The Victorian era used a flower code of colour extensively to show emotion and affection. Red flowers were the colour for love and desire; red and white to signify unity while pink was for perfect happiness.
It is uncertain if the flower code is still observed today for Valentine's Day but roses that are the flower of love and purity, and red ones in particular, outsell any other flower for this occasion.
Fragrant roses were used by ancient royalty by sprinkling petals in their baths along with rose water and their remains have been found in Egyptian tombs.
Above is a rose I photographed several years ago that looked and felt just like velvet.