Steam distillation has been used for over two thousand years to isolate the scent of flowers. Rose water is extracted from steam distillation, and within the distillation flask flavorings and other water soluble compounds are extracted from the rose petals to hot water. The reaction is the same as the one in making tea or coffee, compounds dissolve in water. Thereafter, volatile compounds, such as water and flavorings extracted from the petals, evaporate in their respective boiling points. Non-volatile compounds usually cannot be distilled even if they were extracted to water. When evaporated substances touch a cold surface, such as the distillation equipment’s condenser or the lid of the pot, they condense into drops and fall into the receiving container. Rose water is widely used in the cuisine of the Middle East and Asia, especially in desserts and sweets. It can also be used in perfumes and scents.
Rose water has multiple uses and benefits: