The rose has a long history, dating back to the Sumerians. It is mentioned in the Iliad. In 5th century BC China, rose essence was used exclusively by the emperor and the nobility at court.
It was also used widely in ancient Rome: rose petals were strewn on the roads for holidays, and at banquets garlands of roses were worn and rose water was sprinkled on the guests. There is evidence in the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella archives that the Dominican monks of Santa Maria Novella sold rose water as far back as 1381.
In flower symbolism, the meaning of the rose varies depending on the colour. White roses symbolise innocence, red roses passion, and yellow roses unfaithfulness and jealousy.