Foraging for Lilac: Making Lilac Water

Lilacs are in bloom! You can harvest these flowers to make perfumes, salves, and oils. One of my favourite things to do is preserve their scent by making lilac water. It’s really simple! I use lilac water as a spray to cool my face on warm days. It has a refreshing scent, but is soft enough that it doesn’t linger long.

Making Lilac Water

There are a number of recipes for lilac water on the internet. Some people say you should soak the flowers overnight in a water bath. Others say you should steep them in hot water. And some people recommend doing some combination of these two methods.

The way I see it, if you want a less potent water then an overnight soak will do. If you want a more potent concentration then soak them for longer or steep them in hot water. The more blossoms you use, the richer your fragrance will be. When you are done soaking the flowers, strain the liquid, and use a funnel to pour the mixture into a spray container.

You can keep lilac water in the refrigerator for 2+ weeks. If you want something that lasts a little longer then you can use witch hazel with a low concentration of alcohol as a base. Just soak the flowers until they reach the desired strength.

Whatever method you use, you will fall in love with the smell. Just be sure to do a small spot check on your skin to test for allergies. Some people have severe allergic reactions to lilacs.

Other Lilac Uses

There are a number of other ways to use lilacs. Try these lilac popsicles or this sweet lilac syrup. I’d love to hear if you have a favourite way of using lilacs. Let me know in the comments section!

If you’re looking for another easy flower that you can forage, check out my post on red clover. I also have a post about common spring plants and their uses.

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