Nosegay Flower

With such an unusual name, many people wonder exactly what it means. The nosegay has a long and various history, but both its origin and the meaning of its name are quite simple. The term nosegay simply means “nose” and “happy,” as a single whiff of the delightful fragrance that emanates from a nosegay flower will make the “nose happy.” Although nosegays can be traced as far back as the Elizabethan era, their height of popularity began during the Victorian era. In this particular time period, flowers were a very important staple of every day life. Not only were they touted for their medicinal uses, and their ability to quietly convey a plethora of strong emotion, but they were an essential element to any wardrobe. Aside from being stunning in appearance, this small arrangement of blossoms was considered exceedingly functional. At the time of their conception, personal hygiene was considered non-essential – bathing was an infrequent thing and clothing was rarely washed – so these flowers were considered a stylish way of masking the unfortunate scents that were very common at that time.

Around the end of the 19th century, the nosegay flower was all but replaced by other arrangements, such as corsages and boutonnieres. However, some of their original uses are still being utilized today. Unlike the traditional wreaths and flower garlands of the Victorian era – which were used almost exclusively for wedding ceremonies – the nosegay was worn both in celebration and as an everyday accessory. Today, though, this usage has been flipped. Although they are no longer worn as common fashion ornaments, they are still frequently seen in weddings. Nosegays are most frequently seen as smaller bouquets that complement the color of either the bridal party’s clothing, or the bride’s larger, showier arrangement. Smaller versions may also be seen pinned to the lapels of the groom and groom’s men, or even those of the wedding guests. They are also frequently used as party favors, and left by the side of plates during the wedding dinner. The nosegay flower arrangement for these favors are often meant to represent the shared joy of both the newly married couple and their guests.

Although most blossoms were used during this arrangement’s heyday, today, the most popular nosegay flower is the rose. Because they are so commonly seen in weddings, this is not a surprising fact – as roses are one of the most recognizable symbols of romance. However, stephanotis, irises and carnations are also quite popular, as they are all representative of various shades of love, and all look beautiful in small arrangements.

Share the Post: