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Say it with flowers on Valentine’s Day 2019

Roses are red, violets are blue, find the secret message, from me to you! Every Valentine’s Day, billions of flowers are sent by secret, and not so secret, admirers to express their feelings of adoration and admiration. But whilst you may have thought your chosen bouquet was simply a sweetly-scented display of your affection, the flowers you picked could actually be saying something entirely different thanks to the secret code of floriography (the language of flowers), developed by the Victorians as a sneaky way of sending ‘concealed’ messages to that special someone.

With over a century of progression in terms of expressing how we feel when it comes to matters of the heart, the art of flower symbolism has all but wilted away, so what better way to stimulate some sentimentality this February 14th than with a little old-time romance?

We’ll guide you through the top blooms that still say ‘I love you’, but for a 21st Century twist, instead of buying flowers which may only last a day or two, why not give creatively-inspired, pampering gifts that have been freshly handmade from the finest flowers the world has to offer?

Roses are red, romance is not dead

The rose is universally revered as an emblem of true love, and as such synonymous with Valentine’s, but be careful what colour you plump for as each hue carries a different connotation. Red stands for true love, whereas pink implies a warm affection, yellow symbolises friendship, while white is the suggestion of a new beginning, or if things have taken a turn for the worse try artificially coloured roses, such as blue which means impossible, or black signifying death.

It’s not just colour that has a code, as the number of roses gifted to your lover also holds significance. A single rose indicates love at first sight, while nine roses signifies eternal love, and of course the Valentine’s Day special; 12 roses declares to your sweetie ‘be mine.’

When it comes to picking roses for the oils and absolutes used in our rose-infused products, we stand firm by the heavenly-scented damask rose, hand plucked at dawn in Senir, Turkey, when they are at their most fragrant and alluring. The flower is particularly perfect for those in need of some pamper time as rose absolute is used for its soothing, rejuvenating and toning properties on skin, while its evocative, delicate fragrance lifts the mood and is also believed to have an aphrodisiac effect.

With almost 200 pampering products containing rose amongst our collection you’re sure to find something special for that special someone. For starters, there’s the appropriately named Love perfume, or to take things in another direction Lust perfume or Pearl massage bar are sure to show someone exactly how you feel about them. If you had something more impressive in mind, why not choose from our range of gifts? 

Get jazzy with Jasmine

As Jasmine realises its powerfully alluring scent at night, the white and pale yellow blooms are a staple of moon gardens across exotic lands, where lovers while away the evening whispering sweet nothings under a canopy of stars. As well as being a symbol of love, jasmine represents beauty and sensuality, and features as part of wedding celebrations the world over, most notably perhaps in Pakistan, where jasmine is the national flower, and Tuscany, where it’s rooted in legend. The intention of this evocatively perfumed flower is to act as a reminder of that person when they’re not around and as such is perfect for saying, ‘you’re the One’, especially for those in long-distance relationships.

Jasmine thrives in warm climates which is why the absolute featured in over 50 of our products comes from the star-shaped flowers grown in India and Egypt picked at sunrise when their scent peaks in intensity. As well as stimulating thoughts of love and romance, the nocturnal plant is thought to calm the mind and ease slumber, which makes it the perfect ingredient for many of our bath bombs. Try Sex Bomb to say exactly how you feel, or try Goddess for an enchanting bath time that’ll fill the bath with floral fragranced foam with Jasmine hitting those high notes for ultimate relaxation and romance.    

hero godess bath bomb

Gorgeous gardenia

As a flower that simply says ‘you are lovely’, there’s no room for misinterpretation with Gardenia, making it the perfect posy for that secret crush. The white flower, originally native to China and Japan, produces a delicately exotic scent and due to the naturally vibrant liquid that is extracted from it, offers an alluring pallet of varying hues ranging from deep orange to golden yellow. Used for centuries in Chinese medicine to treat a range of ailments, the phytochemicals found in gardenia are now believed to have anti-inflammatory effects, sure to please those with dry or sensitive skin. The flower features favourably in dozens of our items, from Furze and Flower’s Barrow perfumes to Dragon’s Egg and Sakura bath bombs, not to mention Karma Soap and Godiva shampoo bar too.

Violets may be blue, but they say I love you too

While roses positively scream ‘I love you’, violets were intended to have a more subtle effect and as such were used to symbolise affection with the promise of faithfulness. Its history is rooted in Greek mythology with tales denoting a love which is altogether more delicate, as the white found within the bloom symbolises an appreciation of chastity and purity. As lovely as the flower is, and it is very lovely, it’s actually the leaf that holds our interest, as the absolute we gain from violet leaves is practically a powerhouse of properties. The rich, thick, green absolute, with its fresh floral and leafy aroma soothes the mind, and is said to be antibacterial and antiseptic, making it an excellent ingredient to improve the condition of the skin.

Predominantly grown in moist, slightly shaded areas, we source our violet leaf absolute from Egypt where the flower is planted alongside corn, which shades it from the strong Egyptian sun. Harvesting begins in May, recurring every 70 days until December, and finds its way into over two dozen of our treats, including Princess Cottongrass perfume, Daddy-O shampoo (great for blondes), Koyaanisqatsi shower bomb, and Ocean Salt face and body scrub.

Lavender, not just for lullabies

It’s well known that lavender, with its intoxicating grassy, herb-like scent soothes and heals the body and mind, but what many don’t realise is that in terms of symbolism the plant also speaks to the heart, representing grace, elegance and femininity. We celebrate the flower for its balancing and soothing qualities, and as such is ideal for those who struggle with irritated skin and scalps, and as it is also great for calming the mind and aiding a restful sleep, those who are in desperate need of some kip. To send a message that gets straight to the point give them lavender-loaded A French Kiss bubble bar or for a more subtle approach there’s What Would Love Do? perfume. More prominently our products included in the Sleepy and Twilight range all celebrate our love of lavender and gift sets Twilight and Relax feature the best of the best.

Ylang Ylang, double the word, double the love

Ylang Ylang, known as ‘the flower of flowers’, is a richly fragrant yellow bloom that only awakens and unfurls at night, which like its nocturnal friend jasmine, has come to be valued for its calming yet sensual perfume. Native to the tropical shores of South Pacific islands, the powerfully perfumed petals are traditionally scattered on the beds of newlyweds and it’s thought that its sweet floral aroma is an aphrodisiac.

According to Philippine legend a beautiful girl called Ilang fell in love with a boy she wasn’t allowed to marry, and before they had the chance to be together she was turned into a tree, after which her lover cried ‘Ilang, Ilang!’, giving the tree its name. In wiccan tradition, the flower is associated with the planet Venus and as such is said to be a favoured ingredient used in love charms.

Whilst we don’t offer magic potions, we do have ylang ylang infused lotions, which thanks to the plant’s heady floral and warming scent reduces anxiety and inspires positivity, plus is superb for toning the skin and stimulating hair growth. Tender Is The Night massage bar features ylang ylang along with a mix of other romantically charged essential oils, Lust perfume is a blissful treat, or look to Gorgeous gift set for neat treat ready wrapped and good to go.

Whether you’ve admired them afar or known them up close, whatever flowers or floral-inspired gifts you choose for them this Valentine’s Day they’re sure to appreciate the effort you’ve put into discovering the true meaning behind their gift. And if no one’s caught your eye, or perhaps more importantly your heart this year, then why not treat yourself instead? After all loving yourself is the first step to loving someone else. Happy Valentine’s!

Words by Natalie Denton; translated by Yuki Cheung & Ester Cheng; edited by Kadii Chan.

 

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