Puce

Growing up,I always thought that the colour puce was a yucky member of the green family shade card. Think mushy peas.

I would never wear a ‘mushy pea’ outfit no matter how carefully tailored or expensive, next my pale skin covered in freckles and topped with a crown of rich auburn tresses. Just thinking about it, is enough to bring on morning sickness…. Even at my age!

Then I discovered that Puce is a brownish purple or a dark reddish brown. I did have an outfit a few years ago that answered that description, I loved and wore it into the ground, as they say – who ever ‘they’ are. Nobody ever admired it, but they always told me how well I looked, when I was wearing it.

Years ago, I learned that if the first thing people notice are ‘your eyes’, then you are wearing the correct colour.

Then I learned that Puce is the French word for flea. It is said to be the colour of the bloodstains remaining on linen or bed sheets, even after being laundered, from a flea’s droppings or after a flea has been crushed. I don’t really want to think of that. According to the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, the first French use of puce as a colour name, meaning “flea-colour,” dates to the 17th century.

I would still go for clothes in brownish purple, but I think I would invent a new colour name first! 😉

Any suggestions?

21 thoughts on “Puce

  1. SchmidleysScribbling

    I’m sure you have visited all the wiki sites and seen the color swatches. To me puce looks like a rosy-brownish-beige. Not a bad color, but I wonder how it could flatter a pale complexion and auburn colored hair.

    I had my colors done years ago, and the colorist pointed out I had grey rings around my irises. In other words, I look good in grey because of the grey in my otherwise brown eyes. (I have a blond (now lavender-haired) granddaughter with grey eyes.)

    So, look closely at your irises and see what colors are there. I’d be surprised if you don’t find a shade of brown which would explain why you looked good in puce.

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Dianne, there are several tones of puce, The one I was thinking of was like a dark mulberry with a hint of brown. It is my black. Now that the colour has faded from my hair, the puce lifts my completion, where black adds years to my face. When I was a child, I was dressed in browns or greens.

      Reply
  2. rummuser

    This is a tough one to offer advice on. When I joined Coats, I was flummoxed with the number of colours and shades that I had to handle and believe me, nothing had prepared me for that. Particularly women customers insisting on naming embroidery colours to suit their temperaments because they would inevitably translate from local language to English. I was delighted when I grew out of being involved in such details. Our mutual fb friend and my ex colleague Nandu if provoked will write tomes about this problem in that line of business as well as in the paint business.

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      My greatest example of problems with colours dates back to the planning stage for Elly’s wedding. I was buying the fabric here in NI. Elly was 125 miles away. I collected samples and colours to share with the bride and bridesmaids. One particular fabric, I bought a meter, knowing that I could use it for other purposes if they did not like it. Fabric and colour was agreed upon, I went back to the establishment with their letterhead with shade numbers and the samples attached. I bought and paid for bridal and bridesmaid fabrics, linings and threads for both. When I got home the 1 meter fabric I had bought the first day was totally different! The girls actually preferred the second one!

      Reply
      1. rummuser

        I am not at all surprised. Shade number matching is one of the most difficult processes and so far only Coats have been able to master that for cotton. With the advent of synthetics, it has been easy as one simply has to stick to a formula.

        Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Gigi, don’t try carrying that colour in your head. I have learned to bring something I want to match with me.

      Reply
  3. Barbara

    This post really needs a picture to show the colour! I would have described it as a sickly purple…. the only thing i can think of that matches the colour was when i was little I drank too much ribena (blackcurrant cordial) and i was ill……

    Reply
      1. Grannymar Post author

        I can understand you not wearing the colour, your hair was always much lighter than mine.

        Reply
          1. Grannymar Post author

            Mine was grey with a sick pink blouse. It did nothing for me.and the fitted pinafore was designed for young ladies with ample chests and not pastry board figures like mine. 😆

            Reply
            1. Barbara

              I think that depends on the fashion of the time, the 60’s were an ample bosom time, nowadays all top models are very flat chested! I think boobs are bigger these days due to animal hormones in food

              Reply
              1. Grannymar Post author

                Barbara there were lots of padded bras in the sixties, but there were also girls who developed much earlier than I did. ROFLOL!

                Reply
  4. Maxi

    What a story, GM. Fleas are an epidemic here in Florida. Our little Levi is a domestic, still he must be treated monthly against the little beasts.

    As for a new name for the color puce, that’s a tough one. My choice is “deep taupe.”

    Happy driving to ya. I’m still waiting to hear, will be around middle of Sept.
    blessings ~ maxi

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      I am enjoying being behind the wheel and making the most of it. I still have my fingers crossed for you!

      Reply

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