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  • Writer's picturestarametrine

Hydrosol Magick with Lilac

What are hydrosols?

Hydrosols, or hydrolats, are the product of distilling fresh or dried plants over heat, and catching the drops. They are sometimes known as floral waters, but these are generally synthetic products with extras added for fragrance.

Hydrosols are blissful to use on the skin as a face and body mist to hydrate and tone skin. I made a beautiful lilac hydrosol recently, that tastes and smells delicious. It doesn’t have the wow factor scent of lilac that you’d imagine, just a faint glimpse, but it does smell deliciously green and earthy, and is so, so refreshing on the skin, especially on a warm, sunny day. Lilac is slightly astringent so is ideal for use on the face.

How to make a hydrosol

Hydrosols are generally made using copper alembic stills, which are fairly expensive, so I’ve devised a method using things you may already have in the kitchen.

You will need:

  • heatproof stock pot or casserole dish with a lid

  • Perspex bowl

  • Something heatproof for the bowl to stand on. I use a small aluminium salve pot lid but anything similar will do

  • Distilled water

  • Ice

  • Plant of choice

  • Storage jar and labels

  • Mist bottle

Place your Perspex bowl inside the stock pot on its stand. Fill with distilled water to just under the top of the heatproof stand you’re using.

Place your desired plant material around the bowl, on top of the water. Then place the pot lid down, inverted, so the handle is facing inside. Fill the inverted lid with ice, covering the whole surface.

Start your stove burner, on a low heat, and wait till it starts to simmer. Then turn down as low as you can, you only want a very low heat here.

Leave for 30 minutes. The hydrosol will rise in little drops to the top of the lid, and the ice will make them fall back down into your bowl.

When you’ve done, remove everything from heat and wait til it all cools down. Pour the hydrosol you’ve captured into your storage jar. Label with what it is, the date, and refrigerate.

Now you have made your hydrosol! Pour into mist bottles to use on your face. Keep all of these refrigerated to preserve them. A hydrosol will generally last for a few months if kept refrigerated.

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