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rose-water-msg - 5/15/10


Where to buy. How to make. Rose-water uses.


NOTE: See also the files: roses-art, seeds-msg, Roses-a-Sugar-art, infusions-msg, rose-oil-msg, rose-syrup-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is unclear  at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: katarndt at aol.com (KatArndt)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosewater

Date: 11 Mar 1997 23:47:56 GMT


I have a recipe for Roes water used as an herbal face astringent that uses

1 cup rose petals for every 2 cups boiling water. Steep until cool and

strain. For Astringent you add 1/4 cup Rubbing Alcohol but I just leave

that out if I'm using it for cooking. Make sure the rose petals are not

sprayed with herbacides or pesticides!!!!



From: hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu (Heather Rose Jones)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosewater

Date: 12 Mar 1997 01:59:49 GMT

Organization: University of California, Berkeley


Erayna L. Jackson (eraynaj at dolphin.upenn.edu) wrote:

: Forgive my ignorance but several times I have seen rosewater as an

: ingredient in Medieval recipes.  Is this actually made from roses steeped

: in water or something just called rosewater? If anyone can direct me as

: to where to buy it or how to make it, I would be eternally grateful.


Rosewater is distilled from water and rose petals -- it's basically water

that smells strongly of roses. (People unused to this aroma in food often

complain that it makes the food "taste like soap", since that's the

product they're used to associating the smell with.) If you don't live in

an area where your local grocery chain carries the stuff (it's variously

filed under drink mixers, baking ingredients, and 'ethnic' foods in the

places I find it) you might look in your yellow pages for a middle-eastern

specialty grocery. Such a place would be certain to carry it.


Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn



From: david.razler at worldnet.att.net (David M. Razler)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosewater

Date: Wed, 12 Mar 1997 02:31:24 GMT

Organization: AT&T WorldNet Services


hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu (Heather Rose Jones) wrote:

| If you don't live in

| an area where your local grocery chain carries the stuff (it's variously

| filed under drink mixers, baking ingredients, and 'ethnic' foods in the

| places I find it) you might look in your yellow pages for a middle-eastern

| specialty grocery. Such a place would be certain to carry it.


| Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn


Oft times right next to the orange blossom water, which is the same kind of

product distilled from different flowers and providing a different perfume for

your food.


Note: in both cases, perfume your food is what you are doing - while taste is

75% smell, the odor of the flower waters is, at least to the modern American

sense of taste, regarded as a non-flavor element. Some folks like it. YMMV.



David M. Razler

david.razler at worldnet.att.net



From: dickeney at access4.digex.net (Dick Eney)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosewater

Date: 12 Mar 1997 21:29:00 -0500

Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA


David M. Razler <david.razler at worldnet.att.net> wrote:


>Oft times right next to the orange blossom water, which is the same kind of

>product distilled from different flowers and providing a different perfume for

>your food.


It is also often available in specialty cooking stores, the kind with

the imported baking pans and just a few shelves of imported gourmet

specialties.  Williams-Sonoma chain I'm pretty sure carries it and IIRC

they also do mail-order.


=Tamar the Gypsy (sharing account dickeney at access.digex.net)



From: ag60046004 at aol.com (Ag60046004)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosewater

Date: 13 Mar 1997 12:01:35 GMT


Greetings, Rayne!


While I don't have a period recipe for rosewater, I've found a

non-measured recipe for it

in "The Complete Soapmaker", a book by Norma Coney (Sterling Publishing

Co., NY, published 1996).  On page 62, it reads as follows:


"Method for Making Rose Water


"To prepare rose water, first gather fresh rose blossoms; do this during

the morning, after the dew [h]as evaporated. Place the petals in a glass,

stainless steel, or enamel saucepan and cover them with distilled water.

Weigh the floating petals down with a heat-resistant glass dish."


"Pleace the pan over low heat and allow the pot to release steam for at

least an hour.  You should begin to see drops of rose oil floating on the

surface of the water.  Do not allow the water to boil."


"When the water has taken on a rosy hue, feels thick and soft, and shows

evidence of rose oil on its surface, strain the liquid through a tea

strainer, using your fingers to press all the liquid from the petals.

Store in refrigerator.  (Note that rose water may be used as a skin toner;

apply to the face with a cotton ball)."


Further on the same page, the author adds, "(Freshly prepared rose water

made from red roses will do a good job of coloring [the] soap, so you may

wish to leave out the extra dye.)"


At this time, I'd like to point out several ideas of my own, for

consideration only if you'd like to try your hand at making your own rose



Consider using only enough distilled water to cover the rose petals.

Otherwise, the solution becomes more dilute. Please remember to use only

the petals, not the sepals, stamens, or green foliated bracket holding the

petals in their grouping.


Given the instructions of the book's author, I'd assume she uses fresh

petals only.  You could consider experimenting with dried rose petals,

(not potpourri), though they won't have near the same content of volatile



It stands to reason that the darker the rose, the darker the finished rose

water will be.


It may also stand to reason that the more fragrant the rose, and the more

volatile oils in the petals, the stronger in scent the finished rose water

will be.  The strongest-scented roses I've found are the

purple/lilac/sterling-grey-lavendar colors.  I'm growing a bush this year

to attempt some of this next year.  An American catalog, Jackson &

Perkins, sells really nice roses, and they give detailed information on

color, floriferousness, bloom period, and scent on each rose in their



A quick note - the minute amount, maybe 2 drops, of oily substance

floating to the surface of the rose water during heating of the distilled

water is called "attar of rose", also known as "rose otto".  Given the

quantity of rose petals needed to produce even 1 or 2 drops of this

substance, it's understandable that the commercially produced attar of

rose retails at about $295.00 for 1/2 fluid oz. (last I saw in a catalog).


