Are you stuck in a natural beauty routine rut? Sometimes it’s hard to think outside the box, but there’s no reason to get bored! Making your own hydrosol perfume is a perfect way to take nature up on its offer for a fresh, unique twist on your normal routine. Plus it’s useful for more than just the wonderful aroma!
Making a hydrosol (or herbal distillate) may sound complicated, but the process simply requires simmering some fresh herbs in a pot of water. As the water evaporates into steam, it brings small amounts of the plant’s essential oils and other lovely organic components with it. When condensed and collected, this steam becomes an aromatic water (AKA your new perfume) that contains some of the natural properties of the plants.
As you craft your own hydrosol, you can capture the fragrance of any herbs, flowers or fruit peels that suit you, but I tried the woodsy and uplifting combination of rosemary, mint and grapefruit. Rosemary is antibacterial and anti-fungal so it not only smells amazing, but also works as a disinfectant and moisturizer on your skin and scalp. Add in mint as a mental stimulant and grapefruit as a natural mood lifter, and you have a new daily mist that is great for its scent and for your skin.
While these simple, aromatic waters are perfect for light perfumes, because of the additional properties picked up from the herbs, they can easily be incorporated into other natural products as well. Try distilling rose petals to make a skin toner, lemon peels and thyme to make a cleaner for around the house, or lavender flowers to make a pillow mist to encourage sleep.
How To Make Your Hydrosol Perfume
To begin, grab a large stock pot and domed lid, a smaller heatproof bowl (such as a liquid measuring cup), some water, a bag of ice, and the rosemary, mint and grapefruit peels. You can use fresh or dried herbs, just be sure to buy organic, pesticide-free material whenever possible to keep the perfume pure for use on your skin.
Place the heatproof bowl in the middle of your pot, arrange the herbs and fruit around it, and pour in your water. Now turn the lid upside down and place it on top of your pot with the handle directly over the smaller bowl. Put a bag of ice on top of the lid, then bring the water inside to a simmer. Let the water simmer for about 25-30 minutes, replacing the ice periodically when it melts. As the steam rises in the pot, it will condense on the lid and drip down to the handle into the heatproof bowl, bringing good things from the herbs along with it!
Once you are finished simmering, remove the pot from the heat and take out the smaller bowl to let the aromatic water cool. Pour the cooled water into a darker colored, glass misting bottle and enjoy your new naturally scented perfume! To keep the hydrosol from spoiling, store it in a cool location away from direct sunlight (the refrigerator is perfect).
- Stock pot with domed lid
- Heatproof bowl
- One small handful of fresh rosemary
- One handful of fresh mint
- Grapefruit peels from one grapefruit
- 3-4 Cups distilled water
- Ice in a plastic bag
- Arrange a heatproof bowl (such as a glass liquid measuring cup) in the center of a large saucepan or stock pot.
- Place the rosemary, mint and grapefruit peels in the bottom of the pot around the smaller bowl. Pour the distilled water into the pot.
- Cover with an upside down, domed lid with the handle centered over the smaller bowl, then place the bag of ice on the lid.
- Bring the water to a simmer and let the condensation from the steam drip into the heatproof bowl for about 25-30 minutes. Replace the ice as it melts to continue the condensation.
- When finished, remove the smaller bowl (now filled with your herbal water) and let it cool before transferring to a misting bottle.
- Use generously and store in the refrigerator.