Traditionally, a ‘tussie-mussie’ – a small posy, usually wrapped in a lace doily or ribbon – would be sent as a gift, acting as a coded message for the recipient. It was especially important to pass your messages in secret as public flirtation and displays of emotion were strictly forbidden.
As well as hiding messages in your flowers, the way the posy was presented also carried meaning: to hand a bouquet from the left hand meant a declined offer, whereas the with the right was to accept, and should a bouquet be fastened by the lady to her clothing at heart-height, it was taken that she was happy with her suitors advances (and that perhaps he should present her with some Lime blossom).
We’ve previously examined the meanings of some of our soliflore fragrances, however we were yet to translate many of our fragrances, including our most recent scent: Peoneve. As such we’ve decided to take a look at more of our scents and their meanings:
Peony - Peoneve
Should a lady be presented with peonies in an upright position, it would signify her suitor’s appreciation of her coy nature. Peoneve is a lush floral capturing a bright and delicate peony blooming in an English garden.
Peonies are also thought of as signifying bravery, honour, prosperity and masculinity in the far East – and Peoneve certainly smells wonderful on many of the gentlemen know, where the woody notes become amplified on a masculine skin.
Rose - Elisabethan Rose
Meaning: Perfect Happiness
A holographic and translucent rose in full blossom, with a sparkling geranium opening, and a smooth, honeyed chamomile accent, Elisabethan Rose will symbolise both contentment and patience.
Violet - Violetta
Meaning: Virtue & Faithfulness
Deliciously candied and with a verdant and vibrant green top-note, Violetta captures the purity of violets in one of our most surprising and realistic scents. A gift of violets would convey an eternal love, and that perhaps a proposal was on the horizon.
Stock - Night Scented Stock
Meaning: Lasting Beauty
Forming part of our Anthology collection, Night Scented Stock is a hazy white floral, breathing life into a bouquet of heavily scented stocks, above a delicate and powdery blend of heliotrope and benzoin. Whilst many other white floral ingredients are associated with impurity, stock connotes an unchanging adoration.
If perhaps a suitor had reason to believe he wasn’t the only one vying for a lady’s affections, a gift of lavender would let her know his devotion, but also of his mistrust. Lavandula is smooth, green and shimmering, decorating lavender with a spicy facet and ambery warmth.
What does your fragrance say about you in Floriography? Which of these flowers would you like to be presented with? Let us know if you agree with them in the comments below.
13 September 2015
Oh My Peoneve!
I wear Peoneve as one of daytime favourites of Penhaligon's, it is wonderful to read the entomology of such a gorgeous blooming scent. I think I would have to choose the main flower Peony as my representitive not just for the Basfulness (modesty there!) but the smell of the Flower itself.
25 June 2013
They were interesting and fascinating times...and good to see brought forward to current times in form of fragrances if not flowers!:)
25 June 2013
Violets may symbolize virtue and faithfulness but I have found that wearing Violetta as my favourite Summer perfume, it has rather a sexy soft darkness about it in the evening, nothing virtuous about it at all!
20 June 2013
The Upright And The Just
Peoneve is certainly an upright scent. I would enjoy more floral entomology for Opus 1870 so I can tackle those complex notes with wisdom and authority.
Floriography, also known as ‘The Language of Flowers’, was a popular method of expressing emotions and sending messages in Victorian times. Whilst we have lost many of the meanings in time, a red rose is still thought of as a symbol of passionate love, and daisies still suggest innocence.