If you'd like to try making rosewater in a period manner, the research may

be... interesting.  However, recipes may exist in a written format late in

period, due to the high cost of perfume and the worthwhile attempt to

replicate/duplicate popular fragrances (theory/speculation only).  I would

also speculate that it might be easiest to start from the period of the

Black Death forward (again, due to the importance given "poesies" and

other fragrant concoctions which, in theory, warded off the Plague).


All told, it's probably easier to buy rosewater than to make it.  :-)


Don't confuse "rose water" with "rosewood".  Rosewood is a South American

tree, and although I enjoy the scent of its essential oil very much, it's

nothing like roses, and completely unrelated.


Last note: If you or any other reader of this post is interested in

soapmaking, I *highly*

recommend the book listed near the beginning of this post.  Very

practical, thourough, explanatory, and great illustrations & pictures!

Lists of bibliography and suppliers are good, too.  The only drawback is

that you get great, inspirational photos, and no scent to accompany the

pictures.  :-(  Oh, darn: guess I'll just have to experiment...  :-)


Hope this information helps!


In Service,


Anneliese Grossmund

Barony of Mag Mor, Kingdom of Calontir


ag60046004 at aol.com  (no spam, please)




From: "Morgan E. Smith" <mesmith at freenet.calgary.ab.ca>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosewater

Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 08:18:33 -0700

Organization: Calgary Free-Net


I have found rosewater in Middle Eastern and Indian type grocery stores.

It is really made of roses (don't ask me how, I just buy the stuff)

apparently. Don't ever try using Rose essentail oil watered down: I have

no idea what's in those but it sure ain't meant for your innards.

Morgan the Unknown



From: Eli the Bearded <usenet-tag at qz.little-neck.ny.us>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca,alt.fan.e-t-b

Subject: Re: Rosewater

Date: 12 Mar 1997 19:32:25 GMT


When my sister wanted the stuff several years ago, she just went to

the local drug store and asked for it. I recall it was quite cheap

and came in a generic amber bottle that made it look like they filled

it up right there in the store.


>Note: in both cases, perfume your food is what you are doing - while taste is

>75% smell, the odor of the flower waters is, at least to the modern American

>sense of taste, regarded as a non-flavor element. Some folks like it. YMMV.


People keep telling me this but I have never noticed it. I have a

really bad sense of smell, so that may be part of it. And part of

why I often have very different ideas about what tastes good

compared to those around me. The rose flavored foods I have had

have been fairly bland and boring but maybe they were weakly

flavored, the violet flavored foods have been pretty good.




since we are on the issue of flower flavors here



From: "Charlotte A. Gilmour" <rgbailey at aiinc.com>

Subject: Re: Rosewater

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Gilmour

Date: 13 Mar 97 18:50:13 GMT


Greetings Anneliese,


I happen to know someone else who specifically needed this recipe, thank

you for posting it.


Also I wonder if anyone who chooses to make their own rosewater should also

be careful as well, that they are not using roses that have just been

dusted with insecticide, etc., since regardless, if you are using it in

food recipes/mead or using it as a scent on your skin, this could be a

concern worth noting.


I have heard you can purchase rosewater at pharmacies (haven't check yet

though) and also (as you mentioned) health food stores, went yesterday and

a fairly good size spray bottle of rosewater was only $4.95, not bad, the

ingredients listed were simply distilled water and oil of roses, certainly

reasonable though.


Most Sincerely,

Charlotte Anne Gilmour

Tearlag Anna Ghille Mhuire



From: Galen & Raven <galen at pa.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosewater

Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 08:34:21 -0500

Organization: pa dot net(tm), A service of Cumberland Technologies Int'l


The best RoseWater I found came from a place that Lady Tierza of Clan

Kyle had been ordering from.  The company is Amazon Dry Goods

                                             2218 E. 11th St.

                                             Davenport, IA 52803

They have period patterns, spices, and metal boning.  The cost of the

Rosewater (6oz) was ($9.95) and comes in a beautiful bottle.




From: alysk at ix.netcom.com(Elise Fleming )

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosewater

Date: 23 Mar 1997 11:57:43 GMT


In <3333DFDC.55DF at pa.net> Galen & Raven <galen at pa.net> writes:


>The best RoseWater I found came from a place that Lady Tierza of Clan

>Kyle had been ordering from.  The company is Amazon Dry Goods

>                                           2218 E. 11th St.

>                                           Davenport, IA 52803

>They have period patterns, spices, and metal boning.  The cost of the

>Rosewater (6oz) was ($9.95) and comes in a beautiful bottle.


In Cleveland and environs rosewater is available from Middle Eastern

grocery stores.  A 10 oz. bottle costs $2.50.   The bottle is not

beautiful but utililtarian. The brand name commonly available is

"Cortas", from Lebanon.  If you use rosewater for cooking you might

seek the kind without pink coloring added. (Cortas is clear, like

water.)  Orange flower water is also available. There is also, from

somewhere, a food-grade rose "essence" or possibly oil which is much

more concentrated.  Stores which specialize in restaurant supplies

might be able to find it.


Alys Katharine  



From: rmorrisson at aol.com (RMorrisson)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rosewater

Date: 24 Mar 1997 17:26:41 GMT


Greetings from Myfanwy!

I used to be able to get plain rosewater from my friendly local Thrift

Drug.  It was about $2.50 a pint.  I say used to, because apparently their

(and other pharmacies') source, Lilly (sp?), apparently no longer makes it.

Not to knock Amazon Dry Goods, but that price someone quoted seems

exceptionally steep -- I trust that it is a REALLY nice bottle, cuz it

sounds like that what you're mostly paying for.


I now get it from a upscale grocery/deli sort of place near where I now

live ($2.69 for 3 oz) but thanks to whoever mentioned Indian/Pakistani

groceries -- there are two down in the center of town and that gives me

yet ANOTHER reason to stick my nose in them sometime (the first being

looking for edible gold leaf).


