Hydrosols are the products that remain after roots, barks, plants, flowers, or seeds are steam distilled. Hydrosols can also be the remnants of the essential oil making process. Unlike essential oils a hydrosol can be applied directly to the skin without dilution since this ingredient contains some elements of essential oil but to a lesser extent. Often hydrosols do not have a strong smell if any. Frequently, the essential oil and hydrosol may smell very differently from one another. The fragrances of hydrosols are sometimes enhanced by adding synthetic ingredients.
Hydrosols are known by different names such as floral waters, distillates, flower waters, and hydroflorates. Although, some suppliers make a distinction between floral waters/flower waters and hydrosols. According to some manufacturers who make a distinction floral waters are obtained by straining essential oil that has been mixed with distilled water for a certain length of time or by combining grain alcohol with the oil to create an emulsion. If the product is made through this process it will contain even less diluted elements of an essential oil than a hydrosol.
It is often true that floral waters/flower waters do not contain any elements or therapeutic properties of an essential oil. They strictly offer a mild fragrance. It is best to check with the company before purchasing hydrosols or floral water to check their definition of the product. Some suppliers label hydrosols and floral waters as the same thing while others label these products separately.