from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A fragrant preparation made by steeping or distilling rose petals in water, used in cosmetics, as eau de toilette, and in cookery.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • Water tinctured with roses by distillation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The water-soluble portion of the distillate of rose petals.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun perfume consisting of water scented with oil of roses


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  • Rose water or rose syrup is the hydrosol portion of the distillate of rose petals. Rose water, itself a by-product of the production of rose oil for use in perfume, is used to flavour food, as a component in some cosmetic and medical preparations, and for religious purposes throughout Europe and Asia.

    Rose water has a very distinctive flavour and is used heavily in South Asian, West Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine—especially in sweets. For example, rose water gives loukoumia (turkish delight) and gulab jamuns their distinctive flavours. In Iran it is also added to tea, ice cream, cookies and other sweets in small quantities, and in the Arab world and India it is used to flavour milk and dairy-based dishes such as rice pudding.


    June 9, 2008

  • I immerse myself in the Buzurriya Souq

    Set a sail in a cloud of spices

    Clouds of cloves

    And cinnamon . . .

    And camomile . . .

    I perform ablutions in rose water once.

    And in the water of passion many times . . . "

    - Nizar Qabbani, 'Damascus, What Are You Doing to Me?'

    September 16, 2008