Far from a mere feminine symbol, the rose was once considered the botany of the masculine archetype, carrying a depth of meaning that lingered much longer than a perfume note.
The rose is a badass symbol of strength, courage, and nobility, a reminder that refinery wears armor, and that even the truest love is not without its thorns.
Cultivated in the Far East and adopted by Europeans early on, the rose was an emblem to be worn on armor and borne on one’s shield, not simply bestowed upon a sweetheart. Its heady scent, striking beauty, and sheath of thorns sent a message to the world to think twice before carelessly reaching out, lest he come away with a fistful of unexpected blood. Conversely, the rose in Christianity has come to represent sacrifice and purity: red for the blood of Christ, white for purification.
A modern badass rose tattoo is at once sophisticated and timeless, retaining all of its much-admired classic properties while effecting a more updated aesthetic. Perhaps you survived a romance that was as tragic as it was lush, and wish to commemorate the tale in ink. Or maybe, like the knights of your ancestry, the rose represents your own well-dressed valor–with a hidden blade for added insurance.
Just as the rose is beheld in infinite colors, shapes, and connotations, your rose tattoo is unique to you alone. Lavish and powerful, the rose is a reminder that a man’s strength is not in the eye of the beholder, but the hand that braves his touch.