Floral and herbal waters have many uses in the home and as wonderful gifts for that special someone. Herbal and floral waters are not as heavily scented as colognes, and do not contain as much alcohol. Scented waters can be used in bath water, directly on the skin as a refreshing splash, or in place of toilet water for an added pick-me-up after bathing. Probably the best part of making your own scented waters is the price. They are easy and inexpensive to make, the scents you create will be unique, and they do not contain harmful chemicals.
• 3 cups distilled water
• 1/4 cup vodka (80 proof or less)
• 1 ounce dried chamomile flowers (or other desired herb, floral, or essential oil)
• Clean, boiled mixing bottle (mason jars are great for this)
• Wooden spoon or plastic stirring rod
• Clean, decorative bottle
Note: When mixing recipes, always pour other substances into the water. Never the other way around. This is important because an accidental splash, when pouring too quickly, will result in only the water being splashed out of the container.
Step 1: Preparing the Scented Water
Measure the distilled water, and pour it into the mixing bottle. Slowly pour in the vodka, do not use rubbing alcohol (see Why not use Rubbing Alcohol below). If using dried herbs or aromatic flowers, mix those into the water/vodka blend until they are completely saturated. If using fresh herbs or aromatic flowers, mix them into the water/vodka blend until they are covered and stirred into the mixture. Essential oils are simply added and stirred into the mixture. Once the scents of your choosing have been added and mixed, pour the entire contents into a decorative bottle, and securely affix the lid. Let the mixture stand in a cool, dark place for at least one week to allow the scent to mature. The jar may be placed on a shelf or in a curio cabinet while it ages, so long as it does not receive direct sun light. As an added bonus, you will have the visual effect of the flower petals or the herbs in the decorative bottle until you are ready to use the solution.
Step 2: Collecting the Scented Water
Some types of florals have petals and/or leaves that will not fare well once the scented water mixture has matured. If that is the case, then strain the petals or leaves out of the mixture. You can use the mixture directly from the decorative bottle, or you can pour the mixture into a bottle that has spray capabilities. Remember, petals and leaves that survived the maturing process can be reused. If they still have a strong scent coming from them, add them to your next batch of scented water. If they have very little, or no scent left, use them in a decorative bottle as a visual decoration.
This recipe can be used for making any herb-scented or flower-scented water you prefer. Experiment with different types of flowers and herbs, or combinations of both. Orange blossoms have a sweet, citrus scent that is refreshing and soothing. Moreover, capturing the flowers when they are in season and producing scented water ensures you will have your favorites scents all year long.
Why not use Rubbing Alcohol
Common rubbing alcohol is Iso Propyl Alcohol (IPA). It is distinctly different from Ethyl Alcohol, in that Ethyl Alcohol is derived from organic means. Common rubbing alcohol used to be Ethyl Alcohol, but because it was being consumed by people as a drinking alcohol substitute, it was scented, colorized, and was slowly phased out. The Ethyl Alcohol that was, and is still, sold in drug stores and supermarkets contain additives and is not processed for human consumption. Vodka is used in these recipes because it is pure Ethyl Alcohol, without colorizers and perfumed scents.