L’occitane

De’Mist’fying Rose Waters

Rose Water and Toners have been incredibly popular for its ability to hydrate, refresh, soothe, calm, and balance all skin types. Also known for its versatile uses as, toner, refresher, eye brightening, after shave spritz, pillow mist, mood enhancer etc.

In this post, I intend on shedding some light on Rose Waters in terms of types of roses, ingredient lists, some of my personal trials and experiences with some Rose Waters and some pointers you can look out for when deciding on a Rose Water for yourself.

 

Most common types of roses you’d expect to see in preparation of Rose Waters is Rosa Centifolia and Damascena Rose. Centifolia roses primarily grow in France and North Africa, have various sub types of roses, such as ‘Cabbage’ (left pic) or ‘Provence’ roses. Known to have first appeared in the late sixteenth century as a hybrid. They tend to have large globular blooms of white or pink, are fragrant and extremely hardy.

Rose Damascena commonly known as Damask Rose (right pic) with two distinct types i.e. Summer Damasks and Autumn Damasks. In addition, to these being used widely in perfumery, they are also known to be edible (Turkish Delight). The roses in this category are are a light to moderate pink to light red colour.

A Note on Preservatives Used: Consistently seen, Potassium sorbate is water soluble preservative and Sodium Benzoate – water soluble sodium salt of benzoic acid, usually used as preservative.

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My Trials, Experiences and Opinions (in order of my personal preference)

Kama Ayurveda Rose Water

Steam Distilled Rose Water

This is as pure and natural as it gets. As mentioned in my Oil Extraction Post (Water & Steam Distillation Process), Floral waters are by-product of oil extraction process. This is purest form of Rose Water you could possibly lay your hands on, where the original flower properties have remained intact. The mist is wonderful and thoroughly refreshing. In terms of rose scent, it has subtle rose fragrance, think of roses in rain scent.

MV Organics (AUD$40 – 70ml)

Water, Rose (Rose Centifolia) Oil, Polysorbate 40, Potassium Sorbate

With the least amount of ingredients, the simplest formulation and the most effective of the lot. One very important note too, the mist (mechanical pump) is damn fine! Crucial IMO. Fragrance wise, it seems to have the most subtle and “natural” rose fragrance. Fresh, Light and Nothing overpowering to make you nauseous.

Melvita Rose Mist ($15 – 50ml)

Rosa Damascena Flower Water*, Aqua/Water, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract*, Glycerin, Levulinic Acid, Sodium Levulinic, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citronellol**, Geraniol**

*Ingredients from Organic Farming – ** Natural Components of Floral Water

Second Fav, with good ingredient (Damascena, Rosehip) with boost of Glycerin for sure shot way of sealing in hydration. Other less familiar ingredient is Levulinic acid which is plant derived acid used as preservative for its anti microbial properties. Whilst Sodium Levulinic is a salt of Levulinic Acid. The aerosol based rose water, is incredibly fine and wonderful to travel with. Fragrance wise this one smells slightly more like a mature rose, not light or fresh like MV Organic. In a few seconds, it has slightly sour note (in the best way possible) may be due to my own skin composition. Having said that, it still a very nice scent.

Santa Maria Novella Rose Water ($35 – 250ml, 8.4 fl oz)

Aqua (Water-Eau), Parfum (Rosa Centifolia)-Fragrance (Cabbage Rose (Rosa Centifolia)), Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Geraniol, Citronellol, Eugenol, Benzyl Benzoate (Made in Italy)

Oh dear, this is where I walk on thin line. Santa Maria Novella I love as brand, for its culture, heritage and history (and packaging, who am I Kidding!). This rose water is nice and I have repurchased too but when I glance at the inci list, I have slight cringe factor because it has Rosa Centifolia Parfum not Oil (Bloody Hell!). Latter ingredients are preservatives. Housed in solid glass bottle (not with a spritz, my ingenious addition). Upon spritzing you can immediately tell its not Rose Oil its Rose perfume, almost like slight synthetic rose note. Still very appealing even in its delicious synthetic form. Obviously not travel friendly.

