The human eye can perceive about 10 million colors. Marketing firms suggest it's not enough to refer to colors with descriptors that we learned at the same time we mastered using the big kid potty. Orange, red, blue, green ... they don't suffice.
Mercedes Benz car company takes color adjectives to a new level: astral silver, unimog green, tropic black (really?), autumn beige (beige in autumn?), Jupiter red (come on!). Luxury vehicles also come in colors impossible to visualize without a German-to-English dictionary: spindelrot, nutria, byzanzgold, lindgrun, pastellweiss.
As any lipstick or nail polish wearer knows, cosmetic companies do the same thing. During a recent mail-order purchase at Sephora, a lovely customer service rep informed me that my order would come with a free Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips sample. I was faced with choosing my sample from the likes of Bambi, Bianca, Candi, Trixie ... What the hell color is Trixie? (It's a shimmering golden rose by the way.) But then the unshakable rep said something that made me blush and tinged my entire colorful quandary. I was also eligible for a sample size of Urban Decay's Pocket Rocket lipgloss. Did I want Doug? Julio? Kirk? Full-size Pocket Rockets (tee hee) each have a photo of a handsome fellow in the lid. Like the cheesy pens that used to fill Vegas souvenir shop shelves, Kirk, Julio, Doug and the rest of the gorgeous gang are fully dressed when the tube is upright. Tip it upside down and their hip duds disappear, leaving each man modeling his skivvies (only the barely dressed version graces the sample sizes). I smiled and chose Doug as much for the iridescent sparkling pink lipgloss as for his turquoise blue boxer briefs. And decided maybe sometimes describing something as plain yellow really isn't quite enough.