#Powercolors: The Origin and History of the Periwinkle Color

#Powercolors: The Origin and History of the Periwinkle Color

Editorial team Published on 6/3/2024

The periwinkle color, also known as lavender or light lilac, is a hue with a fascinating history and varied origins. Its name comes from the periwinkle plant, a floral species known for its delicate blue-violet flowers. The periwinkle has long been associated with calmness and serenity, thanks to its gentle and soothing tones.

The periwinkle plant has been used in traditional medicine and natural dyes for centuries, creating a historical connection between nature and the art of color. Over the centuries, the periwinkle hue has gained cultural significance, appearing in various eras and contexts, from visual arts to fashion. In many cultures, periwinkle has also symbolized fidelity and eternal love, owing to its resilience and enduring beauty.

Characteristics and Symbolism of the Periwinkle Color

The periwinkle color is a delicate and sophisticated hue, positioned between blue and violet on the color spectrum. This blend creates a visual harmony that emanates calmness and serenity. Its key characteristics include:

Relaxing Tone: Periwinkle is often associated with peace and relaxation, making it a popular choice for home environments, particularly in bedrooms and relaxation spaces.

Subtle Elegance: Thanks to its subdued nature, periwinkle manages to convey subtle elegance, proving to be refined and versatile in many contexts, from fashion to interior design.

Chromatic Versatility: The periwinkle hue pairs well with a variety of other colors, including white, gray, navy blue, and different shades of green. This versatility makes it ideal for harmonious and balanced color combinations.

Symbolically, periwinkle is often associated with spirituality and inner reflection, and in many cultures, it represents a link between nature and inner calmness. This makes it a suitable choice for both artistic expressions and thoughtful design choices.

Uses in Fashion and Design

The periwinkle color has gained significant popularity in the worlds of fashion and design, thanks to its versatility and ability to create relaxed and sophisticated atmospheres. Here are some ways in which periwinkle is used:

Fashion: In the apparel sector, periwinkle is a popular choice due to its delicacy and elegant charm. It is used across seasons, especially in spring and summer, for dresses, shirts, skirts, and accessories. Its pastel hue fits well into both casual and formal outfits.

Interior Design: In interior design, periwinkle is often used to paint walls or as a predominant color for furniture, particularly in rooms where creating a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere is important, such as bedrooms or meditation spaces. Fabrics in periwinkle tones, such as curtains, pillows, and upholstery, can contribute to a harmonious environment.

Decor and Decorations: Beyond interior design, periwinkle finds use in small details and accessories, such as vases, candles, and art objects. These elements, combined with each other or with other complementary colors, can add an elegant and refined touch to any space.

This versatile use in various contexts reflects the universal nature of periwinkle, making it suitable for multiple stylistic choices.

Chromatic Pairings and Current Trends

The periwinkle color offers multiple chromatic pairing possibilities, making it a versatile and adaptable choice in various contexts. Some of the main pairings and current trends include:

Neutral Tones: Periwinkle pairs wonderfully with neutral tones such as white, gray, and beige. These pairings create an elegant and understated combination, ideal for both fashion and interior design.

Pastel Tones: The delicacy of periwinkle blends seamlessly with other pastel colors, such as pink, mint, or light yellow. This combination creates a sweet and harmonious look, particularly popular in spring fashion and modern decor.

Dark Tones: For a bolder contrast, periwinkle can be paired with dark tones such as navy blue, black, or dark brown. This pairing gives depth and dynamism, making periwinkle suitable for bolder or more formal looks.

Current trends see periwinkle gaining popularity across various sectors, thanks to its ability to balance elegance and simplicity. In the fashion industry, many spring and summer collections include periwinkle garments, while in interior design, periwinkle is appreciated for its ability to create tranquil and welcoming atmospheres.

How to Use the Periwinkle Color in Daily Life

The periwinkle color is a versatile hue that can be incorporated into various aspects of daily life, bringing elegance and serenity to everyday activities. Here are some practical suggestions for using it:

Clothing: Wear periwinkle garments for a fresh and refined look. Shirts, blouses, and dresses in periwinkle tones are ideal for a day at the office or an informal meeting. For a more casual outfit, consider periwinkle accessories, such as scarves, ties, or bags.

Interior Decoration: Introduce periwinkle into your home interiors through fabrics, such as pillows, blankets, and rugs. Painting a wall or piece of furniture in this hue can add a touch of understated elegance and make the environment more welcoming.

Crafts and DIY: Periwinkle can be an inspiring color choice for craft and DIY projects. From painting to jewelry-making, and even creating home decor items, periwinkle can add a touch of delicacy and uniqueness.

Jewelry and Accessories: For a more discreet touch of color, consider jewelry or accessories in periwinkle tones. Necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings can add a touch of understated elegance and complete your look.

Incorporating periwinkle into daily life can add a sense of balance and serenity to both domestic environments and your personal style.

Anecdotes and Curiosities about the Periwinkle Color

The periwinkle color has a history rich in curious and interesting anecdotes, highlighting its presence in various cultural contexts:

Language of Flowers: In the tradition of the language of flowers, periwinkle represents fidelity and remembrance. This symbolism has led to the plant and its color being used in gifts and floral arrangements to express lasting affection.

Medical Use: The periwinkle plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. In the past, it was employed to treat a variety of ailments, including headaches and circulatory problems. Today, periwinkle extracts are still used in modern pharmaceuticals.

Cinematography: The periwinkle color has also made its appearance in pop culture, particularly in the film “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006). In an iconic scene, the character Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Streep, explains how the color “cerulean” (similar to periwinkle) had a significant impact on fashion in previous years.

Art and Literature: Periwinkle has inspired artists and writers for centuries. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby,” the protagonist Jay Gatsby has a collection of shirts in various colors, including periwinkle, symbolizing his pursuit of a high social status.

These anecdotes demonstrate how the periwinkle color has had a significant impact across cultural spheres, from medicine to fashion, literature, and film, solidifying its place in history and contemporary culture.


The periwinkle color is a fascinating and versatile hue with a rich history and profound meanings. From its origins in the periwinkle plant to its modern usage, periwinkle has shown its ability to bring calm, elegance, and sophistication to various contexts. Whether in fashion, interior design, or the arts, this gentle hue lends itself to multiple uses, offering harmonious pairings with neutral, pastel, and dark colors.

Introducing periwinkle into daily life, whether through clothing, decor, or crafts, offers a touch of serenity and beauty, helping to create an aesthetic and functional balance. In conclusion, periwinkle is not just a color, but an expression of style, calmness, and sophistication that can enrich and transform any environment and aspect of life.