Tattoo designs

The Meaning of Rose Tattoos

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
The Meaning of Rose Tattoos

Tattoos are very personal thing, an image that you capture on your body and have it remain there for life. It is therefore important to choose a symbol you identify with, an image that has a special meaning to you and which will become a feature of your image and your being. One of the images that are most commonly used for tattoos are roses, a flower that is a symbol of love and beauty.

Are you considering getting a tattoo of this floral symbol par excellence? If so keep reading the following OneHowTo article and discover the meaning of rose tattoos. Capture on your skin this beautiful flower layered with meaning. Take note.

You may also be interested in: Meanings of Flowers Tattoos

Steps to follow:


Roses are perhaps the most famous flower of all. Its beauty and elegance have turned it into an attractive design to adorn the skin of men and women through beautiful tattoos. Their aesthetics and layered, hidden meanings have made these flowers a referent in the world of tattoos as they are versatile and adaptable to many interesting designs and images.

The Meaning of Rose Tattoos - Step 1

We could say that the rose is of great value in the Western world, similar to that of the lotus flower in the East. The rose symbolizes pure love, passion and beauty. The sensuality it radiates and the popularity of this flower in its most romantic context has made it one of the most popular and sought after flower tattoos for people of all genders.

At OneHowTo we also explain what is the symbolic meaning of a lotus flower.

The Meaning of Rose Tattoos - Step 2

The red rose symbolises passion and desire and, simultaneously, purity and truth. Two contradictory concepts that in the romantic world usually go together. A rose says "I love you", in a sincere and pure love. But it also means passionate, even painful love, as represented by the strong red of its petals and the strength of its thorns.


There are roses in other colors, which can change the meaning of your tattoo. For example, white roses transmit peace, purity and worship while yellow roses represent joy, orange ones radiate enthusiasm, purple convey enchantment and magic and pale pink roses are the image of gentleness, affection and admiration.

The Meaning of Rose Tattoos - Step 4

The design of the tattoo can also change the meaning. As we have noted, the rose is versatile and adaptable to many messages and styles. The classic images of roses not only denote romance or love but also, if there are dark colors or many shades, symbolize eroticism and passion, unleashing your sexier side.

On the other hand your rose may have colors that are not found in nature, like gold or blue, and with this you transmit your youth and your desire to achieve the impossible, your challenges and your goals. And we can't forget the most mystical roses, the ones in black that represent our dark side, mystery and the most extreme love that lies just a step away from hate.

The Meaning of Rose Tattoos - Step 5

The other meanings of a rose tattoo will be set depending on the design you choose. Any image of a rose can convey delicacy, femininity and elegance, so it is a popular tattoo among women. However, you can also choose a harrowing image like a rose weeping blood to signify both love and hate or passion.

A rose is the image of the purest feelings, of the perfection and beauty always associated with their symbolic representation through Aphrodite or Venus, the goddesses of carnal love in Greek and Roman myths. It is also associated to the Virgin Mary and the rosary in Christianity, and with geometrical purity and perfection in Islam. Moreover, the rose is a heraldic and national symbol in many groups and cultures - for instance, it's the national flower of England, as well as the symbol in many left-wing political parties and movements.


Thanks to its many petals and its various forms, the queen of flowers has also become the queen of tattoos. Furthermore, its divine, spiritual and fantastic interpretations, from mythological legends to fairy tales, have always given roses a role in love and the deepest passions.

The rose is also a symbol of mystery and secrecy, following the Latin phrase "sub rosa", "under the rose", since artistic representations of the Egyptian god Horus showed him with a rose in his mouth. It was painted in confessionals and important state rooms.

The Meaning of Rose Tattoos - Step 7

If you want a rose tattoo do not hesitate to give it your own meaning; many tattoo artists don't see it as a neutral illustration. This beautiful flower is perfect for tattooing, given its versatility in design (classical, realistic, colorful, tribal...). Remember that a tattoo will remain on your skin for life, so you should search for the element that characterizes you best and that will reflect that which you want to express to the world through an image.

Undoubtedly, the meaning of rose tattoos will show off your passion, love, elegance and mystery. A perfect symbol to show the world either your classic, delicate and elegant side or the more radical and passionate rocker within you. Which do you prefer?

If you want to read similar articles to The Meaning of Rose Tattoos, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

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The Meaning of Rose Tattoos