An enchanted rose

Alisha Shinde
Sunday, 4 March 2018

Ever wondered where to buy roses which last for a year? Chitra Das, founder of Champs Fleur, tells you more about their Infinity roses which have a long life 

Roses add colour to any celebration. Mood lifters, they are probably the best gifts for any occasion. But like most flowers, roses wither away in a day or two. What if they were keepsake? Champs Fleur makes your wish come true.  

Chitra Das, founder of Champs Fleur, grew up in Australia and after graduating and working in Australia, Singapore and the United States, she moved to Hyderabad. Back at home in Hyderabad, her mother would always keep a colourful garden, because of which Das got interested in florals and greenery.

Ask her why she named her startup Champs Fleur and she comes up with an interesting explanation. She says that Champs Fleur is French for fields and flowers. “I learnt French for several years but was shy of speaking it,” says Das who always found Paris fascinating, Champs-Élysées being one of her must-visit places and also the inspiration behind naming her startup.   

Das quite often travelled to different cities on business tours and the long stays would make her feel lonely. To pep up, she would keep flowers on her dining table. “However, the flowers would wilt in no time,” she recalls. To keep them for long, she tried wax-based and ethanol-based solutions, sugar and pressing, air-drying and finally found her Eureka moment with the current four-step process and created Infinity roses. Explaining it, Das says, “It involves dehydrating the roses and removing the moisture, bleaching, re-hydrating with natural preservatives and re-colouring them.”  

Into the business, she realised more and more how detrimental real, fresh roses and florals are to the environment. “Flowers are used in temples and in homes and usually not dumped into the garbage as they are believed to be sacred,” she says because of which they are often dumped into rivers, lakes or ponds. She explains that the chemicals used to grow the flowers pollute the water, but there is hardly any awareness.  

Unlike fresh roses, preserved roses do not need refrigeration. And you needn’t purchase them throughout the year, thereby reducing transportation and overall carbon footprint. 

The organically-grown Infinity roses are sourced from South America, Africa or China, depending on the season and shipped to the studio for preservation. “After undergoing the four-step preservation process, the roses can last for a year and they do not need to be watered  and require very little maintenance,” says Das adding that they only need to be kept out of direct sunlight and in a low humidity environment where the temperature is not too high.  

Currently they have four different products. Solitaire is a single, long stemmed Infinity rose available in black, red, navy blue and purple. Comme le Verre which means ‘like glass’ in French, has 16-25 roses in a handmade acrylic box. The box features a top compartment with roses on the top and a bottom drawer for trinkets. Lumiere is a lightweight yet sturdy box that comes in black or white with 49-64 roses. The special lid design of the box allows it to be shipped without the lid pressing the roses. Their most popular Verre Mini is an Italian glass dome with preserved moss and three roses.  

For more details, go to their Instagram account @champsfleur

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