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Floral Toner (USA only – $12.95 – 178ml, 6 fl oz)

Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Distillate*, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Lauric Acid, Fruit Stem Cells (Alpine Rose, Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Soothing Complex: [Hyaluronic Acid, Magnolia Officinalis Bark, Phoenix Dactylifera (Date) Leaf Cell and Boswellia Serrata (Boswellin) Extracts], Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract*, Hibiscus Sabdariffa and Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extracts*^, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) and Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Oils*, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Oil

Non-GMO verified   *Organic   ^Fair Trade

This is where the plot thickens, this is technically a ‘Toner’ not ‘Water’. Inci list wise its great, price wise is mass appealing, housed in plastic bright fuscia pink bottle with decent mist. You cannot ask for anything more at this price point. Win.

L’occitane Rose 4 Reines Hydrating Face Mist (Discontinued)
Aqua, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Alcohol, Sodium PCA, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sodium chloride, Butylene Glycol, Parfum, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Chlorphenesin, Methylparaben, Citronellol, Geraniol, Benzyl salicylate, Alpha-isomethyl ionone, Linalool, Eugenol

Disappointment is left for last, look at the inci list, where is the Rose?! It’s a NO from me (thankfully its discontinued). But I loved the bottle packaging and misting mechanism. Bloody, frigging, hell breaking, Excellent. Obvs retained bottle, to decant others and use (no brainer move).

So to condense it all, pointers for you to keep in mind:

  • Proper, Authentic Rose Water is steam distilled or a by-product of extraction process for Rose oil.
  • Check if its Rose Parfum or Oil?! Needless to mention, but Oil is the preferred option here.
  • Determine type of Rose used, Rosa Centifolia or Damascena.
  • No matter which rose is used, it should be a colourless fluid, any colour to the liquid indicates artificial colour added.
  • There will almost always be a preservative but it should be towards the end of the listing.
  • Commonly used preservatives include Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Polysorbate 40, Benzyl Benzoate.

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Now, after learning tad more about formulations, if you’ve lost all faith in Rose Waters, I highly recommend looking into Caudalie Grape Water which consists of Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Water*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice*, Nitrogen (USDA Certified Made in France).

Simple, inexpensive, effective and widely available. It lasts a while with a generous quantity packed.

Hope you’ve found this post useful and continue on your quest to find “The Rose Water”.

HHW.com

xx

The Backups …..Continue

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Pixi Glow Tonic – simple, effective, affordable, gentle, good ol Pixi Glow Tonic! Always have one bottle on stand by…just in case.

Nuxe Reve De Miel Hands & Nail Cream – Instantly absorbed and wonderfully moisturizing. Part of my life.

Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm – this one is an obsession. period.

Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Moisturizing Stick – clearly the obsession continues! Same scent, same properties as the lip balm above but in a portable handbag friendly avatar. What’s not to like!

L’occitane 20% Shea Butter Rose Hand Cream – Oh Lord, this smells insanely good! Moisturizes even better. Generous quantity which means it lasts forever.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color – Blush Pink – I have been addicted to this lip color for the longest time. This lip color has witnessed me go through many breakups, but BB stuck by me hence I have one on stand by.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum in Oil – This product has been featured multiple times before, and its my solution for any skin problem. Any. period.

Biore UV Aqua Rich Sunscreen – I do NOT use any other sunscreen but this. It has saved my ass in New Orleans, Vegas, Houston and Miami summer like no other. Cheap and Cheery. Always have multiple tubes on the go, one in car, one in travel toiletries bag, one in my husband’s toiletries bag…I guess you get the drift.

xx

HHW.com

Night Stand – Beauty Essentials

P1010122My nightly bedtime routine isn’t as elaborate as one would expect. In saying so, I almost never miss these steps. I absolutely despise the feeling of dry hands, feet and lips. These are my “absolute essentials” before crashing:

Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm – this product has featured on this blog multiple times. Nothing protects my lips like this balm. Nothing!

Nuxe Reve De Miel Hand & Nail Cream – Non sticky, instantly absorbing, pleasantly scented not overpowering, hydration for lizard hands. Its said that skin on your hands is a true indicator of your age, therefore I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to use a good hand cream and spf to protect your hard working hands.

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme – Dare I say this product is an overnight miracle for awful cuticles. It’s a complete life saver for dry, peeling cuticles. A lemon scented balm texture to be rubbed in thoroughly and next morning the skin around cuticles appears moisturized and healthy!

