The Vogue of Roses, Emilie Loring Style

He had remembered also that she loved red roses.

Gay opened the box and lifted out a mass of crimson roses which flooded the room with fragrance. “My word, how gorgeous, Gay! Two dozen! Look at the length of the stems! I’ve heard that red vibrates. Now I know it. Each one of the roses is broadcasting a message.

Today is Yours

Spring has arrived, the ground is warming, and in my part of the world, it will soon be time to plant again. I’ve grown roses a long time–antique, English, hybrid tea, floribunda, and grandiflora. My poor roses took it on the chin a couple of winters ago, though, and I thought Emilie might have an idea for their replacements.

“Miss Hattie Ulman, blue cashmere, jacqueminot roses”

When Emilie was a girl, the “it” flower was the Jacqueminot rose. Girls wore them pinned to their gowns, and silk gowns were printed with the deep red flower.

Then, during Emilie’s debutante years, the American Beauty was introduced, and it took the country by storm.

An American-Bred Rose

There is a new American rose, and the Boston Herald says it owes its creation to Mr. George Bancroft, the historian. You can get one from a Boston florist for $1.50. It is a wonderful flower, dark pink in color, surpassing the Jacqueminot in efflorescent richness. It is called the American Beauty, and has thus far only been grown in Washington. It is sent from there to all the large cities. Put $25 worth of these buds and the Jacqueminots mixed in a large vase and you have the rose in its highest development of beauty.

The Critic (Washington, D.C.), 1886
American Beauty

She…slipped into a crêpe house-coat the exact shade of an American Beauty rose.

We Ride the Gale!

Even as he welcomed her he wondered why more gray-haired women with brilliant dark eyes didn’t wear small American Beauty red hats with a mink sling cape. The combination was a knockout on her.

Beckoning Trails

It turned out that the rose was actually French, and Mr. Bancroft had to give up credit, but the American Beauty was so popular that it was made the official flower of Washington, D.C. I was all set to hunt it down for my garden, but wait, not so fast.

Pink Perfection

…lamplight and firelight glinted on the silver bowl of pink Perfection roses

Where Beauty Dwells

So Pink Perfection roses, then?

“Templars!” she explained breathlessly. “Did you ever see such gorgeousness; their beauty sets the air vibrating!” She lifted two of the lovely blossoms to her face.

Hilltops Clear

Her cheeks were as pink as the heart of a Russell rose.

… the breath of red Radiance roses in a tall silver vase

Give Me One Summer

Clearly, I have more choices! I’ll check for them in the antique rose catalogs. But what’s this about roses in “bowls?”

He bent over the bowl of red roses on the desk to inhale their fragrance. Not such a wilderness when a florist could produce blooms like that within flying distance.

Lighted Windows

I went back to a 1906 volume of House and Garden magazine for the answer.

“not to be despised”

“The old shape rose bowl for some of the less pretentious varieties is not to be despised..”

I should hope not! I’d love to put roses in this crystal bowl. But it’s not quite what Emilie seems to describe here:

The fragrant breath of yellow roses in bowls, low silver bowls of pink roses among the lavish display of sandwiches, cakes, confections…

Across the Years

“For the table, a low bowl has the edges turned outwards so as to form a support to the stem, which also finds further support in the interior of the bowl, these stems in turn helping to support the centre flowers.”

The low bowl has the edges turned outwards

I’ll keep my eye out for this shape. I’m guessing that the criss-cross stems support more upright blooms in the center.

Not to worry, if you don’t have rose bowls of any type.

…two perfect pink Perfections in a slim silver vase

High of Heart

… one perfect rose in a slender crystal vase

Fair Tomorrow

We have choices!

She…changed to a sleeveless aqua organdy and fastened a pink Perfection rose to her shoulder.

We Ride the Gale

Have you noticed how often an Emilie Loring character wears flowers at her waist (often violets, but also roses), or in her hair, or, in this case, on her shoulder? That last is simply a corsage, but we don’t wear flowers nearly so much as Emilie’s generation did.