Lady Myfanwy ferch Rhiannon

mka Ruth Payes Morrisson

RMorrisson at aol.com



Date: Thu, 8 May 1997 11:58:38 -0400 (EDT)

From: margritt at mindspring.com (Margritte)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Making Rose Water


Looking through my copy of "The Medieval Home Companion", translated and

edited by Tania Bayard, I found the following instructions for making rose



To make rose water without an alembic:

Take a barber's basin, stretch a kerchief over the mouth, and fasten it,

covering the basin completely, like a drum. Put your roses on the kerchief

and above them set the bottom of another basin containing hot cinders and

live coals.


Has anyone tried something similar to this? Will this give me rose water,

or an essential oil, or is there a difference? I've made rose water before

by setting rose petals in water on a sunny windowsill, but this sounds like

it would probably yield something much stronger.


Note: The manuscript used in "The Medieval Home Companion" has also been

translated as "Le Mesnagier de Paris" (The Householder of Paris), and "The

Goodman of Paris".





From: Tovah at hubert.rain.com (Tovah)

Date: 25 Apr 97 22:05:01 GMT

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Rose Lady


Greetings Gentle Folks!


  This is a small example of  the rose recipes I have.  I chose to first

write the most asked for recipes, which are the Rose Beads and the Rose


  The Rose Water is needed for some other recipes I will be writing about.

There are several Rose Water recipes, but I will only metion the strictly

only rose recipe.  The others call for other herbs and flowers, if you are

interested in those also, please let me know.

   I decided to make the recipes public, instead of writing them to only the

Folks who asked for them because there was so many who wanted the recipes.

Though there were several of  you who asked me to send the recipes directly

to you because of certain circumstances, I will do that also.

   Please enjoy this wonderful and versatile flower!


                          Tovah of Misty Isles

                          Lady of North Keep

                           a.k.a Rose-Lady




Rose Beads


   Gather the roses on a dry day (best done in the dew of the morn) and chop

the petals finely.  Put them in a saucepan and barely cover with water.  Heat

for about an hour but do not let the mixture boil.  Repeat this process for

the three days and if necessary add more water. The deep black beads made

from rose petals are made this rich coulour by warming in a rust pan.  It is

important never to let the mixture boil but each day to wam it to a moderate

heat.  Make the beads by working the pulp with the fingers into balls.  When

thoroughly well worked and fairly dry press on to a bodkin (* See note) to

make the holes in the centres of the beads. Until they are perfectly dry the

beads have to be moved frequently on the bodkin or they will be difficult to

remove without breaking them.  Held for a few moments in a warm hand these

beads give out a pleasing fragrance.


* Note:  Most of  the recipes will ask you to use Damask roses or red roses,

         but I have found that any modern, well scented rose will do as well.

         Instead of  using a bodkin, you can use a clothes hanger.



Rose Water


   Some do put rose water in a glass and they put roses with their dew

thereto and they make it to boile in water, then they set it in the sune tyll

it be readde and this water is beste.

   This recipe was from Askham's Herbal 1550


Modern Rose Water

   Pick the best scented roses you have.  Place them in a gallon glass jar.

Cover with water (I use distilled water that can be bought at the store in

gallon jugs).  Set the roses and water out in the sun for about 2 weeks.

Check to see if you get the scent you are searching for.  If it is not ready

yet, then let it set  in the sun for another week.  When you have reached the

desired scent, strain the flowers from the water.and place the rose scented

water in a cool, shady area.



From: Tovah at hubert.rain.com (Tovah)

Date: 08 May 97 04:47:01 GMT

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Another Rose Recipe


  Here is a rose recipe for those who study the culinary arts of the

medieval period.  I have not as yet fully deciphered the recipe, so

please feel free to let me and the other gentles know how the cake

comes out.


                      Tovah of Misty Isles

                      Lady of North Keep

                      a.k.a The Rose Lady


--------<-< at     --------<-< at     --------<-< at     --------<-< at     --------<-< at


To Make A Cake With Rose Water, The Way Of the Royal Princess, The

Lady Elizabeth, Daughter To King Charles The First


  Take halfe a pecke of flowre (flour), half a pinte of rose water, a

pint of ale yeast, a pint of creame. A pound an a half of butter, six

egges (leave out the whites) four pounds of currants, one half pound

of sugar, one nutmeg and a little salt.

  Work it very well and let it stand half an hour by the fire and

then work it again and then make it up and let it stand another hour

and a halfe in the oven; let not your oven be too hot.


The recipe was found in -- The Queen's Closet Opened.  By W.M. Cook to

Queen Henrietta Maria



Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 07:39:43 -0500 (CDT)

From: nweders at mail.utexas.edu (ND Wederstrandt)

Subject: SC - rosewater


        I find rosewater and orangeflower at liquor stores since they are

occaisionally used in mixed drinks.


Clare St. John



Date: Fri, 25 Jul 1997 10:08:48 -0400 (EDT)

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Subject: Re: SC - rosewater


> It is also available at Trader Joe's for people who live in the West.


According to "http://www.traderjoes.com":


    "Currently, there are Trader Joe's in California, Arizona, Nevada,

    Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut."


One of the most dangerous things that ever happened to my wallet, was the

opening of Trader Joe's.  Now they are opening one in my town.  I'm gonna

eat well (and cheaply) and go broke doing it.





Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 21:25:22 -0700

From: christy at lightspeed.net

Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #215 Rosewater


The following direction for rose-water are from "Rose Recipes From

Olden Times" by eleanour Sinclair Rohde:


To make an excellent Rose-water, let the flowers be gathered two or

three hours after the sun-rising in very fine weather; beat them in a

marble mortar into a paste, and leave them in the mortar soaking in

their juice for five or six hours; then put the mass into a coarse

canvas bag, and press out the juice to every quart of which add a

pound of fresh Damask Roses, and let them stand in infusion for twenty

four hours. Then put the whole into a glass alembic, lute on a head of

receiver, and place it on sand heat. Distil at first with a gentle

fire, which is to be encreased gradually till the drops follow each

other as quick as possible; draw off the water as long as it continues

to run clear, then put out the fire, and let the alembic stand till

cold. The distilled water at first will have very little fragrancy,

but after being exposed to the heat of the sun about eight days, in a

bottle lightly stopped with a bit of paper, it acquires an admirable

scent.---The Toiler of Flora.




Some do put rose water in a glass and they put roses with their dew

thereto and they make it to boile in water, then they set it in the

sune tyll it be readde and this water is beste.

     Also drye roses put to the nose to smell do comforte the braine

and the harte and quencheth sprites,--Askham's Herbal 1550.


Hope this helps a bit, but I to think it would be easier to find a

middle eastern grocery :).


Best of luck with it,




Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 16:49:14 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Rose Petal Liqueur


mfgunter at fnc.fujitsu.com writes:

<< I'm sure it makes little difference in taste what roses you use. >>


This is an inaccurate statement. The roses used for flavoring are called

species roses and are totally different than the hybrid teas which most people

have in their gardens.


Hybrid teas have very little scent while species roses sometimes have an

overwhelming scent. Also teas usually bloom throughout the season while

species roses bloom all at once and are done for the year. In modern

manufacturing the leaves of the rose geranium are more oftentimes than not

used to produce "rose oil" because their scent is far more "rose-like" than



The Rosarium in Colorado is an excellent source for species roses. Some of

their varieties date back to the Roman empire.


A'aql (pronounced Ras)



Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 16:05:09 -0500

From: mfgunter at fnc.fujitsu.com (Michael F. Gunter)

Subject: Re: SC - Rose Petal Liqueur


> << I'm sure it makes little difference in taste what roses you use. >>

> This is an inaccurate statement. The roses used for flavoring are called

> species roses and are totally different than the hybrid teas which most people

> have in their gardens.

> A'aql (pronounced Ras)


Thanks, but I usually just get whatever roses they have dried. But perhaps that

is why my homemade syrup takes longer to taste right than the rose syrup I buy.

Same for the fresh petals. I just usually get "red roses" and make the syrup.


They seem to work for me.





Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 13:37:57 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Rose water


Seton1355 at aol.com wrote:

> Can anyone tell me how long an opened bottle of rose water will last ?


> Phillipa


Specifically, no, but tightly sealed and stored in a cool place, it

should keep a couple of years. Of course, as a cook in the SCA, you'd

use it up before that. Right?  ;  )





Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 14:28:31 EDT

From: CorwynWdwd at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Rose water


Seton1355 at aol.com writes:

> Can anyone tell me how long an opened bottle of rose water will last?

>  Phillipa


If you refrigerate it, resealed, it lasts at least a year by my experience.





Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 16:40:56 EDT

From: THLRenata at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Rose water


Mirhaxa writes:

<< If you think it's not going fast enough, put a spoonful in the bath

water. >>


I have a beautiful glass sprinkle bottle, which I keep filled with rose

water in my ice-chest at tourneys -- just the thing for a little refreshment

on a hot day.  A splah on the wrist or neck really makes the heat tolerable.





Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 14:51:36 -0700 (PDT)

From: Laura C Minnick <lainie at gladstone.uoregon.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - Rose water


On Fri, 16 Apr 1999 THLRenata at aol.com wrote:

>  I have a beautiful glass sprinkle bottle, which I keep filled with rose

> water in my ice-chest at tourneys -- just the thing for a little refreshment

> on a hot day.  A splah on the wrist or neck really makes the heat tolerable.


I keep a basin on a stand in my tourney kitchen, filled with water with a

few drops of bleach (for anti-bacterial purposes) and a shot of rosewater

to cover the bleach smell. It's good for those quick rinses while chopping

veggies, etc, and there's soap and a nail brush for real washing up. I

also put rosewater in the water when I do the handwashing thing for the

high table at feasts. A nice touch, I think.


On a similar note, I discovered a couple of years ago that Dr. Bronner's

Castile Soap is terrific for the bath water at tourneys- the peppermint or

eucalyptus are both quite refreshing on a hot day or for a fighter coming

off of the field, and the eucalyptus tends to keep the bugs away. It also

come in a rose scent if you want to keep the theme...


'Lainie (who is itching to get back to tourney season, but has to get the

pavilion done first!)

- -

Laura C. Minnick

University of Oregon

Department of English



Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 21:07:42 -0400

From: "Gryphon's Moon" <margritt at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: SC - another - Rose water question


>I have a rose bush that has never been sprayed with insecticide.  When the

>roses come out, should I just collect the petals and but them in a jar of

>rose water?

>In the fridge?

>Do you keep adding rose petals to the same water as they bloom?

>Anybody ever make their own rose water!



I make rose water every year. As you noted, it is important to use petals

that have never been sprayed with insecticide. I usually pull off several

handfulls of petals into a collander and then wash them in cold water.

Mostly, I'm trying to get rid of any stray bugs. Drop them into a sauce

pan, and just cover them with water. Heat gently on the stove. My rose bush

is a lovely deep pink shade, and the water is tinted by the petals. When

the petals (or what's left of them) turn pasty white, and the water is rose

colored, I strain the petals out of the water. I often put a new batch of

petals in to make it even stronger, but it isn't absolutely necessary. It

will keep for quite a while in the refrigerator.


- -Margritte



Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 14:36:29 -0400

From: Christine A Seelye-King <mermayde at juno.com>

Subject: SC - Herb Distillations



>I've gone and filed it 'somewhere', but what she does is put the

>petals and water in a non-reactive pan--I'll use a glass Corning wear

>one, then bring to a simmer.  In the bottom of the pan is a cup that

>holds the rose water.  You put the pan lid upside down, so the rose

>water condensing on the lid drips down the handle, falling into the



This is similar to the method I use, which I found in a variety of herbal

books, as well as a book I have on how to live on a commune.  (Very

useful info in that one). Ok, this is a still, I use it to make herb

distillations.  It entails a 6qt enamel stock pot, a small stainless

steel mixing bowl (probably a 2 cup size), some kind of trivet on the

bottom (glass, wire, brick, etc.) to raise the level of the bowl, and a

large stainless steel mixing bowl, large enough to sit on top of the pot

and act as a lid.  Water and the herb or flower is put in the bottom of

the pot, and the trivet and the sm. bowl are put in the center.  The

large bowl sits on top, and the whole arrangement should work so that

there is room between bowls.  When heated, the steam rises, ice placed in

the top bowl aids in condensation, and the droplets run down the sides of

the lg. bowl and drop into the smaller bowl below.  We have made some

wonderful lavender water this way, in addition to eucalyptus, rosemary,

and some roots too, but I can't remember what that was just now.




Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 13:42:19 EST

From: melc2newton at juno.com

Subject: SC - eggs in moonshine- close but OOP recipe


In my desire to get away from Feb. weather, I hit the gardening books

(like I do every year this time) in the library , and came up with a good

one. If you haven't seen _The Scented Garden_ by Rosemary Verey, you may

well want to. She covers roses, herbs,  shrubs, seems like every plant

that has a decent scent, including their histories, growing instructions,

and recipes.


The one that really caught my eye was "eggs in moonshine"  which she

adapted form Kirby Hall "Receipts" of about 1650.


Heat 500ml/2 cups of rosewater in a shallow saucepan and add 250g/1 cup

sugar. Boil to dissolve the sugar. Take eight eggs and separate the yolks

from the whites. Poach the yolks in the rose water syrup until they are

firm. Arrange them on a flat dish and pour the sweetened rose water over

them. Cool in the refrigerator and serve with bread and butter with

chopped lemon balm used as a garnish.


I thought that this would make a good first course, or, even better a

dish for a high tea type meal.



who is planning some flower gardens, but we'll see how far we get this

year! :)


Oakheart, Calontir

Springfield, Mo



Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 08:11:23 -0800

From: "dragondancer" <drgndncr at uswest.net>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Rosewater


In  "a kitchen witches cookbook" I found an easy recipe for rose water...it

is as follows....

Petals from two fresh roses...place petals and 1/4 inch water in a small

sauce pan..warm slowly..until the petals turn translucent...strain and use

the liquid for cooking..store in the refrigerator..

Variations....Any edible flower may be substituted for the rose petals...



Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 21:47:25 -0800

From: <lilinah at earthlink.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Rosewater


>Thanks for letting me know Ras, I have a tiny blue bottle of rose water in my

>pnatry and would not have known that the contents would be overpowering.



Depends on what brand you have.


Many French rosewaters are packaged in blue bottles, and i've never

found them overpowering. I also use French orange flower waters in

blue bottles with no problems. Chez Funel of Le Cannet-Cannes is one

producer. I lived a few blocks from them - VERY old. I went in once

and saw their beautiful copper stills (probably 19th century, and the

building was much older. The building i lived in was 17th century -

not much in the way of plumbing). A. Monteux of Vallauris (France) is

another. I think the gourmet distributor Reese also uses blue

bottles, then sticks their own silver label on. BTW, that's NOT Reese

the peanut butter cup company. The Reese i mean sells tiny cocktail

onions (for your Manhattans), capers, stuffed olives, etc. All i have

mentioned are perfectly fine flower waters. One of the bottles i have

holds 3 oz., another 4 oz. I use teaspoons of these


What i have experienced that are perfume-like are the concentrates

from Indian and Thai markets, you only need to dab a toothpick in,

then get a drop or two your recipe. I have used pandan, kewra, and

jasmine. The kewra i have right now has 25cc, the pandan bottle holds

2 oz.


Anahita Gauri al-shazhiyya bint-Karim al-hakim al-Fassi



Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 13:26:19 -0500

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - rosewater


Over a month ago, Balthzar was asking about distilling rosewater.

Hugh Platt's _Delights for Ladies_ (1609) has a recipe for

distillation of herb-waters, with additional comments about different

ways of doing rosewater. He assumes you are familiar with the basics

of distillation. I can type some of this in at some point for anyone

interested; Platt is also in Cariadoc's cookbook collection volume 1.


Elizabeth/Betty Cook



Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 18:26:22 -0700 (PDT)

From: Terri Spencer <taracook at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re:  SC - Liqueurs


Jadwiga wrote:

> Could you list the references to rosewater made from fair water?


This is the one I was thinking of:


To draw both good Rosewater and oyle of Roses together


After you have digested your Rose leaves by the space of 3 moneths

...then distill them with fair water in a Limbeck: draw so long as you

can find any excellent smell of the Rose, then divide the fattie oyle

that fleeteth on the top of the Rosewater, and so you have both

excellent oyle of Roses, and also good Rosewater together...


From Delightes for Ladies, Sir Hugh Plat, 1609.





Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 15:32:39 PDT

From: "Bonne of Traquair" <oftraquair at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Rosewater


I wrote regarding more and less concentrated rosewaters:

>>if used in

>>the quantities sometimes called for in the middle ages recipes, not

>>only will you go broke, but the dish will so reek of rose scent that

>>I'd bet not many people will eat it.


