Rosewater

Rosewater

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Rose water or rose syrup is the hydrosol
Herbal distillate
Herbal distillates are aqueous solutions or colloidal suspensions of essential oils usually obtained by steam distillation from aromatic plants. These herbal distillates have uses as flavorings, medicine and in skin care...

 portion of the distillate
Distillation
Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in volatilities of components in a boiling liquid mixture. Distillation is a unit operation, or a physical separation process, and not a chemical reaction....

 of rose
Rose
A rose is a woody perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers are large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows...

 petal
Petal
Petals are modified leaves that surround the reproductive parts of flowers. They often are brightly colored or unusually shaped to attract pollinators. Together, all of the petals of a flower are called a corolla. Petals are usually accompanied by another set of special leaves called sepals lying...

s. Rose water, itself a by-product
By-product
A by-product is a secondary product derived from a manufacturing process or chemical reaction. It is not the primary product or service being produced.A by-product can be useful and marketable or it can be considered waste....

 of the production of rose oil
Rose oil
Rose oil, meaning either rose otto or rose absolute, is the essential oil extracted from the petals of various types of rose...

 for use in perfume
Perfume
Perfume is a mixture of fragrant essential oils and/or aroma compounds, fixatives, and solvents used to give the human body, animals, objects, and living spaces "a pleasant scent"...

, is used to flavour food, as a component in some cosmetic and medical preparations, and for religious purposes throughout Europe and Asia.

Terminology


Rose water is a calque
Calque
In linguistics, a calque or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal, word-for-word or root-for-root translation.-Calque:...

 of Persian word Golab .

Origin


Since ancient times, the rose has been highly prized for its source of perfume, medicinal use and nutritional properties. In fact so much so that, ancient Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 and Phoenecians placed as much importance on large public rose gardens as they did on wheat fields and fruit orchards.

Rose perfumes are made from rose oil, also called attar of roses, which is a mixture of volatile
Volatility (chemistry)
In chemistry and physics, volatility is the tendency of a substance to vaporize. Volatility is directly related to a substance's vapor pressure. At a given temperature, a substance with higher vapor pressure vaporizes more readily than a substance with a lower vapor pressure.The term is primarily...

 essential oil
Essential oil
An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils or aetherolea, or simply as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove...

s obtained by steam-distilling the crushed petals of roses, a process first developed in Persia and Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

. Rose water is a by-product of this process.

In other cultures


Rose water has a very distinctive flavour and is used heavily in Iranian cuisine
Iranian cuisine
Iranian cuisine is diverse, with each province featuring dishes, culinary traditions and styles distinct to its region.It includes a wide variety of foods ranging from chelo kabab , khoresht Iranian cuisine is diverse, with each province featuring dishes, culinary traditions and styles distinct to...

—especially in sweets such as nougat, raahat and baklava. For example, rose water is used to give gulab jamun
Gulab jamun
Gulab jamun is a popular dessert in countries of the Indian Subcontinent such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. It is made of a dough consisting mainly of milk solids, traditionally, khoya, an Indian milk product is rolled into a ball together with some flour and then deep fried...

s and some types of loukoum
Lokum
Lokum or Nokul is a type of puff pastry. Lokum is a type of pastry eaten in Turkey and Bulgaria with variations. Lokum is sometimes served hot as an appetizer instead of bread.It consists of a rolled sheet of yeast dough onto which a feta,walnut or poppy seed is sprinkled over a thin coat of butter...

 (or "Turkish Delight") their distinctive flavours. Beside food usage, they used it as perfume
Perfume
Perfume is a mixture of fragrant essential oils and/or aroma compounds, fixatives, and solvents used to give the human body, animals, objects, and living spaces "a pleasant scent"...

 especially in religious ceremonies (both Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s and Zoroastrians).

The Cypriot version of mahleb uses rosewater. In Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, it is also added to tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

, ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners...

