In a small saucepan, combine the rose petals and water.
Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce the temperature to the lowest setting that still allows the water to simmer.
Simmer until the color of the rose petals has faded. Mine became almost colorless. This only took about 5-10 minutes.
Leave the lid on and cool completely.
Pour the water and petals through a cheesecloth into a dark, clean bottle. You can use a funnel or strain into a measuring bowl with a pour spout and then pour into your dark bottle if needed.
Store in the refrigerator for several weeks or on the counter for up to one week.
Place a clean brick (a real brick from a house) in the center of a large stock pot. I used an 8 quart stock pot and an average sized brick.
Put a metal bowl or heat-safe glass bowl on top of the brick.
Sprinkle the rose petals around the brick making sure not to get any into the bowl.
Pour water into the pot over the petals until it comes almost to the top of the brick.
Invert the lid and place it over the stock pot. This will allow the steam to collect and drip down to the center of the lid and eventually drip into the bowl.
Put ice on the top of the lid to encourage the steam to condense and subsequently drop into the bowl. You can put it directly on the lid and suck the water off with a turkey baster as the ice melts or you can put the ice in a ziplock bag so it is easy to pull off and replace. You want to keep in as much steam as possible because the steam is actually your rosewater.
Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to the lowest heat possible that still allows the water to simmer.
Simmer for at least 30 minutes, replacing the ice as it melts.
Remove the pot from heat and let it cool completely.
Very carefully lift the lid so that none of your melted ice water falls into the pot.
Carefully pour the rosewater that has collected in the bowl into your dark bottle.
This will last much longer at room temperature (up to 6 months, although it doesn’t stick around that long in my house), but you could always store it in the refrigerator to be sure it keeps well.
After using the distillation method I had some water left in the bottom of the pot when I was done. I strained out the petals and used this in a batch of soap. It didn’t have as strong of a smell but I couldn’t stand the thought of throwing it out.