Hydrolates, also known as hydrosols, or herbal and floral waters, are by-products of the process of making essential oils. During this process, the herbs and flowers are distilled with spring water. The water is heated and presses itself through the plants as vapour, which collects the essential oils and other ingredients present. The essential oils - which float on the surface of the water - are removed, leaving the hydrolate, which contains a small quantity of essential oil and other water-soluble agents from the plant. Nothing else is added to our hydrolates/floral waters. One exception is witch hazel water, which retains the natural alcohol produced during its distillation process.
This is a natural way to preserve the organic witch hazel water as it was very fragile previously (when the natural alcohol was removed from it).
Be aware that many companies today sell so-called flower waters by using a whisking method to ‘solubilise’ essential oils into plain water. We believe that the true hydrolates are best for therapeutic reasons and Aromantic only sell true hydrolates.
You will also find a lot of hydrolates with high contents of various kinds of alcohol. We don’t consider this necessary, except in in a few cases. Unfortunately, producers also succumb to the temptation of using normal preservatives in hydrolates to keep them fresh. Aromantic will never stock these.
Genuine orange blossom water, rose water and the other waters included here are all produced naturally, as by-products of essential oil distillation. These waters can sometimes be used as they are, as skin toners, facial cleansers, hair rinses, for aromatic baths, baby baths, on compresses or in sprays for freshening up the skin. They can also be used to replace, or partially replace, water in various skin care products along with other ingredients, in e.g. skin toners/spritzers, facial cleansers, face masks, creams, lotions or shampoos.
Hydrolates are easily used on their own or added to other products - simple skin care!
Most of the organic hydrolates listed below originate in France and so are first approved by by EcoCert, the French organic control organisation. Here in the UK they have been approved by the Organic Farmers & Growers. See Aromantic’s OF&G Certification article under Ethical Policy in main menu.