L’occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream – Love this product, the concentration of shea butter helps repair dry or cracked heels. Massage this cream, wear socks and your feet next morning are much better. Not an overnight miracle but with consistent application, it does work.

Bath & Body Works Sleep Pillow Mist (Lavender & Chamomile) – I guess this is more of a psychological thing, I use primarily to freshen my pillow and sheets. Lavender and Chamomile are known for their calming and soothing properties.

xx

HHW.com

My Autumn/Fall Fragrances – Part Un

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As the seasons change my preferences for fragrances change. These are some of the fragrances I have been reaching out for lately:

L’occitane Ambre (sadly discontinued) 

Top notes are bergamot and freesia; Middle notes: labdanum and tonka bean; Base notes: amber, vanilla and cedar.

I absolutely adore this fragrance, been through 3 bottles in its time. I wonder why L’occitane decided to discontinue it. I can barely get the top note of bergamot on my skin, but the middle and base notes are intense and last all day on my skin. The amber and cedar develops into a warm, cosy, balmy fragrance with an incredibly comforting feeling.

Chanel No.19

Top notes: green notes and bergamot. Middle notes: May rose and iris. Base notes: vetiver, oakmoss and leather.

Oh my, how much I love this fragrance. It makes me feel like a lady, a proper lady. It starts off on a very strong sophisticated clean note, sharp, crisp, defined, and heady much like an intimidating lady. But as it settles on skin and you get to know her, you realize she is warm, sensual, elegant, and an essence of perfection.

Prada ‘Amber’ Eau da Parfum 

Top notes: bergamot, bitter orange, mandarin, mimosa absolute; Middle notes: rose absolute, patchouli absolute; Base notes: labdanum, Tonka beans, vanilla, sandalwood, benzoin

I really don’t like its opening notes, it does put me off. But this one requires patience, and as you persist with it you will experience most creamy seduction of vanilla, with patchouli and rose. It dark, sexy and enduring.

L’Erbolario Myrrhae 

Notes include: myrhh, incense, ginger and clary sage.

I have a love hate relationship with this fragrance. It starts off intensely sweet powdery scent and then as it settles in a couple of hours I smell myrrh with ginger. I have experienced purest form of incense and this one smells very synthetic, and unpleasant. Overall the concoction is wonderful so I prefer to spray on collar of my shirt or scarf. Mixed feelings.

What are some of your favorites for the season or perhaps an all time favorite?

xx

HHW.com

Arsenal of Toners

P1000862I’ve been a huge fan of toners since its terrible astringent & alcoholic days. They sure have come a long way since we’ve known them to strip our sensitive skins. I’ve been stashing and using various types of toners such as exfoliating, calming, hydrating, brightening, and clarifying! I’ve also tried them from all different geographic regions….USA, France, Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia and home turf (DIY – homemade).

A quick spritz of toners on skin, straight from shower is not only refreshing but also great for skin. It immediately calms down any redness and starts communicating with my open pores (from hot shower) and balances pH levels in skin. The fascinating part of toners are not only its properties but in its application and benefits its ingredients provides. These are some of my favourite toners from over the years:

Andalou Naturals Clementine Vitamin C Brightening Toner

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Floral Toner

Rohto Hadalabo Gokujyun Hylauronic Lotion

Shiseido Ibuki Toner

Acure Rose and Red Tea Toner

Pixi Glow Tonic

Neostrata Oily Skin Solution

Alpha H Liquid Gold Toner

Forest Essentials Facial Tonic Panchpushp (distilled flower water)

L’occitane Rose Et Reines Toner

Thayers Witch Hazel with Tea Tree Oil (Oil is my addition)

DIY – Green Tea and Glycerin

A lot of these are on a rotation. My skin’s needs are assessed and then I determine which toner will be my best choice. Sometimes, I choose a toner purely based on its fragrance and how it makes me feel. Sometimes I think even if my skin needs something specifically but I choose a fragrance pleasing toner, I feel I’m psychologically toning my skin. May be this concept is valid only in my slightly delusional head (very likely possibility). So what works for you? Which toners are your go to?

xx

HHW.com