Even though nowadays roses are cultivated mostly for their beauty, previous ages have not been so singularly narrow-minded. Even at the turn of the century many people in appreciation of the fragrance, sweet flavor, and medicinal virtues of rose petals, hips, and leaves, still took pleasure in age-old traditional ways of making perfumes, sweet waters, jams, jellies, salads, sauces, and various kinds of confections with roses. They also knew how to crystallize the petals, to preserve the buds, to flavor wines and vinegar with rose leaves, and to use roses in many medicinal ways.
With thanks in great measure to the extraordinary modern herbalist Eleanour Sinclair Rohde, this wonderful knowledge has not vanished beyond recall. Her collection of rose recipes between these covers is gathered from the works of a variety of old herbalists (notably Sir Hugh Platt, Gervase Markham, and Sir Kenelm Digby), as well as from her own vast knowledge of traditional herbal recipes. "Receipts" from four centuries include: pot-pourris, sweet bags and pomanders (using dried roses with such extra ingredients as mint, cloves, coriander, lavender flowers, and sandalwood); sweet waters (with ingredients like nutmeg, cardamom, orange peel, and cloves) that can be used for washing; perfumes, oil of roses, and "odoriferous" candles; and a host of culinary delights like conserves (both petals and hips), sauce eglantine, rossoly, rose jelly, rose hip marmalade, and pickled rosebuds.
There are 83 recipes altogether, including instructions on how to dry rose leaves (four ways), how to candy rose leaves, how to preserve whole roses, and how to flavor sugar, wine, vinegar, and honey with roses. Every page is beautifully and distinctively decorated, making this not only a source of special joy for connoisseurs of herbs and herbals, but in all ways a pleasure to read and use for anyone wanting the best rose recipes.
Reprint of the original 1939 edition.