The very first colour in our Dictionary of Colour is of course Absinthe, as the colour definitions are written alphabetically.

The colour of a liqueur originally made in France in 1797 from wormwood (absinthe) and other aromatic plants. It was first invented by a Frenchman, a Dr. Ordinaire, who lived at Couvert, in Switzerland, and who sold the recipe in 1797, to a Mr. Pernod, whose name has been associated with Absinthe ever since.

It is doubtful if lasting colours of this brilliance were procurable before the development of synthetic dyestuffs. Early English dyeing recipes are given for yellowish greens as Greenfinch, Olive Green, Willow Green and Parrot Green. It would appear these lacked the brilliance of such colours as Chartreuse Green, Chartreuse Yellow, Lime Green and Olive Yellow. A wide variety of greens became available about 1890 and have since become obtainable on printed and dyed stuffs.



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