In the ancient China, Carnation had a high value principally because of its pleasant aroma. This flower even has become the favorite of the Royal Court due to a belief that the carnation petals capable of freshening breath. Carnation came to Europe in the 13th century, thanks to the Knights, who brought the flower in honor of Louis IX, who died in the crusade. Later, Red Carnation became the emblem of the Bourbon dynasty. During the French Revolution, this flower bore the name "Carnation of Horror." However, Napoléon Bonaparte chose Red Carnation as one of the major symbols of The Legion of Honor established by him in 1802. After that, his followers used the red flower as their symbol, while the Bourbons preferred White Carnation instead.
This flower symbolized the engagement, in the pictorial art of the 15th-16th centuries when it was in the hand of a woman. Red Carnation was a symbol of pure love. A bride pinned Pink Carnation to her dress as a symbol of innocence. That's why you can see the newlyweds with the Carnations in their hands. In Belgium, this flower symbolized hearthstone.
There is also an ancient legend in the Greek mythology about Carnation. Once, goddess Diana walked through the forest. She was sad because of the unsuccessful hunting. By chance, the goddess saw a young shepherd playing the flute. She accused him that he frightened all the animals while playing the music. Despite the excuse of a young man, she pulled out his eyes and threw them on the ground. Subsequently, she realized the full horror of her action. But it was too late to change something. To her deepest surprise, Diana found two wonderful flowers grew out at the place where the eyes fell. It was two Red Carnations that since has become a symbol of the innocent spilled blood.
In Spain, there was a belief that Carnation can save from troubles and misfortune. This flower was a symbol of passion and love. When it pinned to clothes, Carnation demonstrates the feelings towards your beloved.
As a Birth Flower
At the beginning of the 19th century, Carnation has become a part of the so-called "Alexanders bouquet." That was a female costume jewelry that you can meet in the portraits of the Russian painters of that time. It was a bouquet of flowers, where the first letters of the names of these flowers composed the name of the Russian Tsar, Alexander. At the end of the century, each nobleman had to use this adornment as a necessary part of his suit.
Buttonholes fashion was introduced in America in the 1930s thanks to the Prince of Wales, who once appeared in Hollywood with a White Carnation, pinned to the lapel of his suit. According to the language of flowers, White Carnation means pure love and loyalty. That's why the Prince chose this flower for his wedding ceremony in 1937. As we know, the Duke of Windsor was the trendsetter of the mens fashion. Hence it is not a sudden surprise that White Carnation has immediately become popular. This style leaked out the Hollywood. As a result, many famous actors began to wear Carnation.
As for the womens fashion, Carnation appeared on the Belgian laces of the 17th-18th centuries. It's worth noting that this trend remains popular at the fashion shows until now. Carnation is especially popular in the womens perfume. Clove oil meets in perfumes of such brands as Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Cartier, etc.