The Language of Flowers
Last time you thought about your honey, did you send them a text? If this had been in the 19th century Victorian era, you would have sent them a red rose and a tulip instead. (desire + perfect love).
Victorian flower language (floriography) was the iphone of the upper class. Originally started as a way for harem women to communicate with each other unbeknownst to their guards, the Victorian fad caught on when Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, a feminist poet married to the English ambassador to Turkey, began using it. Various flower dictionaries were published and this secret language became popular. It was a fun “gossipy” part of the upper crust due to the fact that not only did you have to be able to identify many flowers but would need to be able to cultivate them in order to “reply” or send your own messages.
Floriography lost its popularity after World War I, however; as people generally had too much else to do in the aftermath of war.
A few popular floral references still remain. Everyone knows that lillies are funeral flowers, red roses mean “I love you” and yellow roses are for friendship. An interesting tidbit on flower language though is that Kate Middleton chose her wedding flowers to represent love, marriage, sports and her own husband, William.
At Celluvati, we use florals and their oils for their health properties and not their symbolic meanings but it is fun to learn more about them. Our Soothe and Smooth Sea Buckthorn Body Butter has oils of lavender, chamomile and geranium. So, apparently it offers symbolism of patience, virtue and friendship. Whereas the jasmine in our Sleep Potion symbolizes sweet love. How appropriate for the boudoir. Do you know what your favorite flowers mean? Next time someone gives you flowers, check out their meaning, just for fun of course.