“People where you live,” the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one garden… yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…[…] And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose […]”― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Intoxicating with its mesmerizing beauty and sublime fragrance, the rose has been an object of desire, symbol of passion and immortal love, artistic inspiration, poetic allegory of romance, embodiment of charm, temptation, grace, purity and devotion. The rose has been cultivated in the gardens since antiquity and its image and metaphorical meanings can be found in art, literature, music, religion, politics, sport, history and fashion.
There are legions of legends and myths with the rose as a central figure. One of them tells a story of the rose being a creation of Greek Goddess Flora who found the body of her bellowed nymph in the woods and turned her into a flower of unsurpassed beauty. Aphrodite gave it brilliance and charm, Vertemnus-the perfume, Zephyrus blew away the clouds so that Apollo could cast some sunshine on it. The rose started blooming and Flora crowned it with the diadem of petals making it the Queen of all Flowers. According to one tale, the red rose appeared from Aphrodite’s tears and her lover‘s blood, the latter being mortally wounded when hunting. Another myth tells us of the origin of the white rose that grew from the sea foam that was dripping down from Aphrodite’s body.
The rose and its lush symbolism have been spreading an intriguing and seductive charm around. Now, more than ever, fashion designers are enthralled by its exquisite beauty and rose-inspired creations are burgeoning.
When I spotted this blooming Brahmin Ophelia Blue Lyon purse, I got instantly seduced by the intricate, vintage rose design, tangible texture of the floral embossed genuine cowhide leather and marvelous shades of light blue and white. Elegant shape, pecan color calf leather trim combined with classic Brahmin signature tassel medallion, turn-lock detail and brush gold tone accents, make this artisan bag a stunning beauty. What always strikes me about any Brahmin handbag is how it manifests the outstanding quality with every little detail, outside and inside. And, this purse is no exception.
The light blue roses flourish against the ivory fabric and dashed metallic stripes of the dress, creating a sophisticated bouquet. Graceful boatneck, rich texture and shimmering threading bring a modern touch. The dress amazingly merges with the purse by a total floral immersion so the visual bridge is almost imperceptible.
These beautifully shaped Zara pumps are made of flexible goat leather and you can feel it with every step. The softness of the fabric is highlighted by the delicate, light blue color that matches perfectly the bag and the dress. The laser cuts add a fresh, edgy twist to these otherwise classy court heels.
There was a long period when the rose was thought to be unfashionable especially in the perfume department, following Coco Chanel’s statement that “a woman should smell like a woman, not like a rose”. However, the rose started to regained its prestige and lauded status about a decade ago, together with the blooming of natural skin care products. Cosmetic lines with rose-infused creams, Rosa Mosqueta anti-aging face serums, rose beauty oils, cleansers, toners and makeup removers, have become beauty bestsellers, not to mention the renaissance in perfumes, with rose being a leading note in scents by Emporio Armani -Bulgarian rose in “Diamonds Rose”, Jo Malone’s blend of seven roses in “Red Roses Cologne” or Tom Ford’s “Café Rose” created with Rose de Mai.
Nowadays, modern women want to smell like a sophisticated rose, carry stylish handbags covered with flowers, wear floral prints and rose–inspired jewelry. Just like Cleopatra, centuries ago. Obsessed with the rose, she covered all the floors of her palace in rose petals, bathed in rose-infused milk, slept on a bed of roses and even had the sails of her ship soaked in rose water so that she could enjoy the rosy breeze around her. Pure extravagance, addition or fascination? I would say: just rose fixation. But, what woman wouldn’t love to indulge in rose luxury, at least for a day? With all the garden of rose-inspired products now we can!
So I totally luxuriated in this astounding Oscar de la Renta White Resin Flower necklace (similar, similar) and clip earrings (similar, similar). Lavish, hand-poured white resin roses with meticulous carvings and this vintage looking, gold-plated pewter and brass chain, make this jewelry a real marvel, beautiful enough to merit Cleopatra’s attention. There is a sensational bouquet to this intricate design and realistic, irregular shapes of the roses. An enchanted garden embodied in the ivory petals that entice you to reach out and touch the flower to make sure it’s for real or just a reverie. Spellbound, you brush the rose with your fingers to discover the truth of impeccable artistry incarnated in visually perfect creation.
The statement ring (Aldo) I am wearing unfolds the antique mood. Glossy, pearly white stone, set in a crown of precisely carved leaves, straight from ancient times. The other ring (Aldo, similar) delivers a modern accent in shape of a helical metal coil. The leather wrap bracelet (Ann Taylor, similar) features a set of sparkling crystals for an ultimate edgy-meets-glamour look and the light brown band pairs beautifully with the leather handle of the purse.
Rose has undeniably become a fashionable heroine again and placed itself on a pedestal, ready to be looked up to, glorified and admired as a scent note, beauty ingredient, floral pattern or just a garden flower. The latter being the essential since all the others originate in it. So, remembering that, I literally always stop to smell a rose while passing by one. Do you?