Floral waters are formed during the extraction process, when the botanical material is subjected to distillation. While the essential oil of the plant material is drawn off and sold as pure essential oil, the remaining water still contains certain constituents of the plant material, even when filtered and cleaned.
These floral waters contain the water soluble constituents and are free from the lipophillic substances that make up the essential oils - such as the hydrocarbons, oxides, esters, ethers etc. yet contain a whole bevy of their own ingredients
It is this filtered water, with the remaining plant and fragrance molecules that are referred to as floral waters, hydrolats or hydrosols.
Although rosewater and witch-hazel are the best known of the floral waters, there are actually a few more. Our list below is not complete, but it does indicate the scope of floral waters available.