, cookies and other sweets in small quantities, and in the Arab world
Arab cuisine
Arab cuisine is defined as the various regional cuisines spanning the Arab World, from Morocco and Tunisia to Saudi Arabia, and incorporating Levantine, Egyptian .-History:...

 and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 it is used to flavour milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

 and dairy-based dishes such as rice pudding
Rice pudding
Rice pudding is a dish made from rice mixed with water or milk and sometimes other ingredients such as cinnamon and raisins. Different variants are used for either desserts or dinners. When used as a dessert, it is commonly combined with a sweetener such as sugar.-Rice pudding around the world:Rice...

. It is also a key ingredient in sweet lassi
Lassi
Lassi is a popular and traditional yogurt-based drink of the Indian Subcontinent. It is made by blending yogurt with water and Indian spices...

, a drink made from yoghurt
Yoghurt
Yoghurt, yogurt or yogourt is a dairy product produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yoghurt are known as "yoghurt cultures"...

, sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

 and various fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 juices, and is also used to make jallab
Jallab
Jallab is a type of syrup popular in the Middle East made from carob, dates, grape molasses and rose water.In Syria, Palestine and Lebanon Jallab is very popular. It is made mainly of grape molasses and artificial coloring, then smoked with Arabic incense. It is usually sold with crushed ice and...

. In Malaysia and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, rose water is mixed with milk, sugar and pink food colouring to make a sweet drink called bandung
Bandung (drink)
Bandung, sirap bandung, or air bandung is the name of a drink popular in Malaysia and Singapore. It consists of milk flavoured with rose cordial syrup, giving a pink colour. The drink is an adaptation of rose milk served in India....

. Rose water is frequently used as a halal
Halal
Halal is a term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. The term is used to designate food seen as permissible according to Islamic law...

 substitute for red wine and other alcohols in cooking.

In Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

, rose water (as well as orange flower water
Orange flower water
Orange flower water, or orange blossom water, is a clear, perfumed distillation of fresh bitter-orange blossoms.This essential water has traditionally been used in many French and Mediterranean dessert dishes, such as the gibassier and pompe à l'huile, but has more recently found its way into...

) is sometimes used to flavour both marzipan
Marzipan
Marzipan is a confection consisting primarily of sugar and almond meal. Persipan is a similar, yet less expensive product, in which the almonds are replaced by apricot or peach kernels...

 and madeleine, a petite scallop-shaped French sponge cake. Rose water was also used to make Waverly Jumbles, a type of cookie much favoured by the American President James Monroe
James Monroe
James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States . Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States, and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation...

. American and European bakers enjoyed the floral flavouring of rose water in their baking until the 19th century when vanilla
Vanilla
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, Flat-leaved Vanilla . The word vanilla derives from the Spanish word "", little pod...

 flavouring became popular.

The French are known for their rose syrup, most commonly made from an extract of rose petals. In the United States, this French rose syrup is used to make rose scones
Scone (bread)
The scone is a small Scottish quick bread especially popular in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand,Belgium and Ireland, but are also eaten in many other countries. They are usually made of wheat, barley or oatmeal, with baking powder as a leavening agent...

 and marshmallow
Marshmallow
The marshmallow is a confection that, in its modern form, typically consists of sugar, corn syrup, water, gelatin that has been softened in hot water, dextrose, vanilla flavourings, and sometimes colouring, whipped to a spongy consistency. Some marshmallow recipes call for egg whites...

s.

A rose water ointment is occasionally used as an emollient, and rose water is sometimes used in cosmetics such as cold cream
Cold cream
Cold cream is an emulsion of water and certain fats, usually including beeswax and various scent agents, designed to smooth skin and remove makeup. The name derives from the cooling feeling that the cream leaves on the skin...

s. Water used to clean the Kaaba
Kaaba
The Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham, or Ibraheem, in Arabic, and his son Ishmael, or Ismaeel, as said in Arabic, after he had settled in Arabia. The building has a mosque...