Cariadoc asked:

>What medieval recipe were you thinking of that specifies the quantity


I don't know of any that specify the quantity, but sometimes the quantity is



The recipe under discussion in another thread will serve.  I know of two

times to wash butter: at the end of the churning process--to remove any

remaining whey or other impurities prior to use or to salting.  And later to

clean out the salt used to preserve the butter and get it back to a usable

state.  You mix and mash a quantity of water into the butter, so that the

water dissolves the salt and then clap the water back out again in order to

get back to a buttery consistency.  If you are using rosewater as Plat

mentions, rose scent and taste will remain behind.  IMO even if Plat is only

using this process to flavor and not actually to clean out salt, he'd still

intend for wash to mean wash, not sprinkle.


Other than that, I beleive others have spoken about recipes that say 'add

rosewater' to a fairly dry mix, and then do something to the resulting paste

or batter. A partial teaspoon of rosewater won't change the mix into a paste

or batter, you'd need in the range of a partial cup. Not recalling specific

instances, I'll hope someone else speaks up.


Personally, this morning I mashed a few drops of the concentrated stuff into

a stick of butter, with a tablespoon of sugar. This is good! Had nobody done

this before at feast? In places where the populace is more conditioned

toward acceptance of period food it could take over from honey butter pretty






Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 10:42:00 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Asabi Zainab

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


> At 06:20 AM 12/7/2004, you wrote:

>> Also you may be getting icky rosewater. I've had really good subtle

>> rosewater and really chemical-tasting rosewater.

>This is quite possible. I don't care for the stuff in the little blue

> bottle, but the rosewater I got at a Lebanese grocery was vaairy naahce

> (ok- imagine silly French accent!)

> 'Lainie


Hey, watch where you point that accent!


The stuff in the little blue bottle is likely to be French. In 1973,

when i lived in France, in Le Cannet, i was just a few blocks from

Chez Funel, a distillery of flower waters that was several hundred

years old. Still had old copper stills in their distillery.


My first ros and orange flower waters were theirs, in lovely blue

glass bottles. At some point, i found them in the US in little

plastic squeeze bottles. Eventually i no longer found little blue

bottles labeled as being from Funel, but only marked with the name of

th American distributor. They are HIGHLY concentrated. One only

needs a drop or a few. If you have used this brand, you may be

finding it unpleasant because you are using too much.


For SCA feasts i've been using Lebanese rose and orange flower waters

- IIR, the brand name is Costas. These are MUCH MORE dilute, so i

use them by the spoonful with no complaints about soapy or chemical






Date: Sun, 09 May 2010 15:13:41 -0400

From: Elise Fleming <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

To: sca-cooks <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Rose Water vs. Damask Water


Greetings!  A question was posted to our kingdom's cookery list about

the difference between rose water and damask water.  Both are called for

in Partridge's Treasurie of Commodious Conceits, 1591.  Since both are

called for, there must be a difference.  Does anyone know what it would be?


The beginning of the marchpane recipe says, "TAke halfe a .li. of

blanched Almons, & of white sugre: a quarter of a .lb.: of Rosewater,

halfe an ounce: & of Damaske water, asmuche. Beate the Almons with a

little of the same water, and grinde them til thei be smal: let them on

a few coles of fier, til thei wax thick: then beate them agayne with the

Sugre, fine: Then mixt the sweet waters and them together: and so gather

the, & fashion your Marchpane..."


Thanks for any clues you might give.  I couldn't find anything on the

Internet that gave a hint.


Alys K.



Date: Sun, 09 May 2010 15:50:54 -0400

From: Gretchen Beck <grm at andrew.cmu.edu>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Rose Water vs. Damask Water


--On Sunday, May 09, 2010 3:13 PM -0400 Elise Fleming <alysk at ix.netcom.com>


<<< A question was posted to our kingdom's cookery list about the

difference between rose water and damask water. Both are called for in

Partridge's Treasurie of Commodious Conceits, 1591.  Since both are

called for, there must be a difference.  Does anyone know what it would

be? >>>


I always thought that damask water was distilled from damask roses, while

rose water was distilled from any decent roses you happened to have.  FWIW,

the OED says damask water is rose water distilled from damask roses.  The

analogy that comes to mind is "scoth" and ""Laphroaig" -- both scotch, but

one has a flavor specific to itself due to its brewing and origin.


toodles, margaret



Date: Sun, 9 May 2010 13:04:40 -0700

From: Patricia Dunham <chimene at ravensgard.org>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Rose Water vs. Damask Water


Well, since Partridge's gives a couple of recipes

for making Damaske water (#59 & 60), but none for

making rose water, I would personally suspect

that he's talking about two different qualities

of rose-water.  The plain stuff, that everybody

knew how to make at home, and something more

special (the Damaske).


Or maybe... since many of the things I'm finding

on-line say that rose-water was invented by

Islamic alchemists in period, maybe the generic

"rose water" was the fancy imported stuff, and

"Damaske" water would be a home-made specialty,

using the imported stuff as a base, and adding

more of a specific type of local rose, to get a

stronger or more definite scent.


Over the past 25+ years, we have grown Gallicas,

Damasks, Eglantine, Musk, R foetida and Albas and

they all had individual scents.  (Boy, do we need

to update the webpages, 8-)!


FYI, here's #59: To make Damaske water

Take Damaske Roses, and red Roses, of each a

handfull, let them drie foure houres in the

shadow: then take two drams of Laudanum, Nigellae

Roman?, two penny-worth, Iries halfe an ounce,

Storax two drams, Cloves an ounce, Benjamin,

Calamus aromaticus,, Nutmegs, of each halfe an

ounce, Marjoram, Bazell, of each halfe a

handfull: bruise the spice, and put it in

Malmesey, or the lees thereof, the space of four

dayes: then distill it and scum it fourteen dayes.





