Steam distillation draws out the essential oils from plant materials for use in a variety of applications. The process can be performed at home with kitchen utensils and your own fresh garden flowers. Distilling your flowers gives you your own, homemade essential oils that can be used in soap, perfumes and other home recipes.
Place the flower petals in the pot. Select highly fragrant flower petals such as rose, lavender or lilac. Also choose a variety of flower petals to create your own distilled oil blend.
Place the glass bowl in the center of the pot, making sure no petals are beneath it.
Pour water into the pot, covering the flower petals, but not deep enough to reach the lipped edge of the glass bowl.
Put the lid of the pot upside-down into the pot to where the knob is pointing down toward the glass bowl on the inside.
Turn the stove on its lowest heat.
Fill the upside-down lid with ice. The ice in the lid will lead to condensation on the inside of the pot, causing the collected oils from the simmering flowers to drip from the knob of the lid, into the glass bowl. The condensation dripping into the bowl is, in fact, essential oils from the petals.
Remove the bowl from the pot of simmering flower petals carefully, using oven mitts.
Extract the essential oils from the glass bowl with a plastic pipette and inject them into a separate container for future use.