The rose is possibly the most revered flower and enticing fragrance ever known to man. So beloved are floral fragrances that their precious essential oils have been extracted for medicinal and cosmetic uses for thousands of years. One of the most popular fragrances of all times, today rose essential oil just happens to also be among the costliest. But if you have an abundant supply of rose petals available to you, there’s absolutely no sensible reason not to make your own essential fragrance oil from them. You may be very surprised at how easy it is to do. This process spans about a week, but no still is needed nor other fancy equipment.
Cut fresh roses of any type or color, and your choice of fragrance. If only a few are available at one time, you can gather more over the next four days. If this is the case, choose blooms which are about halfway open rather than full-blown. Put the cut roses in a vase or glass of water and store in the refrigerator until it’s time to begin extracting the oil. Spritz the blooms with cold water two or three times daily.
Pluck the petals from the roses and pack them tightly into a 1-cup measure. Discard all of the greenery. Empty the rose petals into a plastic bag and squeeze all of the air out of it before sealing it closed. Bruise the petals by striking gently 30-40 times with a wooden kitchen mallet. Mark them up well, but don’t pulverize them into pulp. Pour them into a glass quart jar.
Add 1 cup of olive oil to the rose petals. Put the lid on tightly and place the jar on a warm, sunny windowsill for 48 hours. If such a spot is not practical, place it on top of your refrigerator in a warm room.
Strain the contents of the jar through a coffee filter or some cheesecloth to remove and discard all solid material. Return the liquid to the jar.
Repeat Steps 2, 3 and 4 three times.
Pour the fragrant rose essential oil into glass bottles or jars, preferably dark-colored with lids. Cap them tightly. You can store the oil for up to a year in a cool, dark location.