Hydrosols, Hydrolats, Floral Water, and Fragrant Water ?>

Hydrosols, Hydrolats, Floral Water, and Fragrant Water

A hydrosol is the water collected from the steam carrying the essential oil during the distillation process. In some cases a distillery only wants the essential oil as their final product, and the hydrosol, also known as hydrolat, fragrant water, or floral water is discarded. In other instances the distillery will collect both the hydrosol and the essential oil to package them as two separate products. More recently there has been a resurgence in the interest in hydrosols so several companies are steaming plants purely to obtain the hydrosol only.

Hydrosols are water-loving and mostly contain acids and contain the water soluble part of the plant. They also contain microscopic particles of essential oils dispersed in the hydrosol. They make great skin tonics and are naturally preserved because bacteria do not like environments on the acidic side. While, yes, they contain few similar constituents as their essential oil counterparts, they contain very different constituents that have an energy and action that is not the same as their essential oil. Many people think hydrosols are just a milder version of the essential oil from which they come. This is not true. The constituents found in a hydrosol are over 99% different from that found in the essential oil.

Hydrosols make great support bases with essential oils or simply used on their own. They work well as room sprays and body sprays. They have a shelf life of around 1-2 years and will keep longer if kept in the refrigerator. They should be stored in a dark glass bottle, however plastic is fine if kept in a dark location. They typically come with in a spray bottle. They are a great alternative to use on infants as well as when pregnant. Below is a list of possible uses for hydrosols.

  • Astringent
  • Baby baths
  • Bath water
  • Body spray
  • Calming support
  • Circulation support
  • Face toner
  • Hospice baths
  • Inflammation support
  • Linen spray
  • Mouth wash
  • Nasal sprays
  • Nervous system support
  • Pet spray
  • Room freshener
  • Sitz bath
  • Skin cooling spray
  • Skin tonic
  • Surface house cleaning
  • Wound care

© 2016 Jen O’Sullivan. French Aromatherapy: Essential Oil Recipes & Usage Guide

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