The paradise that is spring.

Within a week, everything went from pale green to bright green, the magnolias and the azaleas burst out into splendour, the apple blossoms overcame their basic shyness, they’re not yet in full white bloom, they’re just peeking, all pink buds, but blushing is very becoming, that’s at least what Oscar Wilde once said and he should know, all while the camellias try to outbloom everything else. I spent all day readapting my eyes to spring, to tell apart all those different shades of pink, amethyst, purple, rosé, red, ruby, maroon, and fuchsia, shades I then had difficulties to specify, defining needs variety per se, but a variety that makes you run out of words is quite unsettling, what do you call a fuchsia with a touch of orange? Or worse, a lavender that is somewhere inbetween lilac and violet? Obviously, the human speech cannot not express in entirety the richness of nuances in these blossoms, our vocabulary does not reflect nature’s absurd wealth of shades. So, I came up with some new colours: opyr, trevine, joaquinth, horsate, satch, dorrak, and poppyl. Poppyl is popylo in French. The others, I’ll still have to translate into all known languages. I’ll keep you posted.

Shocking grey.

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Farrow & Ball. One doesn’t need to explain this English brand’s achievements. They psychoanalysed our taste, discovered our need to be perceived as subtle and refined, as some spun eccentric, and came up with colours, well, not colours, tones, tones that were completely new to us, perfectly indescribable to the human eye, even to theirs. How else could you explain tones being named Dead Salmon, Elephant’s Breath or Mouse’s Back (the latter being Mousey’s choix du cœur). Pitch Black, however, made my friend Katja from Luxembourg lose her mind while applying it. It really wasn’t what she expected at all, it turned out light grey, far from anything black, it didn’t even try to make a pitch to appear black. So she rushed to the store to ask for help, wondering if she had turned colour blind, tone blind at the very least. But the shop’s sales personnel were developing the same tone blindness after trying it on an Eames chair in their showroom, just imagine, Eames being used as a guinea pig. That chair didn’t turn out black either, just shocking grey. So they phoned Farrow & Ball, the headquarters based in Paris, as Luxembourg hasn’t one of its own, just the European Parliament and a Grand Duke named Henri, a Nassau, which makes him a real Royal Highness, not like this Albert guy from Monaco who’s not royal at all, just serene, anyway, Katja and the people in the shop were all ready to cause a commotion, ready to have the colour’s name changed to Deceptive Black. Farrow & Ball, however, stayed calm. Wait for the colour to dry, they told Luxembourg. Aha. And so they did. And both that Eames chair in the shop and Katja’s Louis Something commode turned out wonderfully black, sorry, pitch black.

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