Influencer Daily

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

Unlocking Secret Love Notes: The Hidden Language of Victorian Tussie-Mussies

Forget texting or dropping hints on social media – the Victorians had a far more charming way of sending secret messages. They did it with flowers! Known as tussie-mussies, these tiny bouquets were more than just pretty accessories. Victorians used specific flowers and herbs to create coded messages about love, friendship, and even not-so-nice sentiments. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of tussie-mussie symbolism.

What’s a Tussie-Mussie?

Before we start decoding bouquets, what exactly is a tussie-mussie? The name might sound fancy, but it’s simply a small, round bouquet of flowers and herbs. The Victorians loved these miniature floral arrangements! They often wore them as brooches, carried them discreetly, or placed them in ornate holders. And while we might see these as cute fashion statements, they were much more than that.

During the Victorian era, the “Language of Flowers” (also called floriography) was all the rage. Each bloom or herb had its own symbolic meaning. This allowed people to express a wide range of emotions without saying a word. Imagine being able to send a silent declaration of love, a message of friendship, or even a subtle insult, just by choosing the right flowers!

Let’s Decode Some Flowers

Ready to crack the tussie-mussie code? Here’s a deeper look at some popular flowers, herbs, and their Victorian meanings:

  • Roses: Unsurprisingly, roses were the ultimate symbol of love. But Victorians were all about the details! Red roses screamed passionate, romantic love, while pink roses hinted at a gentler affection. Yellow roses, however, carried a sting of jealousy or waning love. White roses represented purity, innocence, and new beginnings.

  • Lavender: This fragrant herb embodied devotion, luck, and serenity. It was the perfect way to wish someone well, offer support, or express deep loyalty.

  • Rosemary: With its connection to memory, rosemary was a symbol of remembrance and fidelity. It found its way into wedding tussie-mussies, signifying the couple’s everlasting bond, and was used in bouquets to honor the departed.

  • Tulips: Bold and beautiful tulips carried different meanings depending on their color. Red tulips were a fiery declaration of true love, while yellow tulips sadly whispered of hopeless, unrequited feelings. Variegated tulips, with their unique streaks and patterns, represented beautiful eyes – a charming compliment to a potential sweetheart!

  • Ivy: The clinging nature of ivy made it a potent symbol of fidelity, marriage, and undying friendship. It was a versatile addition to a tussie-mussie, expressing strong bonds, whether romantic or platonic.

  • Basil: Yikes! Basil was the not-so-secret herb of hatred and ill wishes. Including basil in a bouquet was a bold (and not very polite) way to express intense dislike or even contempt.

  • Pansies: These cheerful little flowers meant “thoughts of you.” They were a sweet inclusion for bouquets meant for friends, family, or a budding romance, signifying that the person was often in the giver’s mind.

  • Lilacs: With their intoxicating scent and lovely color, lilacs were associated with the first blush of young love and youthful innocence. A perfect addition to a message meant for a new sweetheart.

  • Chrysanthemums: While loved today, chrysanthemums had a split personality in Victorian times. Red chrysanthemums symbolized love, while white ones represented truth and loyal devotion. Yellow chrysanthemums, however, indicated slighted love – a gentle way to let someone down.

“The Language of Flowers was a delightful way of adding further nuances to social messages of the period,” says a Floral Historian at the Museum of London.

It wasn’t just about the individual flowers; how they were arranged mattered too! A tussie-mussie made with flowers facing upwards meant the sentiment was directed at the giver. However, flowers turned upside down signaled the message was for the recipient. Clever, right?

While the Victorian craze for coded bouquets may have faded, the idea of sending messages through flowers is still alive and well! You can create your own tussie-mussie with meaningful blooms for a birthday, anniversary, or just to show someone you care. Even if you don’t know the whole Victorian flower dictionary, a thoughtfully chosen bouquet can still convey a special message.

“The art of creating floral arrangements is timeless, and flowers transcend eras and cultures as a means of silent communication,” notes a Master Florist.

Your daily feed of trends, tips, and success stories from the realm of influencers and creators.