I have recently found a new supplier of hydrosols. Hydrosols are so important to my cosmetics, and have been so difficult to source, that finding a new supplier is really exciting for me. When they turn out to be serious, professional folks with great service, I just get positively giddy. These guys actually show the production month on each batch (as opposed to my other suppliers who only show a "use by" date). I'm not saying the folks I have been using are not good enough, but the selection of organic products has been limited. I now have a whole new door opened to me and can start playing around with NEW products and make new combinations. I am at the moment testing carrot seed, cornflower and lavendar fine population.
From what I've experienced so far, I'll be adding linden, sage, cistus and cedarwood to my next order.
For those of you scratching your heads about hydrosols: a brief explanation:
Hydrosols (also known as hydrolates) are the by-products of the process of making essential oils. During this process, herbs or flowers are distilled with pure water. The water is heated and steam-pressed through the plant material. This allows the essential oils to be collected from the plants. The oils float on the surface of the resulting water and are removed, leaving the hydrosol.
A lot of hydrosols smell exactly like their essential oil counterpart - only milder. Some, however, smell entirely different than the essential oils and open up a whole new world of uses. Having an aqueous base that has the properties of the essential oil makes formulating new products much more fun and versatile.
Aromatherapists will tell you that hydrosols are "good for beginners" because they are not as potent as essential oils (and thereby potentially dangerous).
I am a true hydrosol fan and use them daily. Apart from being the perfect replacement for water in creams and lotions, they're ideal on their own as skin tonic. There is simply NO comparing store-bought "rosewater" to real rose hydrosol. One whiff of the real thing and you're sold.
Natural, effective, mild and heavenly-scented, hydrosols are precious waters.