, the Qibla
Qibla
The Qiblah , also transliterated as Qibla, Kiblah or Kibla, is the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays during salah...

 for Muslims located in Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

, combines Zamzam water
Zamzam Well
The Well of Zamzam is a well located within the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, east of the Kaaba, the holiest place in Islam...

 with rose water as an additive. Rose water is used in some Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 rituals as well. Rose water also figures in Christianity, particularly in the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

.

Rose water was first produced by Muslim chemists in the medieval Islamic world
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

 through the distillation
Distillation
Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in volatilities of components in a boiling liquid mixture. Distillation is a unit operation, or a physical separation process, and not a chemical reaction....

 of roses, for use in the drinking
Drinking
Drinking is the act of consuming water or a beverage through the mouth. Water is required for many of life’s physiological processes. Both excessive and inadequate water intake are associated with health problems.-Physiology:...

 and perfumery industries.

In Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

, rose water is commonly added to lemonade.

In India, rose water is used as eye drops to clear them. Some people in India also use rose water as spray applied directly to the face for natural fragrance and moisturiser, especially during winters. It is also used in Indian sweets
Indian sweets
South Asian Sweets are a unique type of confectionary in Indian, Pakistani and other South Asian cuisines. The Hindi-Urdu word used to refer to sweets and confectionary is mithai. South Asian sweets are made with sugar, milk and condensed milk, and cooked by frying. The bases of the sweets and...

 and other food preparations. Rose water is often sprinkled in Indian weddings to welcome guests.

Composition


Depending on the origin and type of manufacturing method of rosewater obtained from the sepals and petals of Rosa damascena
Rosa damascena
Rosa × damascena, more commonly known as the Damask rose , the Damascus rose, or sometimes as the Rose of Castile, is a rose hybrid, derived from Rosa gallica and Rosa moschata...

 from Central Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 through steam distillation
Steam distillation
Steam distillation is a special type of distillation for temperature sensitive materials like natural aromatic compounds....

, the following monoterpenoid and alkane
Alkane
Alkanes are chemical compounds that consist only of hydrogen and carbon atoms and are bonded exclusively by single bonds without any cycles...

 components could be identified with GC-MS: mostly citronellol
Citronellol
Citronellol, or dihydrogeraniol, is a natural acyclic monoterpenoid. Both enantiomers occur in nature. -Citronellol, which is found in citronella oils, including Cymbopogon nardus , is the more common isomer. -Citronellol is found in the oils of rose and Pelargonium geraniums.Citronellol is...

, nonadecane, geraniol
Geraniol
Geraniol is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol. It is the primary part of rose oil, palmarosa oil, and citronella oil . It also occurs in small quantities in geranium, lemon, and many other essential oils. It appears as a clear to pale-yellow oil that is insoluble in water, but soluble in most common...

 and phenyl ethyl alcohol, and also henicosane, 9-nonadecen, eicosane
Eicosane
Icosane is an alkane with the chemical formula C20H42. It has 366,319 constitutional isomers....

, linalool, citronellyl acetate, methyleugenol, heptadecane
Heptadecane
Heptadecane is an organic compound, an alkane hydrocarbon with the chemical formula C17H36. The name may refer to any of 24894 theoretically possible constitutional isomers, or to a mixture thereof....

, pentadecane, docosane, nerol
Nerol
Nerol is a monoterpene found in many essential oils such as lemongrass and hops. It was originally isolated from neroli oil, hence its name. This colourless liquid is used in perfumery. Like geraniol, nerol has a sweet rose odor but it is considered to be fresher.Isomeric with nerol is geraniol,...

, disiloxane
Disiloxane
Disiloxane is a hydrogen-bearing silicon compound with the formula H3SiOSiH3 analog to methyl ether in organic chemistry. It is the simplest silicon ether and a colourless gas.- Production :...

, octadecane, and pentacosane.
Usually, phenylethyl alcohol is responsible for the typical odour of rose water but not always present in rosewater products.

See also


External links