Roses: Not Just A Pretty Face!

“Cedarwood ships were scented with rose water and the very winds were lovesick,” from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra.

Sure, it’s pretty usual to see love-inspired treats strewn in hotel rooms, but Alpine Mountain Chalets goes one better. This Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge lodging offers a variety of romantic packages that include blossoms.

“We all know roses as a symbol of romance, said Lauren Wilkinson, spokesperson for the company,” but let’s take a look at the history of this popular, but fascinating flower.

The Historic Rose

Today, there are an estimated 150 species of the rose flower found in the Northern Hemisphere alone and although archaeological findings point to the blossoms being on the planet for approximately 35 million years, the first known rose gardens weren’t documented until 5000 years ago in China.

Their commonality throughout the Middle East led to their introduction to ancient Rome where they were used in medical formulas due to the antibacterial, aphrodisiac and antidepressant properties of rose hips, which are also an abundant source of vitamin C.

Cleopatra, who is well-known as “the most beautiful woman in history,” used rose as a beauty tool to wash and mist her skin and Michelangelo is said to have drunk rose water everyday.

The petals were commonly used during special occasions as confetti. Over the centuries, various colors of the rose became symbolic.

In the 1600s, the British House of York was represented by the white rose. Conversely, the House of Lancaster was represented by a red rose. When the two entities went to war to gain dominance in England, the battle became known as the “War of the Roses.” Crowds were known to welcome victorious armies with showers of the flowers.


During the Renaissance period, blooms having eight petals were thought to be symbolic of rebirth or renewal. In alchemy and art, flowers having seven petals represented inclusion, order or universal understanding.

The church depicted five-petaled flowers in medieval times to represent Jesus’ wounds.

Freemason symbolism sometimes includes three of the flowers to represent love.

  • Giving a single rose signifies devotion.
  • Two blossoms represent a marriage proposal.
  • Six flowers are a request for love. A bouquet of 11 or 12 flowers represents deep love and devotion.
  • Secret admirers have been known to gift the object of their affection with 13 flowers.

Love and Romance

Equating the flower with love dates back to ancient times. I

n ancient Greece, the rose was associated with Aphrodite the goddess of love. Depictions of Aphrodite commonly included the flowers adorning her head, neck or feet.

Ancient Romans similarly equated the flower with their Venus goddess of love.

Newlyweds often wore crowns made of the blooms.

Beginning in the Middle Ages, it was frowned upon to openly express emotions. Therefore, the red blossoms were gifted as a means of expressing affection, love and passion.

Over time, the different colors of the aromatic blooms became known for having specific meanings.

  • Black-death or farewell
  • Dark purple to lavender-love at first sight
  • Burgundy or dark red-unconscious beauty
  • Red-love and passion
  • Pink hues-appreciation or gratitude
  • Peach-modesty or purity
  • Orange-fascination or desire
  • Yellow-friendship or joy
  • Green-fertility, growth or energy
  • Blue-mystery or unattainable
  • White-innocence or purity

There’s plenty to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN, whether you’re looking for a romantic hideaway or fun attractions–or both. Be sure to book a stay at Alpine Mountain Chalets for the most romantic getaway of your life!