closet, or pantry area. Pull out for a fresh-floral home fragrance whenever desired.
If necessary, you can add a few drops of floral-scent, or spice-aroma potpourri oil (from most craft stores), and gently toss-to-distribute with each new bouquet addition.
For potpourri-on-demand, I like adding colorful scraps of satin or curling ribbons, small paper scraps, as well as lace-edging remnants to absorb, and hold more of the fragrant-floral scents, while blending into the color-scheme, or holiday-theme of your potpourri.
Display all your lovely nature-inspired, and scented potpourri in candy dishes, or glass fishbowls throughout the house, but above- the-reach of small children, for delightfully fresh year-round fragrances.
Change out your potpourri with the seasons, and vary the holiday themes, by including other natural items in your potpourri mix, like boiled-and-dried starfish, seashells, and smooth sea glass (to sterilize and remove unwanted odors), for ocean-spray summertime fragrance.
Fall would call for boiling apples, and cinnamon sticks, with pinecones and citrus, for a glorious household aroma.
Christmas potpourri might consist of dried fruits, seed-pods, tree bark, nuts-in-the-shell, cinnamon sticks, and other whole spices. Slice or score fruits before oven-drying them, on low temps, arranged on a cookie sheet.
Arrange loose potpourri generously around wide, solid-base candles, or around homemade orange-clove pomander balls, displayed inside a decorative fruit bowl.
You can even make candles and soap with potpourri sprinkled in-and-around them. Or try spreading out potpourri to cover a square or oval serving tray, adding small, framed photos for mobile-décor. It will spice up, or scent each room you move it to.
Because you will be using the colorful flower petals and buds for potpourri, chop up the stems and leaves, adding to a home-garden compost pile. This will enrich your garden soil with decomposing nutrients.
Floral-Scented Body Oils and Rose-Water
Snip off flower buds from stems, placing into a boiling pan, and removing loose petals from flowers, which have already bloomed, simmer in clean water, to create a lovely scent throughout your home. After simmering and cooling, strain off mushy petals and any other debris, for homemade floral or rose-water.
Pour scented water through a coffee filter, into a sterilized jar, ready for room-freshening spray bottles. Keep refrigerated in summertime, for an invigorating body splash, or gentle-moisturizing facial toner.
To delicately scent an inexpensive dollar-store baby oil, or off-brand of unscented body oil, or even coconut-cooking oil (for use on skin), simply add to oil, the whole buds removed from steeping floral waters above.
Transfer into decorative capped-or-cork-top bath bottles, and include flower petals and rosebuds. Ribbon-tie bows around the bottleneck, labeling bath oils and waters with peel-and-stick lettering, for lovely gifts.