Robert de Brie, a Crusader, is sometimes said to have brought the Damask rose from Syria to Europe sometime between 1254 and 1276. The name refers to a major city in Syria called Damascus. This plant became popular in the European gardens of noblemen and wealthy merchants, and for centuries, this rose has also been considered a symbol of beauty and love.
Roses are often thought of as having a nice scent as well. Rose petals were used for their fragrance to make an expensive essential oil called altar of roses which was used in perfume. It would take one and a half tons of fresh petals to make one pound of the oil! They were also used to make rose water, in which the process for extracting rose water from rose petals in the early 11th century was invented by a Persian scientist, Avicenna
Not only were roses used for making perfume for Victorians, perhaps bought and worn by the settlers here in Elgin County, but they also loved the scent of violets. hey also ate violets, candied in cakes and pastries, and women would pin them to their dresses while men tucked them in their hat brims or wore them on their lapels.