Flower waters (sometimes called blossom waters) are the distilled essence of flowers - usually red roses or orange blossoms - and traditional Eastern flavourings as well as fragrant cosmetics.
In Morocco they are splashed over dinner guests at the end of the meal, and in India used as facial toner.
Flower waters have recently experienced a revival in popularity in the UK. They were widely used from the Middle Ages up until the death of Queen Victoria, so many interesting recipes using them can be found in old English cookery books as well as in books on Middle Eastern food.
Use sparingly to flavour whipped cream, cream cheese, thick yoghurt or rice puddings, especially those served with dried fruits. They go very well with chocolate, fruit salads and rich creamy pastries.
In Northern Africa flower waters are also used to give an exotic sweet fragrance to savoury dishes.
A few drops added to still or sparkling iced water makes a refreshing drink.