It’s wintertime, so that must mean it’s time to buy spring fashions – not that fashion has ever been my strong suit, though I did learn what a “French tuck” is from Tan France while watching “Queer Eye – More Than a Makeover.”
I still refuse to tuck my shirt in the front but not in the back. What’s the point of that?
But back to fashion. The color of the year for 2022, according to Sherwin Williams, is “Evergreen Fog,” which looks like what it sounds like: a misty day in an evergreen forest. More gray than green, really.
Benjamin Moore is also trending away from the bright colors they hoped would cheer people up during the pandemic, designating a similar silvery green shade called “October Mist” as their big seller of the year.
Minwax has joined the muted green bandwagon, naming “Gentle Olive” as its color of the year, and Better Homes & Gardens has chimed in with another dusty green shade they call “Laurel Leaf.”
Glidden isn’t far off with a slightly brighter shade they’re calling “Guacamole,” and PPG is pushing a soft green dubbed “Olive Sprig.” You get the picture.
Behr has opted for a lighter shade of bluish green called “Breezeway,” while Dunn Edwards has gone a darker route with a walnut brown shade it calls “Art and Craft.” HGTV Home stays with the dull shades but in a different hue, going for a washed-out indigo it calls “Aleutian.”
Pantone, on the other hand, has chosen a bright shade of periwinkle as its color of the year. They probably paid a marketing consultant a wad of money to come up with the moniker “Very Peri.”
Krylon has also opted for more of a jewel tone with a deep teal color known as “Satin Rolling Surf.” I suppose that’s to remind us of what the ocean looks like around islands in the southern seas – mid-Atlantic surf falls into the murky green category.
I’m not rushing out to buy paint and redo our den in “Olive Sprig,” though it might look nice, but I have been thinking about colors lately – and those spring fashions I mentioned earlier.
One might think the paint companies had a preview of a Feb. 4, 2022, article from Nature Communications that I found interesting, despite a title that seems designed to chase readers away: “The olfactory gating of visual preferences to human skin and visible spectra in mosquitoes.”
Hold on, it will get better.
Researchers at the University of Washington (primarily Diego Alonso San Alberto and Claire Rusch) studied how particular odors and colors could be involved in what attracts mosquitoes. The research and graphs are complicated and a bit mind-numbing, but the results were fascinating.
The scientists worked with the common Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, releasing them into a wind tunnel where they could release plumes of different odors and make available different colors.
In short, they discovered that mosquitoes tend to ignore colors except when exposed to a higher concentration of carbon dioxide, when they start paying close attention. Researchers found that the mosquitoes were most attracted to shades of orange and red – wavelengths that are characteristic of human skin no matter how light or dark the pigmentation.
Black was also quite attractive to the mosquitoes.
What didn’t they like? Green, mainly, and some shades of blue and purple. In general, they prefer darker shades to lighter ones.
Since humans are constantly breathing out plumes of carbon dioxide, we naturally alert mosquitoes to be on the lookout for their favorite colors. If wearing orange, red, or black, we’ve added additional appeal.
So, if you’re heading out to freshen up your spring and summer wardrobe, and you spend much time outside, look for something in light green or pale blue.
If an acquaintance you don’t really care for has a birthday coming up, a bright orange shirt might be just the trick.
Then again, we’ve been talking a lot about living with a “Jesus worldview,” and I doubt Jesus would sic mosquitoes on either friends or enemies, so maybe a Very Peri scarf or a hat in Evergreen Fog would be a kinder choice.