La vie en rosewater.
In the Mediterranean we try to use all-natural products with a deep history of beneficial uses instead of relying on man- or factory-made ones.
This was, of course, initially dictated by the region's lack of buying power and remoteness. But, as the people of these regions slowly gained in wealth and imported products began permeating the local markets, some traditions remain true. Rosewater is one of them.
Rosewater is one of those truly multifaceted products that can be used in the kitchen to sweeten foods as well as in the bathroom and bedroom as a beauty and healing product. Best of all, the luxurious scent of this marvelous little water adds a bit of zest to your cooking without breaking the bank. (It usually costs under $10 for a 12-ounce bottle.)
The homeopathic roots of rosewater date as far back as the ancient Egyptians. According to legend, Cleopatra would take milk baths with rose petals floating to keep her skin soft, smooth, and gloriously scented.
Even in recent times, it's said the streets of Beirut are filled with the scent of rosewater in the late spring and early summer, as the rose petals are pressed, steamed, and distilled to make this many-faceted beauty and food product.