The Rose is the flower of Love. It was created by Chloris, the
Greek goddess of flowers, from a lifeless body of a nymph which
she found one day in a clearing in the woods. She asked the help
of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who gave her beauty; Dionysus,
the god of wine, added nectar to give her a sweet scent, and the
three Graces gave her charm, brightness and joy. Then Zephyr,
the West Wind, blew away the clouds so that Apollo, the sun god,
could shine and make the flower bloom. And so the Rose was born.
Roses were in such high demand during the seventeenth century
that royalty considered roses or rose water as legal tender, and
they were often used as barter and for payments. Napoleon's wife
Josephine established an extensive collection of roses at Chateau
de Malmaison, an estate seven miles west of Paris in the 1800s.
It wasn't until the late eighteenth century that cultivated roses
were introduced into Europe from China. Most modern-day roses
can be traced back to this ancestry.