The color puce is a purple-brown or dark reddish-brown with an interesting history — its name came from the French word for flea. The term was coined in 1778 and is said to be the color of bloodstained bedsheets, a commonplace sight in any flea ridden household of the day. Buckle up, the historical backstory of this color gets a little bit odd. You’ve been warned!
Puce was a trendy color in the late 18th century in France, having appeared in the raiment of royals such as Marie Antoinette and among the Court of Louis XVI. The color was also referenced by writer Émile Zola and Victor Hugo in Les Misérables, mostly to describe the color of fashionable gowns in Paris.
According to Cabinet Magazine it is a color that one must treat with care — its history is marred by rather strange meanings:
“...Puce turns out to be the most decidedly sexual and most violent color in the paint box. Puce is about plotting. Puce is about villainy. And it is not just about simple murder, but the emotionally charged and deranged murder usually associated with love—with jealous, overheated love. Think twice about using puce, or at least heed its creepy history.”
This creepiness comes from none other than a French lawyer by the name of Monsieur Étienne Pasquier. Monsieur Pasquier is known for having written a peculiar poem in which he compared himself to a flea perched upon the bosom of Mademoiselle Catherine — his attempt of a love letter. Here is our favorite line, “Oh flea... thanks to you, Madame is aroused for me. For me she is aroused, and has a flea in her ear.” From thereon, the French word and color puce was strongly associated with Monsieur Pasquier's sexually-charged letter.
On a less freaky note, this color also reminds us of cherry candy and velvet roses. Grab your favorite camera and slide in some color gels — and flood your world in puce! Slide in the magenta color gel flash filter that comes along with the Simple Use Film Camera Color Negative 400 it will be as if looking through puce-colored glasses. Point your lens at moments you cherish and capture them in this heartwarming hue. If you’re feeling more experimental, you can also try a film soup to bring out the odd yet rosy puce even more!
Add puce to your palette by taking more analogue shots with this unique color. Don't forget to upload them to your LomoHomes!