Purple, Violet, Mauve …


…  Infusion, Plush Velvet, Moon Waves, Purple Sage, Purple Polka, Lilac Spring, Amethyst Showers.


Purple is that glorious bruise which appears after the fight between red and blue. A secondary colour, add a little too much red and it’ll head towards the burgundies and maroons. A little too much blue and purple is suffocated.


Your favourite colour is purple.


Most famously known as Royal Purple or Tyrian Purple (after the town of Tyre which was a famous Phoenician production centre), a vivid purple dye was extracted from the gland of the mollusc of the Murex Shell. The practice is believed to originate from Minoan Crete c. 1700-1600 BC and purple textiles are mentioned in textual sources from Mesopotamia, the Levant and Egypt from 1425 BC onwards. Extremely finely woven purple textiles have recently been found in the royal tomb at Qatna in Syria, dating to c. 1340 BC. Approximately 12,000 individual snails are required to produce just 1.4g of dye. Rare and highly sought after, Tyrian Purple was the colour of wealth.


“We are suspicious of purple, it has a hollow bombast. It is the colour of Hendrix, Purple Haze, Deep Purple. Prince’s excess – dangerous. The purple hearts that took us through the sober nights of the sixties.” [Jarman]


Intelligent artistic aloof luxurious royal vain fantastic feminine fragrant ambitious cool creative dramatic dignified enigmatic extravagant mystical moody proud reflective secret spiritual wise beauty fashion knowledge lonely sad mourning. “In Japan if you’re purple you’re purple with envy, not green. But purple is also an expression for being gay, the blue of men and the red of women combine to make queer purple.”[Jarman]

… I only wanted to see you laughing in the purple rain


Plums, grapes, figs, aubergine, beetroot, cabbage. Black berries leave purple stains on fingers and lips. Violet Beauregarde chewed on Willy Wonka’s three-course meal gum. When she reached blueberry pie, she turned blue and filled with juice: a violet beaten by her greed for blue. Send her to the juicing room!


It is said there is never a ‘true blue’ flower; nature always borrows from the purples. Purple pansy, Heliotrope, Clematis, Bellflowers, Iris, Hyacinth, Calla Lily, Passion Flower, Morning Glory. Blue Cloud geraniums should be renamed ‘Violet Clouds’. “The Only colour in the spectrum named after a flower. The humble violet flower. The flower of Mary Magdalene”. Sitting on a bank of thick green, picking the purple-pink clover heads; they would be the jewels in my daisy chain. He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not. The school bell rings. Purple flowers lose their vivacity as soon as they are plucked from the stem; the flower knowing of its own death, goes into instant mourning. A tint of black creeps in. A grey veil. Bees love the purple flower. Ultraviolet hues make them hallucinate. Giddy with energy, they sup too quickly and eagerly on sweet nectar juice. Just watch a bee on a purple flower. He is high.


Roses are red

Violets are blue.

Poor violet violated for a rhyme.     


Purple marches and violet shrinks.


Purple took me through my girlhood days. A crushed-velvet dress saw early-teenage parties – ‘it looks like a Cadbury’s chocolate wrapper’, he said as he stroked my arm. A shocking-violet and gold skirt and top shimmered in the dark. I wore a silver-purple crochet number to the end of year prom. Stretch knee-high purple boots fell down as I walked. Heavy purple eye-shadow and deep purple lipstick. I collected chunks of amethyst. I dyed my hair pink.


Purple always appears in the magazine gossip columns.


A memory of purple …

“When we were little we each had a pink and a purple blanket. We would fall asleep with the purple blanket covering us (as purple is a darker colour for night-time), and my Mum or Aunty would come in the middle of the night and change the blanket to the pink one. We would fall asleep in purple and wake up in pink.” [Katy, Yr9]





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