Book Review – Smoke And Roses: A Steampunk Language of Flowers by Olivia Wylie

Rosemary is for remembrance. You give yellow roses to a friend and lilies to the bereaved. Ever wondered why?

In this illustrated volume you will discover the history of the symbolic code daring Victorian ladies and gents used to pass messages in bouquets: the roots of the practice in Turkey, its rise in Europe and its fascinating cultural connotations on both sides of the Atlantic. You’ll learn how a mispronounced word gave the tulip its name and why the colors of the rose have so many meanings. Included are recipes for bouquets useful in your own life, including the Bugger Off Bouquet, to be given to those you would rather not see again. Let this book lead you up the historical garden path.


A little about Olivia first:


Olivia Wylie is a professional landscaper who specializes in the restoration of neglected gardens in Downtown Denver. She snaps photos of garden beauty in her daily work and uses rain days, the photos and research to create art that shares the serenity of the green world with its viewers. On days when the weather keeps her indoors, she writes about the relationship between humanity and the green world. She currently has two ethnobotanic works in print: ‘Smoke and Roses’ and the book Roots: Insights From the Tree Alphabet of Old Ireland’. A book on the history of weeds in America is forthcoming in March. Her works are available at as well as Amazon.

My Review: 5-Stars

Smoke And Roses by Olivia Wylie is a very informative, fun read. The cover is beautifully hand-drawn as well as the flowers inside the book. This is my favorite book for research in romance writing.

The writing is strong and educational with a fun feel. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and I cannot wait to use a recipe or two. Even if you don’t give a fig about flowers and what they mean, you will find something useful in Smoke And Roses.

I loved all the information of what flowers mean, and my most favorite part was the bouquet ingredients. I’ve got some in mind to send to people who need a pick-me-up or a dressing down. The wedding anniversary flowers are extremely helpful for anyone you know with an anniversary coming up. Each year of marriage has a flower.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this, and once I started, I couldn’t put it down. The drawings are beautiful. I feel this book is going to come in handy for all kinds of stuff, and now I can’t wait to send some flowers to someone. I absolutely loved the paper the story is written on, it gives a great feel of reading an old book from the 1800s. I could almost smell the dusty pages.

We need to get back to the giving of flowers to brighten people’s day, and Smoke And Roses is just the book to bring us back to the tradition.

I recommend this book to everyone. You are sure to find something useful. And, it’s pretty.

Please feel free to share your review in the comments.

Every image of a cover is a link that leads to third-party retailers and are affiliate links. If you purchase the product in question by clicking on the cover, we earn a small portion of the profits.

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