An emblem of carnal love as well as spiritual love, the rose symbolises grace, beauty, perfection and purity. Its petals are arranged in a concentric shape and form a bud, which in many varieties never opens completely: so the rose is also a symbol of secrecy.
The thorns defend it from violation and this characteristic means it is used to symbolise discretion and silence. When the rose is still closed it represents female chastity, while an open one symbolises the transitory beauty of youth.
According to the Greeks the rose was the flower of Aphrodite (the goddess of Love) but also Aurora (goddess of the rosy fingers), while the Romans connected this flower to Venus. For the ancient Egyptians the rose was the symbol of Secret Knowledge and was dedicated to the mother goddess Isis. In India it represents the beauty of the Divine Mother and symbolises absolute perfection.
Interesting fact: Cleopatra and Mark Antony spent their first night of love on a bed of rose petals almost half a metre high.