“Miss Bessie Baker, ecru silk with pink roses”

“The Vogue of Flowers”

Not for many years has it been so universally the vogue to wear flowers with all costumes, nor have their possibilities been so fully realized. (Vanity Fair, 1914)

Apparently, the young girl wears a rosebud; the mature woman wears a “full-blown” rose,

but the red one must find its place on the corsage, the coat, or fur wraps of the older woman of established poise and position, who has won the right fully to express her personality.

And then there’s this:

There is but one universal flower that may be worn by all women–the violet.

But that’s a story for another time.

For now, I’m after roses. We have a special Emilie Loring tea coming up this summer, and I’d love to have homegrown roses on my table–and maybe on myself, too!

“Gertrude Jekyll”–wonderful scent!

Happy Landings!


5 thoughts on “The Vogue of Roses, Emilie Loring Style

  1. Thanks for this great research and analysis of roses. Who’da thunk it would be an interesting angle from which to view Emilie Loring!

    I realized this week that spring begins my reading season–on the deck and listening to music or a baseball game. I don’t read as much during the fall/winter seasons I’ve noticed. I have been trying to think why. Some theories: Busy helping kids w/schoolwork those months; Hard to find a quiet place to read inside; Busy with holidays as well; now I’m working fulltime–most jobs are busy during the school months and things slow down as people vacation in the spring/summer. We’d been awfully cooped up for too long b/c of covid of course.

    I do know that I particularly enjoy reading on the deck outdoors and listening to music or a ball game as I have said.

    So, now to start reading season. What shall I read first? Where shall I meet Emilie again this spring? Other books in between EL selections? Bio’s? History? Can I fit Jane Austin in there somewhere? Other great novels? Hmmm……

    Happy Spring to all!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aloha! Thank you! I have noticed the roses and tried to research them too. Among the many rhododendron here on the coast, there are many roses to enjoy. A friend gifted me some tea roses. Another gifted me a lovely yellow rose that somehow took on the streaks of red when it was sitting next to the vibrant red tea rose last year. They gave me much joy on a small patio. Since we have moved to a different home, I will arrange them in new pots for this year. I’m waiting for the last freeze here to leave us! We have had so many days with hail that I haven’t wanted to disturb their semi protected spot by the fence. I also received a gift last year of a new rose for me, a “Betty Boop” rose. It is very lovely and is beautiful swaying in the wind. Tough too as the wind doesn’t take its petals for a sail. I look forward to its first spring with me. It’s beginning to leaf out and looks healthy. But it’s under a foot tall. I’m very impatient, but excited to see how it blossoms. I’ll include a picture of it last year when I first planted it in my flower box. Seems like many things begin in this flower box a friend built for us, and then as they outgrow it, I plant them in the ground or a bigger pot alone. It rained a lot today, but I was able to clip a few ranunculus. Yellow today, to add to my vase of yellow tulips. Cheerful! My husband was delighted that these are our first blooms picked in our 2022 garden. So much work to do, and so much soaking rain yet. ( I’ll be wanting the rain later this summer, ha!). Just a note, when I first began dating my husband, I was off work for a short time with a pulled muscle. He sent me a dozen long stemmed American Beauty roses! Very spendy then! He thought that was the only thing to impress me as he hadn’t yet asked me to marry him. He knew he chose me, but I didn’t know it yet. I was all of 18 and he was 21. He always chooses to give flowers for special days. He doesn’t care the cost. When he was in high school, during summers, he worked in a greenhouse inColorado growing long stem roses. He learned how important roses can be. Since then, I’ve taught him what some of the language of flowers is and we send appropriate bouquets. For me, growing up in Hawaii, the language was of lei, with corsages of white Cattaleya orchids. My prom one had a pale turquoise ribbon. For some occasions, a corsage was replaced with a Haku, or head lei. By the 1970s this head lei included small pink rosebuds. Enjoy your roses I hope you find a new, old rose this year. I’m going to get a start from another friend who gave us a lovely fragrant bouquet for our 50th anniversary last year. I’ll include a picture of the vase of those roses. May you be well, aloha Pam

    Sent from my iPad

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