Fifty Shades of Love?

A certain colour has had a lot of popular airtime recently, even if the colour mentioned isn’t technically one at all, and in the book it’s simply play on words involving a name.

Grey comes in many shades, any paint manufacturer can beat erotic novels hands-down, and neutrals remain a popular choice for interiors as well as fashions. People with cool skintones can wear grey more successfully as a rule, at least close to the face – layering with warmer shades can work well if this reflects your underlying colouration, and often you can successfully mix prints and designs whilst maintaining a unified look, if the overall palate remains muted and consistent.

But when it comes to sensuality, grey is not the right colour association at all! Traditionally red is associated with strong feelings such as passion – but what colour do you associate with love?

A recent survey by Emily Gems colour therapists suggested that white was strongly associated with the purity of love, and yellow with the nurturing elements – perhaps focussing on a rather different interpretation of the word to that conjured up by E L James. Lavenders and lilacs are also sometimes associated with love because they suggest mystery, a focus on feelings and sensitivity rather than words and being literal. After all, who wants romantic fiction, to be too realistic? We read to escape from real life, but once we close the book on fantasy we find relationships come in many different shades and hues – and are all the richer for that.

When blue is associated with love, it is often negatively – we get the blues when our hearts are broken, when we are unlucky or unrequited in love. You can learn a lot from people’s colour associations, a person who’s first association with love is blue or black feelings has a very different outlook to someone in the first flush of romance who might see love, and indeed their whole world, as rosy pink.

But back in the real world, red wins hands down for associations with passion, just look at what happens to shop displays at Valentines day. Gentlemen please remember that red roses are romantic and beautiful and universally acceptable… but red lingerie is actually the most-returned colour in the industry, indicating that perhaps many women instinctively know which colours do and don’t suit them.

Of course that’s assuming he even gets the size right – when it comes to men buying underwear, who knows what the outcome will be. Remember, in love, it’s the thought that counts.

So what colour is love for you? I think that if I had to choose one, I’d go for orange – a blend of the elemental colours of red and yellow, orange is exciting, intuitive, creative and above all else joyful. Sounds like the perfect relationship if you ask me!


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