Aromatherapy: Rose Otto for Beauty and Home

Strawberry Leaf and Rose Skin Tonic

If possible gather wild strawberry or blackberry leaves from the hedgerows to make this excellent astringent tonic (or aftershave lotion) for greasy skin.

5g fresh strawberry or blackberry leaves
100ml boiling water
5ml cider vinegar
1 drop pure rose otto essential oil
Plastic funnel

Put the strawberry or blackberry leaves into a heatproof jug, add the boiling water and infuse for 15 minutes. Put the cider vinegar into another jug, then stir in the rose otto essential oil. Strain the leaf infusion and discard the leaves, add it to the rose vinegar mixture and stir. Pour through a plastic funnel into a clean dark glass bottle. Apply to the skin after cleansing or shaving. Keeps for up to 3 days if stored in the fridge.

Rose De Mai Burner Blend

For this uplifting blend, make up a concentrated mix of pure essential oils, then use a few drops at a time.

Rosewater and/or orange-flower water to fill the burner reservoir.
4 drops pure rose otto essential oil
8 drops pure geranium essential oil
2 drops pure palmarosa essential oil
10 drops pure mandarin essential oil
4 drops pure lemon essential oil
Pipette (from chemists)
Put the essential oils into a small, dark glass bottle. Fill the burner with rose water and/or orange-flower water. Using a pipette, add up to 6 drops of the blend. Light the candle and enjoy.

aromatherapy tools burners

Rose Lip Balm

1 tsp beeswax granules
4 tsp jojoba
1/2 tsp clear honey
1/2 cm red lipstick (optional)
1 drop pure rose otto essential oil

Put the beeswax, jojoba, honey (and lipstick if using) in a heatproof basin over a pan of simmering water. Stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the essential oil and stir thoroughly. Pour into a spotlessly clean glass pot with a tight-fitting lid.

Rose Petal Skin Cream

Use sparingly under make-up or as a moisturiser for normal-to-dry skins. If you grow roses (preferably organic), use rose petal tea instead of rosewater - add 150ml boiling water to 5g rose petals, and infuse for 10 minutes.

aromatherapy moisturiser

1 level tsp beeswax granules
10ml sweet almond oil
20ml rosehip oil
15ml rosewater
2 drops pure rose otto essential oil

Put the beeswax, sweet almond oil and rosehip oil in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the beeswax has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the rosewater. Keep stirring while the cream begins to cool, then add the rose otto essential oil. Spoon the mixture into a clean glass pot with a tight-fitting lid. It will keep for 3 months if stored in the fridge. Avoid dipping your fingers into the cream; use a teaspoon or cosmetic spatula.

Infused Oil of Roses

As well as roses, this body oil contains scented geranium leaves to heighten the fragrance. But if you have enough roses, you may wish to omit the geranium leaves and make up the weight with additional rose petals.

50g richly scented rose petals
5g rose-scented geranium leaves
5g lemon-scented geranium leaves
600ml sunflower oil
Coffee filter paper or muslin
Plastic funnel

Put the flowers and leaves in a heatproof basin. Cover with the oil. Place over a pan of simmering water. Cover and infuse over extremely low heat for 1 hour. Remove from the heat and leave overnight, covered. Next day, strain the oil through the filter paper or a piece of double thickness muslin. Using a funnel, pour the oil into a dark glass bottle with a tight-fitting cap. Store in the fridge and use within 6 months.

Rose Pomander

Despite their intricate look, this eye-catching pomander is easy to make. Now and again, sprinkle on a few drops of pure rose otto essential oil to intensify the fragrance.

Fine to medium thickness string
Dry florists foam ball
Florist's glue and spatula
Dried rose petals
23cm velvet ribbon
16cm florist's wire bent double into a hairpin shape

rose pomander
  1. Tie the string, crossed over in two directions, round the outside of the foam ball, to mark four areas for the rosebuds. Using a small plastic spatula, carefully coat one quarter section of the ball with glue, then roll it in rose petals. Continue until all sections are covered.
  2. Remove the string and push the rosebuds in by their stalks, along the remaining channels. Leave a small space at the top for the ribbon. Tie or sew the ribbon into a loop and fasten it to the top of the pomander with the wire.

Rose Potpourri

You will be able to buy the dried flowers and orris root powder from craft shops and herbalists.

You will need:

1 cupful each of dried rose and peony petals
Half a cup each of rosebuds and jasmine flowers
A few blue mallow or delphinium petals
4 heads of dried lavender, broken into pieces
Small handful of dried sprigs of flowering rosemary
1 tbsp dried mint
1 tsp orris root powder
6-8 cloves
Pinch of allspice
6 drops pure rose otto essential oil
Cellophane bags and ribbon

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a tin, cover with a lid and leave in a warm, dry cupboard for a week, to allow the perfume to develop. Shake the tin occasionally, to mix the contents.
  2. Pack in cellophane bags and tie with a ribbon as a gift, or display in a decorative bowl with a lid. If the lid is removed only for short periods, and the contents stirred to release the scent, the potpourri will keep its colour and fragrance much longer than if left open to light the air.