Over the summer Andrew took on the Rose Geranium planting project; his plants are looking great. Last week I took Rose Geranium to Wally’s in Sonoma for distillation, which gives us two products - essential oil and hydrosol. Most of you will be familiar with essential oils, but few people know what a hydrosol is, so here is the official definition from NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy):
“Hydrosols, also known as hydrolats, are the aqueous product of distillation and carry the hydrophilic properties (water-soluble components) of the plant in solution as well as microscopic droplets of essential oils in suspension.”
I use the hydrosols as the flavor ingredients in our Drinkwell Softers. We also package hydrosol in 80 ml spray bottles and sell them pure. Hydrosols are great for light burns, like a sunburn, very cooling, but they make a nice light facial toner; naturally a lower pH than straight water. Our’s are anywhere from 4.2 to 4.8 which makes them a little closer to the natural pH of skin at 5.5. Rose Geranium has a beautiful rose like scent. The plant produces very little essential oil. Last year we distilled 200 lb of rose geranium, which gave us 35 gallons of hydrosol and 2.5 oz of essential oil. By comparison the same amount of Lavender Grosso gave us close to 60 oz! And to be honest that 2.5 oz was a great EO yield for Rose Geranium. This is why we wholesale a 5ml bottle for $50.00.
You can imagine we don’t sell much of it. Our number one customer for Rose Geranium Essential Oil is the bakery Miette who uses it in their Macaroons. Did you know you can use a few leaves from the plant to scent sugar, by simply putting the leaves in a jar with sugar and letting it sit for a week? You can also scent a lot of sugar with one drop of EO, which is what Miette does.
I love to keep a few sprigs in a small vase near my bed just to have that beautiful scent near me.
You can use the hydrosol spray on your pillow, but I mostly use it as a refresher for my face and hair. Hydrosols can be diluted with water and turned into ice cubes, making your ice something really special. You can see this pretty little fragrant plant has plenty of uses.