Roses: Tea, Toner and Love
|When you think of the history of cosmetic and perfumery, one of the oldest scents that comes to mind is rose. If you think about it, rose has been a classic for thousands of years. Even Cleopatra used rose! It is also a perfume that has been used by many cultures. Even here in China, rose was historically used by the wealthy or of noble blood!
One thing that I find fascinating here is that the Chinese drink a rose herbal tea. Now, I must admit, when first offered rose tea, I was filled with trepidation. All I could think of was the overwhelming Rose Otto I am familiar with. I could not have been farther off the mark!
While the Chinese do make rose tea, it is so mild in flavor, you can actually taste a naturally sweet note. It really makes for enjoyable drinking. The Chinese believe that drinking rose tea is very good for women, particularly for their skin. They believe it makes for smooth, soft skin; just like a rose petal! If you want to try your own hand at this mixture of Chinese cosmetics and Chinese medicine, let me give you a few tips.
When selecting rose buds for tea, make sure they are closed. Closed buds are believed to have more beneficial properties and they generally are in better shape. They are less likely to be broken or damaged. Heat your water until it comes to a steady simmer. If you are making a cup for one person, select 3-5 rose buds. Place them in the bottom of your cup. Pour the hot water over the rose buds. Wait for 30 seconds to one minute. The rose buds color will start to lighten and the water will be the palest of pinks. Remove the rose buds and enjoy your tea! You can see in the photo that the color change is barely noticeable. Don’t worry! The tea will have plenty of flavor! It will be sweet and gentle, not overpowering and bitter.
If rose herbal tea still does not appeal to you, not to worry! You can make a delightful toner using much a similar method. When making a toner, select 10-20 rosebuds and put them in the bottom of your cup. Heat your water until it comes to a steady simmer. Pour the hot water over the rose buds. Wait for three minutes or until the rosebuds are pale in color. The color will be much stronger than if you are making tea. Allow the toner to cool. Apply to face using a soft cloth or cotton ball.
I also find it amazing that roses are also used for romancing in China. A few weeks ago, I saw many men walking down the street with flowers in hand or women being presented with bouquets. The Chinese Valentine’s Day certainly had plenty of love in the air! What do you think about flowers being used for messages? Roses in particular?