Date: Sun, 9 May 2010 13:30:37 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

To: Order of the Laurel - Restricted Access

        <sca-laurels at lists.ansteorra.org>

Cc: SCA Cooks <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] [SCA-Laurels] rose water vs. damask water


I have been doing some research on this and some of what has been said is true, in that damask water and rose water are very much alike.  Having consulted Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages, he seems to feel that there is a slight difference between the two, in that the damask rose has more fragrance and other chemicals than the regular garden rose.


If your friend were willing to do some searching and spend some money, it occured to me that one could substitute damask water with rose attar.  Attar of rose is much stronger that rose water.  However, because it is a major component of perfumes, finding an attar that is food grade might be difficult and somewhat costly.  Attar intended for perfumes are not food grade.


One could also compare an American rose water with a Middle Eastern or Indian made rose water, since damask roses are native to the Middle East.


I remember a previous discussion on this recipe on the SCA Cooks list where the concensus was to just double the amount of rose water, rather than spend the time and effort to deal with the damask water.


If one had access to a goodly amount of true damask roses, one could try to create damask water, probably doubling the amount of petals that a rose water recipe required.  But the problem is that true damask roses are hard to find in the US.  David Austin's English roses are not pure damask roses, although they probably would be better than anything else.  Just make sure that they have not been subjected to insecticides or you will poison anyone who eats your marchpane.





<<< On 5/9/2010 3:19 PM, Pat Pierce wrote:

Hm, I can only address this one from a gardener's

perspective....unfortunately, not a culinary perspective.


There are LOTS of roses out there. Even in the

Middle Ages, there were LOTS of roses out there. Some

varieties are more known for their smell, or their making of

those fruity rose hips, or for sturdiness in different kinds

of weather. For example, the Eglantine Roses which

bloom only once a year, make up some incredibly dense,

thorny hedges - that get covered with lovely blooms at the

right time of year, teeny things but the foliage smells like

fresh tea. You could make rose water from their

flowers, but sadly, it would smell more like - well, tea -

than what we imagine as "rose smell."


The Damask Roses, on the other hand, bloom usually

once a year in late spring to early summer, and are known

for loose, full petals and sometimes really BIG quantities

of these, - and the heady smell folks imagine when they talk

about "smelling of roses." The Romans had them,

too. And they are still grown in profusion on large

farms in Europe (I understand Bulgaria has thousands of

acres of this crop) specifically to harvest the petals for

making rose oil, rose water, and all kinds of other rose



So, I could conjecture that Damask Water would come

specifically from Damask Roses - and that while every Damask

Water is also a Rose Water, every Rose Water would not

necessarily be a Damask Water.


Clear as earth?? Hope this helps!

Aeruin ni hEarain O'chonemara


who has a collection of Old Roses in her yard, that

are just now starting to bloom nicely....


SCA-Laurels mailing list




Date: Sun, 09 May 2010 20:08:54 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: SCA_Subtleties at yahoogroups.com, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Difference between rosewater and damask



To start, you may want the earliest version of this Partridge text

which is now at medievalcookery.com.

I just sent an edited version in of the 1573 text which Doc has posted.


For those without the text at hand, the recipe begins: "TAke halfe  

a .li. of blanched Almons, & of white sugre: a quarter of a .lb.: of  

Rosewater, halfe an ounce: & of Damaske water, asmuche. "


In most instances in this work Partridge will say "moste excellent  

cast two Spoonful of Rose or Damaskwater" or

"Ladle with a little damask or Rose water' or "put ther to some pure  

rose water, or damaskwater," seemingly using them as interchangeably.


If you don't have the full text at hand, you may not have noticed that  

Partridge includes a recipe for how to make said water. His recipe:


An other manner of makyng of Damaske  water.                                     cap.xlix.

TAke of Arace or Iris, of Spike flowres dried, of Cloues, of ech .i.  

ouce, make the in

poder, put them together with a pint of new Ale in cornes, and .i.  

pynte of Rosewater, into

an earthen pot: put therto a good manye of grene Rose leaues, let them  

soke in it, a night

tyme, stoped close, in the morninge when ye wyll distyll, first lay  

other Roseleues in the

bottom of your Stilitory for fere of cleuing to, then take of the Rose  

leaues, out of the Pot,

and put them with other greene Rose leaues in your Stilitory  

sufficient, and to the water:

put Muske as aboue is sayd.  This water is excellent to set foorth a  

Tarte, an Apple moyse, or Almond butter.


So in the above recipe, we have Damaske water being distilled of  

certain spices and herbs, along with the new ale and rosewater.



Recipewise, it's called for extensively in the 1558  The secretes of  

the reuerende Maister Alexis of Piemount.


In the section on "odoriferous and sweete water" you find recipes like

"To make an odoriferous and sweete water, verye good.

TAke twelue pounde of Damaske rose water, Lauander water, Cloues,  

Synamom, of eche of them a dragme, Mace, great Cardamomum, Muske,  

Amber, of eche of them halfe a scruple, drie Pylles of Citrons,  

Sandalum citrinum, Ireos, of eche of them halfe a dragme, Bengewin,  

Storax calamita, of eche a scrupule, and of all this make a  

composition, the which you shall put in a vessell of glasse well  

stopped, leauinge it so by the space of fiftene daies. Afterwarde let  

it bee distilled in Bal-eo Marie, the maner whereof is described in  

the first booke, and the water that shall issue oute of it, put in a  

violle well stopt in the Sunne the space of fiftene dayes, and than  

shall you haue a water of greate excellencie."




Thomas Hill's 1577 The gardeners labyrinth calls for "in eyther  

damaske or muske water" in two recipes.


