Hydrolats (floral waters)

Also known as hydrosols or floral waters, hydrolats are the original product produced by steam distillation of aromatic plants. The steam that allows us to extract the aromatic molecules from the plant, when cooled, returns to liquid form, now with a light aroma characteristic of the plant in question. Frequently used for their properties pertaining to skin care, they can also be used in the bath, to make drinks or in food preparation. There is in recent years a movement with certain aromatherapists who have been turning to hydrolats as a softer and sometimes more appropriate alternative for essential oils in particularly sensitive patients. We prefer the term “hydrolat” to “floral water” because hydrolats can come from any part of the plant that is distilled, whether it is the bark, roots, seeds, leaves or flowers and are, therefore, not necessarily “floral”. The origin of the word “hydrolat” comes from the latin word “hydro” which means water, and “lat”, from the french word “lait” which refers to the “milky” or cloudy appearance of the freshly-distilled hydrolat.