The rose is one of the oldest flowers and one of the most popular. In Persia, they were grown for their perfume oil and the petals were used to fill the Sultan's mattress. In Kashmir the Moghul emperors cultivated beautiful rose gardens and roses were strewn in the river to welcome them on their return home. Roses later became synonymous with the worst excesses of the Roman Empire - the peasants were reduced to growing roses instead of food crops in order to satisfy the demands of their rulers. The emperors filled their swimming baths and fountains with rose-water and sat on carpets of rose petals for their feasts and orgies.