Ever find it challenging to put into words a wish, a desire or particularly a feeling? If so, perhaps color and flowers are the solution to help articulate the emotions we occasionally struggle to verbalize.
Color, of course, is not the only way to communicate with flowers. The “silent language” made popular and finessed by women during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837 - 1901) included color as well as quantity; the type of flower; placement and arrangement. This language was quite sophisticated and nuanced. So much so a slew of books were published to help guide and explain Floriography: the language of flowers.
While flowers have historically been used to express feelings of amore; the meaning of flowers – like any language – is living and ever-evolving. Flowers can communicate the wonderful kaleidoscope of emotions. If accuracy matters or rather, the fear of a blunder, remember: even experts disagree on the one true meaning of flowers.
Most important of all, loose interpretation is highly encouraged. Have fun, experiment and fear not the flower; the sentiment is what truly counts.
The traditional color of love, Red excites. Red flowers are classic and can be a potent stimulant for a romantic liaison.
Symbolism: Passion, deep love, desire, beauty, respect, confidence, longing, courage, aristocratic, constancy.
Romantic message: I love you; I desire you, always.
Flower options: Long-stem Roses for the classic message. Anemones, Orchids, Zinnia, Dahlias, Amaryllis.
Feeling frisky? Cotton candy or pale blush, pink is feminine fun, fun, fun. Pink flowers are a sweet reminder of childhood days.
Symbolism: Sweetness, playfulness, grace, admiration, gratitude.
Romantic message: Life with you is fun. I admire you and I’m thankful for you in my life.
Flower options: Peonies, hydrangeas, Stargazer lilies, Ranunculus, Roses, Tulips, Freesia, Zinnia, Camellias.
Of all the ways to talk about color, sign language must be the most expressive. If you don't already speak sign language, color words are a fun place to start. You'll learn that it doesn't take a palate to discuss a palette.
How To Sign Your Colors
Orange: This colour sign pantomimes squeezing an orange fruit. In front of your mouth, form the letter "c" with your right hand (make a "c" shape by curving your fingers toward your thumb, as if you're grasping a can). Then squeeze your hand into a tight fist. Repeat this squeezing and inflating motion several times.
Blue: Form the letter "b" (fingers extended and held tight, thumb tucked against the palm) with your right hand, to the right of your body. Slightly shake your hand to the right from the elbow, without bending the wrist.
Red: Touch your lips with the tip of your index finger. (All other fingers are gathered toward the palm.) With a downward motion, glance the top lip, then the bottom. This motion is performed once, though sometimes people double it.
Brown: Form the letter "b" with your right hand (fingers extended and held tight, thumb tucked against the palm). Move your hand down the side of your right cheek, from your nose to the bottom of your mouth.
Gold: Touch your right ear with your right index finger. As you move your hand away, form the letter "y" (thumb and pinkie outstretched, other fingers tucked into the palm). Then shake your hand slightly.
More than half a century ago, Aemelius Müller, professor at the academy of Winterthur, Switzerland, came up with a formula that could predict the appreciation of a color-combination. In other words: Müller was able to predict which combination of colors most people would probably like.
Müller's formula predicts that these color combinations will be considered as ugly by most people.
While these will be liked. How is this possible?
First we need to consider the 'natural' brightness of the colors of the color circle, as discussed in this post about Brightness vs. Whiteness. You will notice that yellow, for instance, is a lot brighter than blue.
On a scale from 1 to 100, bright yellow has a brightness value of 90, while bright blue has a value as low as 35. Likewise, every hue in the color circle has its own 'natural' brightness.
Wine aficionados devote their time to studying the colors, the smells, and the years of wine to distinguish quality from ... not. With all of the books out there, all of the tips from experts, enjoying a glass becomes heinously complicated. Thankfully, color makes it all a little easier to understand.
While judging a wine for taste, 'smelling bouquets' and spitting wine out can seem a little bit backwards (because, after all, isn't wine for drinking?), it's really about appreciating different aromas and tastes without being totally smashed. color can tell us a great deal about a wine before we raise our glasses. Tilt them instead. Pouring a small amount of wine and tilting the glass at (approx.) 45º will spread the wine enough for us to observe a span of its color... and to determine the quality of a wine in the white, blush, or red families... where trees have rings, wines have color.
I saw Gary Vaynerchuk on Late Night with Conan O'Brien last week so I think it is really fun to see him bust up our color guide in his latest episode on Wine Library's "Does The Color of a Wine Have a Huge Impact on Quality or Age?"
In this episode he does a great job of showing some examples of how, while color can be fun to look at and enjoy as part of wine... it is NOT an indicator of quality or age in wine. Thanks for taking the time to explain what we got wrong in our theory and for showing some examples.
The Colors of White Wines
Are you tired of the other kids at Summer Color Camp laughing at you because you thought chartreuse was a shade of pink? Still having nightmares about the time you called a Salmon colored dress Mauve? With our help you'll never call Azure, Aquamarine again and will be name dropping colors like they're hot potatoes.
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Our guide isn't an exact science, depending on our monitor color calibration, brightness and even how good our eyes are... we all see a slightly different color. So, we took the color names that are used most often and best guessed the appropriate colors based on web standards and common usage.