I’ve been intending to do this for years since I first heard of rose petal beads. The thought of smooth,
mysterious black beads emitting a subtle rose fragrance from the warmth of the skin was an enchanting one. I had some doubts, though. Would they really smell of roses? Would the fragrance last? How durable could a bead made from rose petals be? Would they be ugly?
And how could I make them? I found many different recipes and methods. Which was the “right” way?
In the end, I combined one method with a bit of variation–I cooked chopped petals in water in a cast iron pot in the traditional way, but then I dried the black glop in the oven and ground the result into powder with a coffee grinder. For extra fineness I sifted the powder through a sieve and reconstituted it into a clay with water.
Here it is in pictures:
The leftmost bead I sanded a little bit and burnished it by rubbing it on a smooth, hard surface. You can see it is a little shinier than the others. I may shine the rest of them, or not–maybe alternating matte and shiny.
They seem durable–the best way to describe them would be to compare them to a vitamin pill. You can toss them around gently but you know if you bit into it or crushed it that would be the end of it.
They do smell like roses and it is a very pleasant, subtle scent.
I got 14 half-inch beads. With some more practice I think I could get them more uniform (using a scale to get the beads the same size perhaps?)
I also recommend drying them gradually, out of direct sun. It takes several days. Some of mine cracked while drying in a hot, sunny window.
I really want to try this again. The next flush of blooms I will be out there gathering. You can also use dried petals. I want to cook them again in the iron pot to get that black color that I like.
I haven’t decided how I’ll string them yet. I think I will wait until I have enough for a full strand.