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“Heart of my heart, the world is young;
Love lies hidden in every rose!”
– Alfred Noyes
When it comes to romantic occasions like an anniversary of Valentine's day, the first gift that comes to mind is a a bouquet of red roses! Roses are mentioned in poetry, literature, art and everywhere in between! This flower is popularly immortalized in William Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet says, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Roses have become a part of popular culture as a symbol of passion, desire, love and is ritualized like no other flower in our history!
So, how has the rose become so synonymous with all things love?
While a rose's petals are delicate, the flower grows out a thorny stem. This can be compared to the emotion of love! As love can be seen as a tender emotion, it can also bring bitter pain. Thus what better representation of the duality of passion and pain in love than the beautiful rose.
The Myth of Aphrodite
Looking far back in history to Greek mythology, the origin of the rose flower is derived from Adonis, the God of plants and rebirth. When Adonis was out hunting, one day Ares, the God of war, who was jealous of Adonis, sent a wild boar to harm him.
However Ares shared this deception to knowledge with Aphrodite, who rushed to save him but scratched herself on a bush, spreading splatters of blood on their soft white flowers, turning the flowers red.
Unfortunately, she was too late and could not prevent Adonis' death who died from a fatal wound to his thigh. As Aphrodite sank to the ground and shed tears over Ares' body, her tears fell into the pool of blood which gave rise to the rose flower.
This myth can explain why the rose symbolizes eternal love o that will never fade - even after death.
Cupid & Psyche
Psyche was a stunning princess who roused the jealousy of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty who sent her son, Cupid to mete her with fitting punishment. In a twist of fate, he ended up falling for her and hid his identity for her protection. Curiosity overtook and she eventually unraveled his identity but to truly be his, she was given a set of arduous tasks by Venus. Empathetic to her deep love, various forces of the Earth helped her in her journey and she was finally united with her lover affirming the immense power of true love.
Jupiter is so delighted by this marriage that he asks his daughters to make everything “glow with roses,” by scattering the petals all across the land.
Zephrus and Flora
Another story talks of the love Zephyrus had for Flora, the Goddess of flowers. As the Goddess showed no interest in anything but flowers, he transformed into a rose flower and when Flora saw the delicately beautiful rose, she kissed it thus sealing their relationship. The myth seems to say that when love is given a union between souls, it produces a beauty and joy like no other.
Another story speaks of the origination of the name rose itself. When Flora was struck by Cupid’s arrow and wanted to call for Eros, she was unable to properly say the word Eros but made it sound like “ros” due to her pain. The utterance of “rose” caused Eros to be synonymous to the flower.
Inspired by such folklore, we at Maeva knew that we needed to dedicate an entire collection to the beautiful rose scent and love. And you seem to agree with all the love you've been showering to our 'Cupid & Psyche' collection with it's signature misty rose scent. So much so that the collection was last month's bestseller!