Origin: Mostly Asia, although a few of the 300+ species are native to Europe, North America, and northwestern Africa

Family: Rosaceae
Scientific Name: Rosa spp


Element: Water
Day: Friday
Planet: Venus
Zodiac: Taurus
Associated Celebrations: Floralia
Deities: Adonis, Aphrodite, Cupid, Demeter, Eros, Flora, Freya, Hathor, Holle, Isis, Venus, Virgin Mary

Magical Properties: Love, beauty, healing, sexuality, luck, clairvoyance

Substitutions: Lavender, yarrow


Ancient Greece/Rome:

Christianity: Following the Christianisation of the Roman Empire, the rose became associated with the Virgin Mary. It’s from this association that the term ‘Rosary’ comes (from the Latin rosmarium, for ‘crown/garland of roses’). The association between roses and secrecy also continued in Christianity, with roses being carved into confessionals as a reminder that confessions were secret.

Victorian Era: In the language of flowers, different meanings were assigned to each colour of rose: Red for true love, orange for passion, yellow for friendship, blue for mystery, black for death, and white for innocence/purity. Many of these associations can be traced much further back in history, and are generally also applied to their use in magical contexts.

Magical Uses

Note: Ensure that any roses you plan to consume (or use in beauty applications) are culinary-grade, and as such are grown entirely free of dangerous pesticides.


Part Used: Flowers
Extraction Method: Steam distillation
Flash Point: 70°C

Scent Type: Floral
Perfume Note: Middle
Scent Description: Floral

Aromatherapeutic Uses

Rose oil is used for soothing depression, grief, anger, fear, and post-natal depression.


Avoid during pregnancy


There are over 300 species of rose, and tens of thousands of cultivars. These include upright shrubs, climbing, and trailing varieties.

Type: Shrubs/Climbers
Plant Height: 1m-7m
Stems: Most species have thorny stems, but not all
Leaves: 5-15cm long, made of 5-9 oblong leaflets, usually with serrated edges
Flowers: Most have 5 lobed petals (mostly white or pink), and 5 sepals
Fruit: Berries (usually dark red) called Rosehips have a fleshy outer layer and 5-150 seeds.


Species: Rosa canina or Rosa rubiginosa


Part Used: Seed
Extraction Method: Cold-pressed
Flash Point: 360°C

Perfume Use: Base oil
Shelf Life: 6-9 months
Scent Description: Faint earthy scent

Active Constituents: Rich in vitamin E and beta-carotene

Beauty Uses

Skin Types: Dry/combination
Absorption Rate: Medium
Viscosity: Thick

Properties: Regenerative skincare, premature ageing, reduces hyper-pigmentation, reduces appearance of age spots, softens scar tissue, tissue regenerative, wound healing.