Reading time: 1:00 | A colour’s mood often has its roots in other senses.
In French, the common lilac is called “le lilas”, but the name probably is from Persian origin, as is the plant. From this “lilas” also derives the English word: Lilac.
Lilac’s flowers have a strikingly heavy scent and are arranged in elongated, slightly fluffy flower panicles. The colour tone is in the violet-purple range, i.e. red with a visible tinge of blue. But depending on location and type, lilac can move close to a red-blue showing a robust blue tendency. Thus, lilac is an imprecise description of a colour that moves somewhere between red and blue.
But lilac is still an excellent colour definition. The reason lies in the synaesthetic aspects of the expression lilac, which activates the sense of smell as a reference for the mood. The plant has a distinct scent of early summer and sports graceful flower panicles.
It grows on an airy bush that can reach an impressive size and is an incredible host to butterflies and bees. Lilac is a thoroughly positive summer plant, but not a flower. If we wanted to describe a red-blue or blue-red, that is summery, without heaviness but with some substance and a hint of pastel, the term lilac would be the right choice.