Do Like Cleopatra – with roses

Dame Elizabeth Murdoch  blooming after only a week in our garden

The soft glow of candlelight dances in the shadows. Sweet, evocative scent fills the room. Soft music, serene, soothing, soulful sounds play in time to the swirling shadows. Rainbow reflections shimmer in the finely etched crystal glass filled with a delicately pink ambrosia. Whispers of silk slip and fall in a tumble  to the marbled floor covered in thousands of petals – pink, yellow, red, ivory, white, crimson, gold. Elegantly, she steps into the large round bath filled with milk covered in more petals.

Roses. Cleopatra slides, sighing, into the exotic softness….

 Did you know that Cleopatra had her rooms strewn with rose petals?  I am sure that forever after, whenever Marc Anthony saw or smelled a rose, he was transported to her chambers.

Yesterday I introduced you to the flush of spring roses in our garden. Today let me walk you through a few Cleopatra-esque luscious recipes on how to use those petals. Roses are so much more than glorious to look at and smell. Here’s some ideas for you to consider  –

Our baby lavender bush newly planted

Rose and Lavender Bath

Soaking in a soothing rose bath is the perfect way to spend a romantic evening with your partner or to wash away the stress of the day. The rose’s natural, aromatic fragrance combined with lavender will have a calming effect on your mind. Simply sprinkle fresh rose petals and lavender flowers in the bath. Add a candle or two, soft music and perhaps a flute of bubbly.

Rose Petal Face Mask

While you’re soaking in the bath let this face mask work its magic!

Rose petals are a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C, which can help firm and tone your skin, as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles. They contain an essential oil that moisturizes and hydrates; antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that de-puff and decrease redness; and finally, alpha hydroxy acids that exfoliate and tighten pores. This face mask is especially good for those with sensitive skin.

Mash rose petals with plain yoghurt and honey to make a thick paste. Apply mask. Leave 15 minutes. Rinse and moisturise.

2 days in the garden and already blooming – Cote d’Azure

Cool Rose Juice

You could sip this juice as well. Or add splash of it to that bubbly. Yum!

Here is an updated elixir made with cardamom that will do more than quench your thirst….make the night before.

1 ½ cup rose petals

¾ cup boiling water

¼ tsp cardamom seeds

¾ c sugar

¼ cup strained fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup pomegranate juice

5 cup cold water

Crush the rose petals with a mortar and pestle and place them in a large bowl. Add boiling water, then pour the mixture into a metal container and add cardamom seeds. Set aside for at least eight hours. Pour the rose and cardamom water through a muslin lined strainer placed over a bowl. Add the sugar and mix until sugar dissolves. Combine with the rest of the ingredients in a pitcher and stir well. Serve in a glass half filled with crushed ice.

The Soul Sister rose

Rose Petal Bath Salts

You may prefer to use this detoxing, relaxing mix instead –

  • 1 cup dried rose petals
  • Rose water or rose essential oil (optional)
  • 1 cup Epsom salts
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 2/3 cup powdered milk
  • Glass sealable container


  1. Start by removing the petals from the roses. We found that around four flowers provide enough petals for this DIY. If you have more roses, use them to make this easy homemade potpourri. You can spritz the roses with this DIY rose water or add a few drops of rose essential oil if you’re feeling rich.  It will elevate the floral scent. Or simply allow the petals to dry overnight as they are.
  2. Measure and mix together the Epsom salts, baking soda, and powdered milk in a small bowl, making sure to break up any clumps. Epsom salts naturally soothe sore muscles and helps detoxify the body. Baking soda and powdered milk work together to soften skin. And when mixed with the dried rose petals, everything works together to create a seriously relaxing bath.
  3. Once the petals are dry, crumble them into small pieces. Begin layering the ingredients together in a glass sealable jar, starting with the Epsom salts mixture and then the bits of rose petals. Continue until your container is full. The longer the bath salts mingle together in the container, the stronger the scent.
  4. Simply add a big scoop of the finished bath salts to your next hot soak for instant stress relief. petal bath salts make a really special homemade gift or a wonderful and relaxing present for yourself….
Ebb Tide rose

Did you know 

that the largest rose ever measured about 33 inches in diameter

that the largest living rose in Tombstone Arizona has over 200,000 blossoms. It is a white Rosa banksiae.

that the longest living rose  was first documented in 815AD in Hildesheim, Germany It is a wild dog rose, or Rosa canina.

that the oldest fossilized imprint of a rose found in Florissant, Colorado is probably  35 million years old.

that one rose hip can have up to 40 – 50 seeds.

that a rose was sent to space to test the effect of low gravity on fragrance

Edible rose recipes coming up tomorrow!

© Raili Tanska

Steps for Peace

The life and love we create

is the life and love we live.

Leo Buscaglia



9 thoughts on “Do Like Cleopatra – with roses

  1. I planted 4 new rose bushes in our garden this year. They have now all flowered bar one that keeps producing blind shoots. I am SO disappointed. None of them have any fragrance. None that I can smell…..

    1. Not all roses h ave a fragrance. It should tell you on the label. Most of the scented ones are not strong. Out of 30 odd roses I have, only a couple have a very strong fragrance. I’m no rose expert but I have learnt bits and pieces over the years. Perhaps the non-flowering one is producing water shoots. If they come out from the very base below the graft they need to be removed otherwise the rose will revert to a rootstock. Here’s how and why to do it –

      1. Thanks for the link. I researched it too. Its not from the rootstock, but sometimes a young rose will only produce blind shoots the first year, and the following year they bloom their buttons off! So I’m hoping….

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