My apothecary roses are all filled with blooms right now and I’m enjoying the opportunity to make luscious skin care products and aromatherapy blends with their vibrant pink petals. Many of the highly fragrant apothecary rose species only bloom once each year during the month of May, so spring is typically my best month for working with fresh roses of many kinds.
One of the recipes I’ve been perfecting this season is a formula I’m calling ‘Pot de Rose’ – a light, multi-purpose rose balm that’s wonderful for both the skin and the spirit. In the herbal tradition, roses are often included in topical use formulas to tone and soothe sensitive skin, reduce skin inflammation, provide gentle astringency, and to offer a delicate fragrance to perfumed products. In the aromatherapy realm, we work with rose to fortify the spirit and comfort the heart.
I’ve always pictured rose’s personality as a busty, warm, slightly fluffy, wise grandmother who gives the best hugs, makes everything beautiful, and isn’t afraid of showing emotion. She’s strong, but soft – vulnerable, yet steadfast. She reminds us to grow through hardship, to reach deep and find our strength within, and to remain soft around the edges. (I think all her coffee tables are draped with hand-crocheted doilies and vases of freshly picked blooms.) Her gentle strength lends beauty and comfort to hard things like grief so we can turn our focus to the good as the pain slowly softens. Rose teaches us to open our hearts to life, love, and possibility; to work with and through our emotions as we grow as humans; and to raise our face to the sunrise as we open up to each new day.
You can see why I love working with roses. In many ways, the way I picture rose is a description of who I’d like to be – someone who infuses beauty into everything, is resilient but not jaded, who remembers that many are hurting and seasons each word with grace.
As I began working on this ‘Pot de Rouge’ recipe, I knew I wanted to create something that would remind me of all these things whenever I pulled it out. I wanted to really capture rose. I needed just the right amount of rose scent and a light, pleasing texture that would work for sensitive skin without feeling oily. I wanted something that would work as both an aromatherapy product when needed but also as a daily use facial moisturizer or subtle perfume. I’m really pleased with the recipe.
- 1 ounce of organic sunflower seed oil double-infused (or triple-infused) with dried rose petals
- 1/3 ounce of organic sweet almond oil infused with dried rose petals
- 1/8 ounce of organic rosehip seed oil infused with dried rose petals
- 1/4 ounce of organic shea butter (I prefer unrefined / raw.)
- 1/4 ounce of pure beeswax or candelilla wax
- 12 drops of organic rose essential oil
Note: Do not use florist-bought or store-bought roses for this recipe. They are contaminated with pesticides and other chemicals that you don’t want to use on your skin and are usually varieties that have been bred for appearance but have no therapeutic value. Use only organic or organically grown, highly fragrant roses. You can learn more about my favorite roses to grow for the apothecary in this article.
Prepare a double boiler and, over low heat, begin to melt your wax. Once it is completely liquid, turn off the heat and slowly stir in the infused sunflower, almond and rosehip seed oils. Remove from the heat entirely before stirring in the rose essential oil. Pour immediately into a clean tin or jar and allow to sit until cool. This recipe makes about 2 ounces of product.
To work with your Pot de Rose, you can:
- Apply a small amount to your wrists or other pulse points to enjoy its aromatherapeutic benefits. (It will also act as a subtle perfume.) Bring your wrists to your nose and inhale deeply for a few moments to fully experience its effects.
- Apply over your heart chakra with warm hands (rub your hands together first to generate some warmth and energy in your hands) when you feel like your heart needs a bit of a hug or to start or end the day with an open heart and mind.
- Spray your freshly washed face with a rose hydrosol mist, then gently massage a small amount of the Pot de Rose into your skin.
I hope you enjoy working with your own Pot de Rose. If you decide to make this recipe, I’d love to hear about your experience with it! Leave a comment below or share a photo of your efforts on Instagram with the hashtag #floranellarecipe so I can find it. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!