What are Hydrosols? – The Gentler Essential Oil Experience

Introducing Hydrosols


A bottle of rose water in front of a rose bush.

It’s nice to be back. I have been away from my website for a little over a week due to my neck seizing up. I sure missed doing my research and writing articles. I am back now and I am happy to bring you my latest blog post.

This week I am writing about hydrosols. Have you heard of them? Like essential oils, hydrosols can offer us many benefits both physically and mentally. The aroma of hydrosols is soft and subtle compared to their essential oil counterparts. For this reason, hydrosols may be an option for people that find essential oils too strong. Perhaps you avoid essential oils due to the presence of small children or pets in your home, hydrosols may be the answer for you.

Sounds great, but what are hydrosols? Where do they come from?

Hydrosols, a By-Product of Essential Oils

Hydrosols, also known as “flower waters” are made by distilling fruits, flowers, fresh leaves and other plant material. Through distillation, the cell walls of the plant material are broken down releasing the plant’s oil content. The steam and the oil are cooled, the steam turns to water, and the essential oil floats on top of the water (this water is the hydrosol) 🙂 . Generally speaking, one could say that hydrosols are a by-product in the process of making essential oils.

Musée lavande 2

Hydrosols have similar properties to essential oils, however they are much less concentrated and their aroma is much more subtle. In fact, the scent may also have a greener aroma to it. This is due to the water-soluble parts in the plant material that are not present in the essential oil.

Hydrosol Uses

While most people may be familiar with essential oils, I wonder how many of us are aware of hydrosols and the myriad of uses they offer us. I am new to hydrosols and I was so excited to learn about them and the many, many ways we can use them. I have provided a small list of the ways they can benefit us. This list is certainly not exhaustive. I just wanted to give a brief overview. 🙂

Linen Spray

A pile of towels and sheets
Towels and Sheets

Spray Lavender hydrosol on your sheets before heading to bed. The scent of Lavender is known to induce sleep. Try spraying your other linens to give them a nice fresh scent. Hydrosols do not contain oil so you should not notice any staining. You may want to test a small inconspicuous spot if you have concerns.


Use hydrosols to clean your home. Since hydrosols are mild, you can use them on most surfaces. Your home will look and smell great.



One difference between essential oils and hydrosols is that hydrosols are considered generally safe to use around babies and small children. Spritz your child’s room with their favorite scent to help them relax and settle.

Room Fresheners

Hydrosols can be used to freshen any room in your house. Your house will smell great and you will experience the emotional and therapeutic benefits of the chosen hydrosol. You will notice that hydrosols have a lighter aroma that will dissipate quickly. Simply spray the air as you would with any air freshener.

Facial Toners

Some essential oils can be irritating to use on your face but since hydrosols are mild they can make great facial toners. Depending on which hydrosol you choose they can be helpful with oily or dry skin. Lemon Balm and Grapefruit hydrosols are known to be helpful for oily skin. Frankincense hydrosol is a popular choice to brighten and calm irritated skin.


picture of bathtub

Hydrosols are water-soluble and are a perfect addition to your bath water. Have a relaxing aromatic bath by adding Lavender, Neroli, Ylang Ylang or some of the hydrosol of your choice.

Cooling Spray

On a warm day mix some spearmint hydrosol with water into a spray bottle and take with you to the beach or anywhere outdoors. Spray onto the back of your neck to cool down.


Use hydrosols instead of water when making a hot or cool compress. Chamomile hydrosol works great as an anti-inflammatory compress.

Body Spray/Hair Freshening Spray

Instead of purchasing commercial body sprays use hydrosols. They are chemical free and less intense. Your body will be left lightly fragranced; reapply as needed. Use on your hair to give it a nice fresh scent.

Deodorant Spray

Mist under your arms and other places as well. Hydrosols with antibacterial properties can be very helpful at minimizing body odor. Do not spray directly on genitals.

Foot/Shoe Spray


Hydrosols with antibacterial properties can help minimize foot odor. Mist the bottoms and tops of your feet to help keep them fresh and smelling great. Lightly spray your footwear too. If desired you can test on an inconspicuous area first.

Anti-Itch Spray

To help ease itching caused by dandruff, dry skin and insect bites use Witch Hazel and Peppermint Hydrosols.

Car Freshener

To freshen up the interior of your car, spritz your favorite hydrosol. Avoid fragile surfaces and test spot an area if you have any concerns.

Clothing Spray

clothes hanging in a closet

Lightly spray your clothes with hydrosols to eliminate smoke, must or other unpleasant odors. Again, if you are concerned about staining you may test on an inconspicuous area first.

Relaxing Spray

There are many hydrosols that can help you reduce stress and anxiety. Some suggested hydrosols for this purpose are Angelica Root, Vetiver, Rose, Patchouli, Lavender, Chamomile and Neroli. Spray your room, face and body to induce a sense of calm.

Meditation/Prayer Spray

Similar to incense or essential oils, hydrosols can help enhance your meditation or prayer practice. Some recommendations are Angelica Root, Frankincense and White Sage. Prior to starting your meditation or prayer, spray the area you will be using, you may want to give yourself a light spritz as well.

Men’s Aftershave

Use hydrosols as an aftershave. There are many fragrances that men will enjoy.

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As you can see there are numerous ways to use hydrosols. Misting and spraying is the most common way to use them. When you buy a hydrosol, it will most likely come with a sprayer top (but not always). Many people like to mix and blend their hydrosols in the same way you would mix and blend essential oils. For this reason you may want to purchase empty spray bottles so you can mix up your favorite combinations.


I hope you found this article interesting and helpful. I enjoyed learning what hydrosols are. I didn’t really know much about them before doing the research for this article.

I would sure love to hear from you if you have any comments about this article or aromatherapy in general. Don’t hesitate to drop me a message in the boxes below. Let’s talk!

I hope everyone has a fabulous week ahead. Stay happy and healthy!

Angela (founder of Your Aromatherapy Store)

Always follow the safety guidelines that come with your hydrosols. I do not recommend taking hydrosols internally. Some hydrosols may interact with prescription medication, speak to your doctor if you have any concerns. A skin patch test may be warranted if you have allergy concerns.