Preserved roses bring Valentine’s Day sales jolt to Ecuador

    219
    Preserved roses bring Valentine's Day sales jolt to Ecuador

    In a warehouse north of Ecuador’s capital, a small, busy army of dexterous workers puts the final touches on a shipment of made-to-order roses with tones as diverse as the colors of a rainbow suffused in fragrance capable of seducing even the most demanding nose. Each petal is custom made for foreign clients whose orders multiply every year in the run up to Valentine’s Day. For example, a client in Qatar recently ordered a shipment in the maroon and white colors of that nation’s flag. “It’s a small detail that makes a beautiful gift,” says Patricia Cordova, admiring her delicate work on a lilac-colored flower bound for Germany. Cordova works at Sisapamba, one of a dozen companies in this South American nation that have woken up to the potential of preserved flowers. The two-day process involves cutting a flower at full bloom, dipping it into a plant-based solution to extract the natural colors and then infusing it with a pigment of the customer’s choice. Additional colors and designs are applied using an airbrush. The result is a multicolored bouquet as vibrant as a painter’s palette but whose petals keep their natural softness and require no sunlight or water to […]