Likewise, William Bullein in Bulleins bulwarke of defence (1579) calls  

for "& strongly beaten with the pestell, pouring in sweete Rose, or  





The chapter "Of sweet Waters particularly described" in the 1616  

Maison rustique, or The countrey farme contains this recipe:


"Damaskewater: Take two handfuls and a halfe of red Roses, Rosemarie  

flowers, Lauander and Spike flowers, of each a Pugill: of the sprigges  

of Thyme, flowers of Cammomile, flowers of small Sage, of Penyryall,  

and Marierome, of each a handfull: infuse them all in white Wine the  

space of foure and twentie houres: then put them into the Stillitorie,  

sprinkling it with verie good white Wine, and scatter thereupon this  

powder following: take an ounce and a halfe of well chosen Cloues, an  

ounce of Nutmegs, of Beniouin and Styrax calami-a, of each two  

drammes, make  them in powder: The water that shall be distilled, must  

be kept in a vessell verie well stopped." pp 463-464



Markham often calls "Damaske Rose-water" in editions of The English  



His 1633 recipe for "A very rare and plesant Da|mask water.

Take a quart of malmsey Lees, or a quart of malm|sey simply, one  

handfull of margerome, of Basill as much, of Lauender foure handfuls,  

bay-leaues one good handfull, Damaske rose-Leaues foure handfuls, and  

as many of red, the pils of sixe Orenges, or for want of them one  

handful of the tender Leaues of walnut-trees, of Beniamine halfe an  

ounce, of Callamus Aramaticus as much, of Camphire foure drammes, of  

Cloues one ounce, of Baldamum halfe an ounce; then take a pottle of  

running water, and put in all these spices bruised into your water and  

malmsey together in a close stopped pot, with a good handfull or  

Rosemary, and let them stand for the space of sixe dayes: then di|

still it with a soft fire: then set it in the Sunne sixteene dayes  

with foure graines of Muske bruised. This quan|tity will make three  

quarts of water, Probatum est." pages 153-154



"Damask rose water" is called for in a number of recipes found in The  

Queens closet opened of 1659.

It includes this recipe:


"To make excellent Perfumes.

Take a quarter of a pound of Damask Rose-buds cut clean from the  

Whites, stamp them very small, put to them a good spoonful of Damask  

Rose-water, so let them stand close stopped all night, then take one  

ounce and a quarter of Benjamin finely beaten, and also searsed, (if  

you will) twenty grains of Civit, and ten grains of Musk; mingle these  

with the Roses, beating them well together, then make it up in little  

Cakes between Rose leaves, and dry them between sheets of paper."




Digby also calls for "Damask-Rose-water" in his Closet.




On May 9, 2010, at 12:36 PM, Kathy Anderson wrote:

<<< I am reconstructing a recipe for Marchpaines (Treasurie of  

Commodious Conceits, 1591) that calls for both rosewater and damask  

water. I would have thought they were the same thing, since Damascus  

is a major category of roses.


Has anyone else run into this? Are rosewater and damask water the  

same, or different?


Wulfwen/Kathy : ) >>>



Date: Sun, 09 May 2010 20:17:16 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: SCA_Subtleties at yahoogroups.com, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] [SCA_Subtleties] US Mention was Difference

        between rosewater and damask water?


Another thought on damask water


Robin M. Mower "Rose Water"  The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink  

in America. Ed. Gordon Campbell. Oxford University Press, 2003.    10  

May 2010


"Rose Water   "Introduced to Europe from Arab cuisine by the Crusaders  

in such dishes as marzipan and Turkish delight, rose water is the  

distillate of rose petals, most famously from the damask rose.  

Substitutes for the distillate have been made by adding attar of rose,  

which is the oil extracted from crushed roses, to water.

Colonial Americans used rose water as a flavoring, similar in purpose  

to the later-introduced vanilla, in confectionery and dessert recipes  

inherited from Europe and in syrups used to flavor beverages. Rose  

water also flavored savories, such as chicken pies and creamed  

spinach. Some housewives, even as late as the 1880s, distilled their  

own. Others purchased it, perhaps as "Double Distilled Damask Rose  

Water" from the Shakers, a religious sect respected for the quality  

and purity of their products and for their rose water apple pie."



This seems to indicate that in the USA it has long been sold as just a  

type of rosewater.





Date: Sun, 09 May 2010 20:18:58 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: SCA_Subtleties at yahoogroups.com, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] OED on damask water?


As to definitions since I am prowling about on the professional  



OED states:

damask rose, a species or variety of rose, supposed to have been  

originally brought from Damascus.


Apparently, originally the Rosa gallica var. damascena, a tall shrub  

with semi-double pink or light-red (rarely white) flowers, cultivated  

in the East for attar of roses; but this underwent many changes under  

cultivation in the West, and the name has been very variously applied  

by English authors. ....the name is now applied at Mitcham to a  

variety of R. gallica with very deep-coloured flowers.


C. 1540 Recipe in Vicary's Anat. (1886) App. 224 Putt therto half an  

vnce of fyne pouldre of redde dammaske rosys.


1578 Lyte Dodoens vi. i. 655 We cal them in English, Roses of  

Prouince, and Damaske Roses.


1578 Lyte Dodoens 654 The flowers..be neither redde nor white, but of  

a mixt colour betwixt red and white, almost carnation colour.


1582 Hakluyt Memoranda in Voy. II. i. 165 The Damaske rose [brought  

in] by Doctour Linaker, King Henry the seuenth and King Henry the  

eights Physician.

damask water, rose-water distilled from Damask roses. Obs.


1306 N. de Tingewick in Arch?ol. Jrnl; XIV. 271 Item pro aqua rosata  

de Damasco.


1519 Four Elements in Hazl. Dodsley I. 44 With damask water made so  

well, That all the house thereof shall smell, As it were paradise.


1555 Eden Decades 224 The Capitayne sprinkeled the Kynges with damaske  



1611 Cotgr. s.v. Damas, Eau de Damas, Damaske, or sweet, water  

(distilled from all sorts of odoriferous hearbs).


Hope this helps




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