When it comes to floral gifts roses are, without even a shadow of a doubt, the classiest gift out there. But what types of roses are the classiest? Does color matter? Why are roses in a box so special? Are expensive roses in a box worth the asking price? We’ll answer all of these questions, and share some fascinating insight into the history and meaning or roses!
Question: Why are roses a classy gift?
Before we can go any farther into the rose as a classy present, we should first establish why it is that roses are considered classy in the first place. First, it’s important to note just how long roses have been around. The Western world likes to associate roses with romance, but dating and marriage as we know it today was nothing like that of ancient Rome...and roses are even older than that! There’s evidence that roses are 35 million years old. For frame of reference, Antarctica was still forming glaciers around this time. That’s right, roses first began appearing when it was still warm at the poles. Talk about timeless!
They were a symbol of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, which no doubt has something to do with their connection to romance. The Greeks and Romans had a festival dedicated to the blooming of the roses where they would honor the dead. To them flowers were a symbol of rebirth, much like the spring when they would bloom, and red roses were associated with blood, the fluid that gives life.
The War of the Roses was a series of civil wars fought for control of the throne in 15th century England between two rival houses. The House of Lancaster’s ancestral symbol was the red rose, while the House of York’s was the white rose. The House of Tudor, which came when the two houses merged, developed its own symbol called the ‘Tudor rose’, which combined the two flowers. At the time the war didn’t have that name, and it’s believed to have come from none other than Shakespeare himself in his play Henry VI. Remember, this is the man who gave us “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. That line comes from a different play and one we’re all familiar with- Romeo and Juliet, a classic love story.
These are only a few examples of the use of roses, and they demonstrate not only the symbolism but the power that the rose has! For hundreds of thousands of years the rose has been chosen over and over again as a symbol of beauty, love, and nobility. It comes as no surprise then that when we talk about classy black box flowers, we immediately think of red roses in a box and white roses in a box. We’ve always thought of them as important.
Question: Does the color of the rose matter?
Different colored roses aren’t new, but they’re certainly more popular than in the past. Red, white, and pink are the only naturally occurring colors (the ‘wild roses’, if you will) but they can be cultivated to have yellow, orange, or purple petals. In a sense, the naturally occurring colors are the purest ones, the ones given to us by the Earth itself, so they carry with them a sense of authenticity. It’s not that they’re better, they have simply been around the longest and are the only ones that grow without intervention. Because of their history they already have meanings that are firmly attached to them.
This doesn’t make other colors, such as blue or black, any less meaningful though. The problem is that if you do an image search for ‘black roses in a shadow box’, the words ‘black’ and ‘shadow’ might net you some strange looking results. No matter how lovely they might be it’s not uncommon to see them in dreary, black and white artwork next to symbols associated with death. Colored roses might be newer, but those colors already have meanings tied to them, and sometimes they are unfairly projected onto the flower like in the case of a bouquet of black roses.
The novelty also plays a factor, because the ‘new’ and ‘trendy’ appeal -unfortunately- adds an element of superficiality to it. Unique colors such as mint green roses or rainbow pattern roses can be cast off as too quirky or a colorful act of floral rebellion, only popular because of how ‘weird’ they are. Basically, there are some more ‘traditionally minded’ floral enthusiasts who see roses in a bouquet that aren’t a traditional color as either a bastardization of the craft or treat it as the weird new thing that kids are doing these days (‘Back in my day, we only had three colors!’).
But these newer colors should be celebrated. The fact that we can create emerald green roses is an achievement, and the fact that we can preserve them to create unique gifts like crystal keychains and peach colored roses in a music globe is something that we should never stop pursuing. There are so many ideas that we have yet to explore, so who knows what the next big thing in preserved box roses will be?
Question: Why are roses in a box so special?
Roses in a box are arranged meticulously, perfectly, symmetrically. They look almost too good to be true because of the effort that is put into them. If the box itself has a little character, like a silky interior lining or a velvety feel to it, the luxury of the flower becomes amplified. Boxes can also have unique shapes and designs, like heart shaped boxes to give it a little extra something. There are so many ways to get creative with box roses like using multiple colored roses or complementing them with other pieces to create a more decorative floral arrangement.
Put simply, what makes them special has less to do with the roses themselves and more to do with what can be done with the box.
Question: Are expensive roses in a box worth it?
Absolutely, and for a variety of reasons. Roses in a box are carefully arranged so as not to get squished or pushed or damaged. The same can’t be said for a standard bouquet of regular roses. Box roses are meant to last, or they wouldn’t be placed in such a sturdy, decorated container, so there is guaranteed longevity. Preserved roses alone require a great deal of care and cultivation to look as picture perfect as they do, so when they’re placed in a special container their value is naturally going to go up. But that price reflects the quality, so you can be confident that your preserved box roses -whether they’re roses in a hat box, roses in a shadow box, or roses in an acrylic box- will stay beautiful for a long time and remain well-protected by the box that they came in.
Question: What types of roses are the classiest, and why?
And now we return to the original question. What are the classiest roses? The truth is, it varies by the tastes of the buyer and the recipient. Conventional wisdom will tell us that either red roses in a box or a single boxed red rose is the way to go. But we don’t live in an era of rigid tradition any longer. Deviating from what was once the norm has become the new norm.
If you look at movies or TV shows then red roses are still the favored selection because it’s a universally recognized symbol. We see them in weddings, which have also been traditionally austere ceremonies, and so roses have taken on a sort of sophistication as a result. They’re treated as a tried and true gift for a loved one or a romantic partner, but there is a slight problem with that mentality- not everyone likes the ‘tried and ‘true’.
Some people prefer or even crave originality. They want something different, something genuine, something earnest, not something from a script. Something that says ‘I know you well enough to confidently buy this single turquoise rose in an acrylic case, rather than the customary red roses in a box’. It becomes much more meaningful and thoughtful.
That’s not to say that red roses have lost their meaning, of course! They are still a classic and an oft recommended selection. But we live in a time where new technology allows us to create roses of different shapes and colors. We’re fortunate enough to have options and the ability to explore different combinations to create the perfect gift for someone based on what they truly like, not what we’re told we should buy them. What could be classier than something chosen with sincerity, consideration, and affection?