Aqua Rosae. U. S., Br. Rose Water.
Eau distillee de Rose, Fr. Cod.; Aqua Rosse, P. G.; Rosen-wasser, G.: Acqua distillata di Rose, It; Agua destilada de rosas, Sp.
"Stronger Rose Water, Distilled Water, recently boiled, one volume [or 1 pint]. Mix them immediately before use." U. S. "Rose Water is the rose water of commerce, prepared by distillation from the flowers of Rosa damascena, Linn., diluted, immediately before use, with twice it; volume of Distilled Water. The rose water of commerce is a saturated solution of the volatile oil of the fresh rose flowers." Br.
"Rose Water complies with the tests for identity and purity described under Aqua Rosae Fortior." U. S.
The British Pharmacopoeia of 1898 abandoned the former process of distilling the petals and followed the method adopted by the U. S. Pharmacopoeia of diluting the so-called triple rose water of commerce with distilled water. This, however, does not make rose water identical in strength in these authorities, the U. S. preparation being the stronger.
Although domestic rose water of fair quality may be made by distilling fresh rose petals, it does not possess the strength or delicacy of the by-product obtained from abroad, as officially described under Aqua Rosae Fortior; hence the above process of diluting this stronger rose water. The process of distilling the fresh petals of the hundred-leaved rose is sometimes practised. These are usually preferred in the recent state; but it is said that, when preserved by being incorporated with one-third of their weight of common salt, they retain their odor, and afford a water equally fragrant with that prepared from the fresh flowers. Indeed, Haselden prefers the salted roses, believing that the water prepared from them is less mucilaginous, less apt to become sour, and keeps its odor better than that prepared from the fresh flowers. (P. J., xvi, 15.) It is not uncommon to employ the whole flower, including the calyx; but the product is less fragrant than when the petals only are used, as officially directed. A. Monthus states that the petals of the hundred-leaved rose are more odorous the nearer they are to the center of the flower, and, contrary to what is said in the test, thinks that the calyx should not be rejected in preparing the distilled water. He maintains that so far from injuring the product it in fact contributes to its preservation, and that the water obtained from the whole flower is less liable to that mucosity which is the commencement of decomposition. This effect he ascribes to the astringent matter of the calyx, coagulating the mucilaginous matter of the petals, and preventing it from passing over in the distillation. (J. P. C., 1863, p. 497.) Rose water is sometimes made by distilling together water and the oil of rose. This is best performed by dropping 10 drops of oil of rose on a sponge and adjusting it in the upper part of a still in the body of which a gallon of water is placed; the steam from the boiling water will carry over portions of the oil, and the distillate will thus be impregnated. Alpers (Am, Drug., 1896, 384) prepares rose water by dropping 10 drops of oil of rose into a liter of hot distilled water, agitating and filtering. Rauschenberger improves the flavor by adding a trace of oil of cloves; 2.5 Gm. of oil of rose, 0.25 Gm. of oil of cloves are added to sufficient alcohol to make 100 mils; then 10 mils of this solution is added to 1000 mils of boiling water and the liquid cooled and filtered.
Rose water when properly prepared, has the perfume of the rose in great perfection. It is most successfully made on a large scale. Like the other distilled waters, it is liable to spoil when kept; and the alcohol which is sometimes added to preserve it is incompatible with some of the purposes to which the water is applied, and is even said to render it sour through acetous fermentation. It is best, therefore, to avoid this addition, and to substitute a second distillation. It may be kept in a bottle stoppered with a plug of absorbent cotton. This distilled water is chiefly employed, on account of its agreeable odor, in collyria and other lotions. It is wholly destitute of irritating properties, unless it contain alcohol.
Off. Prep.—Mistura Ferri Composita, Br.; Linimentum Terebinthinae Aceticum, N. F.; Mistura Ferri Composita, N. F.; Unguentum Aquae Rosae, Br.