How to Make Rose Oil and Rose Water

Everything is coming up roses when you know how to capture this intoxicating aroma.
New Dawn Rose Considered Best Repeating Climber

New Dawn Rose Considered Best Repeating Climber

Photo by: DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Garden Design, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

If your rose bushes are in bloom, you may be wishing you could bottle their intoxicating scent for longer than the flowers blossom. Well, you can! Extracting the therapeutic and lovely aroma of roses into a pure, natural oil or water solution is an easy project anyone can do at home. Here's how:

First steps

Choose roses that are free of chemicals or pesticides, especially if you'll be using the oil or water in a food product. Pick the roses in the morning, after the morning dew has evaporated, and gently wash to remove any bugs or dirt.

To make rose oil:

  1. Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a saucepan, then remove from heat.
  2. Pour a cup or so of oil in a glass jar. Look for an oil that doesn't have much natural odor to avoid competing with the roses. Jojoba and grapeseed oil are good choices, but olive oil (opt for the lighter kind) will work in a pinch.
  3. Crush, shred or "bruise" a cup of rose petals and place in the oil. Swirl the jar around to coat the petals, but don't shake.
  4. Cover the jar and place into the hot water. Warming the oil will help release the scent from the rose petals. When the water cools, you can move the jar to a warm area like a sunny windowsill.
  5. Leave the jar alone in the warm area for at least 24 hours.
  6. Strain the oil through a cheesecloth, pressing the petals to extract as much oil as you can.
  7. If you want a stronger-smelling oil, you can repeat steps 1-6 with fresh petals. You may need to repeat the process 5 or 6 times to get the desired level of scent.
  8. Pour clear oil into a dark bottle with a lid (dark glass will help block out sunlight and keep the oil more stable).

To make rose water:

Making rose water is a simpler process, but will yield less potent results. To make rose water the easy way, simply pour boiling water over rose petals (about one part rose petals to two parts water) and strain when cool. 

Store in a sterilized jar in the refrigerator, where it can stay good for as long as a month.

Uses for rose water and rose oil:

  • Scent homemade or home-poured glycerine soap
  • Add to a sachet or potpourri
  • Make your own perfume 
  • Scent homemade beauty products or massage oil
  • Add rosewater to tea, homemade baked goods and other foods. Here's a list of recipes that include rose water.
Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Prune Rose Bushes

Bush roses include hybrid teas and floribundas, both of which need to be pruned hard each year to encourage new growth.

Pruning a Shrub Rose

Pruning your roses will help increase blooming and decrease disease and pest problems. Follow these steps to learn how to make the right cuts.

How to Prune Floribunda, Shrub and Hybrid Tea Roses

Modern floribunda and hybrid tea roses benefit from hard pruning to encourage new flowering shoots, while shrub roses require relatively gentle treatment.

Overly Thorny Rose Bush

Find out what could be wrong if your rose bush starts producing lots of thorns.

How to Choose, Plant and Grow Flowering Shrubs

Flowering shrubs provide multi-season interest. Learn how to add them to your garden with these tips.

How to Plant Shrubs

Shrubs add structure and fill out your garden, providing density and dimensionality where it's most needed. They're simpler to install than you may know. Here, we walk you through it.

How to Plant Shrubs

Learn how to plant shrubs in your garden with these five easy steps. 

How to Make Rolled Paper Roses

Paper flowers fashioned from old book pages, newspaper or brown Kraft paper are a frugal alternative to store-bought ribbons and bows.

How to Plant a Currant Bush

Like glittering rubies, red currants ripen on the bush from midsummer.

How to Plant a Black Currant Bush

Follow this step-by-step guide on how to plant these small, succulent fruit bushes. 

On TV

Income Property

6:30am | 5:30c

House Hunters

8:30am | 7:30c

House Hunters

9:30am | 8:30c

House Hunters

10am | 9c

House Hunters

10:30am | 9:30c

House Hunters

11am | 10c

House Hunters

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

Good Bones

10pm | 9c

Fixer Upper

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

Good Bones

1am | 12c

Fixer Upper

2am | 1c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.