The Rose

Rosa Damascena, Rosa Centifolia, Rosa Gallica


Roses are widely known for their beauty and their fragrance. Yet long before they were used in perfumery or given as tokens of devotion among lovers, roses were prized for their medicinal properties.

In medieval Europe, “rose juice” seemed to have been something of a cure-all for many ailments like fever, inflammation, or pain. Whether they were effective or not, roses were used to stop any kind of excessive flow, they were used for eye health, for female reproductive health, to increase fertility, in burns, wounds, and sores, and even as prevention against cholera and the plague. Roses were so valued that they could be used as payment toward rents or fines.

Today we primarily use Roses for their cosmetic and symbolic values. However the rose has many valuable properties that we can use to alleviate common maladies.


The Luxurious Rose

Roses have a calming aroma, and the essential oil is great for soothing and healing skin of all types. This oil is very expensive, but a little goes a long way!

USE: Skin Care | Massage Oil | Diffusion

Rose Absolute: The product of extraction by enfleurage, a chemical process that involves solvents and requires a huge amount of petals, hence why it is so expensive. The process yields a thick, amber-colored liquid that is very concentrated and very aromatic. This is usually preferred for perfumery because its scent is sweet and long-lasting.

Rose Otto: True essential oil is extracted via steam distillation. It is preferred by aromatherapists because it is less likely to contain traces of solvents or chemicals which can irritate the skin. Distillation yields a clear or pale yellow oil, and its smell is not as intensely floral or sweet as the absolute; nevertheless it costs almost twice as much as rose absolute.

Rose Water:  Also known as Rose Hydrosol, this is a byproduct of steam distillation. It is gentle enough to be used directly on the skin and safe enough to use on children.


Blends Well With

  • Bergamot 
  • Black pepper 
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Clary Sage
  • Geranium
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Neroli
  • Patchouli
  • Sandalwood 
  • Vetiver 
  • Ylang ylang 

Key Benefits

  • Improves skin conditions 
  • Balances hormones
  • Eases menstrual symptoms
  • Eases stomach discomfort
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Helps with depression
  • Aphrodisiac


Rose Absolute may have some trace solvents, for therapeutic purposes use Rose Otto instead

Rose Otto is very powerful and you need to safely dilute it to a max dilution rate of 1% for topical applications (such as body lotions or massage oils) or 0.6% dilution rate for facial application (such as lotions or serums). A little goes a long way.

Rose essential oil is an emmenagogue (stimulates blood flow in the pelvic area). Avoid using it if pregnant.

Topical Application

Topical Application

Love Your Face Serum

1% dilution for face & neck:

  • 1 drop Rose Absolute
  • 2 drops Frankincense Frereana
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) carrier oil

Love Your Body Blend

3% dilution for extra dry skin:

  • 2 drops Rose Absolute
  • 3 drops Blue Yarrow
  • 4 drops Roman Chamomile
  • 2 tsp carrier oil OR lotion

Menstrual Cramps & Stomach Complaints

1% dilution:

  • 3 drops Rose
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) carrier oil

Massage on your lower stomach in a clockwise direction. If needed, increase dilution rate to 2% (6 drops per 10 mL carrier)

Grief/Anxiety Oil

5% dilution:

  • 4 drops Rose
  • 4 drops Geranium
  • 6 drops Orange
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) carrier oil

Massage over your body. Concentrate on shoulders and upper back


Diffusing Blends


  • 1 drop Rose
  • 3 drops Lemon
  • 2 drops Pepeprmint
  • 2 drops Tea Tree

First Love

  • 5 drops of Rose
  • 3 drops of Neroli


  • 3 drops Rose
  • 3 drops Sandalwood Australian
  • 3 drops Patchouli


  • 1 drops Rose
  • 2 drops Sandalwood Australian
  • 2 drops Frankincense


5% dilution rate. Decrease dilution rate for sensitive or elderly skin

In a 30 mL glass container, add the following number of drops of essential oils

  • 11 drops Bergamot
  • 21 drops Rose Absolute*
  • 12 drops Cedarwood Atlas

Fill the rest of the bottle with your carrier of choice. (I prefer sweet almond or rosehip). Set the bottle aside for a few weeks for scent to meld. Pour into roll-on bottles and apply to wrists and neck

Notes of interest:

  • In perfume making, Rose Otto has more of a top note, whereas Rose Absolute has more of a fixative power. 
  • Rose blends beautifully with citruses. You can replace orange in lieu of Bergamot, or make a really nice blend with Neroli.

Skin Care

Rejuvenates skin – Useful in anti-aging serums: Supports cell and tissue regeneration.  Helps maintain skin’s elasticity and reduce appearance of fine lines.

Promotes skin healing – Prevents scarring, alleviates poison ivy rashes, repairs sun-damaged skin and helps reduce the damage from burns. Reduces appearance of stretch marks.

Antibacterial properties – Mildly astringent and good for all skin types. Helps reduce acne. Rose-based toners and Rose water helps soothe irritated skin. 

Rosewater: Everyday Skin Care

Get all the benefits of Rose without having to use up all your precious essential oils. How? Rosewater! Apply this on your makeup-free face.

Rose Water Toner

  • 3/4 cup Rose Water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable glycerin

Combine ingredients in a bottle. Shake vigorously for several seconds before each use. Using a cleansing pad or cotton round, apply about 1 teaspoon daily to your face after cleaning or any time your skin needs freshening. Follow it up with moisturizer.

Use within 3 months, keep in refrigerator for extended shelf life. 

An excellent tutorial on how to make Rose Water. This requires pesticide-free roses, and a Dutch oven or similar pot.

Featured in Episode 1