Chartreuse: Red or Green? (and other colors)

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Chartreuse is a color between yellow and green. It got its name from a french liquor, named green chartreuse. This liquor got its name as green chartreuse, by its greenish color property. It has a herbal flavor and was made by Carthusian monks in 1737.

Chartreuse: red or green?

Now the story behind this word ‘chartreuse’ getting so popular is quite interesting. People claim to remember this word “chartreuse” for being used to refer to a color between red and pink, some say maroonish pink.

Sounds silly, Why confusion of a single person is such a big issue? What if we say a portion of population remembers chartreuse as a shade of red and rest remember it as a shade of green? No wonders when some come up with a memory of it being a shade like magenta, or pink or sometimes yellowish green too.

This discussion on chartreuse thing started when one fine day someone posted their views on a site regarding this and people started commenting similar experiences of theirs.

Some comments received on that site regarding the memory of chartreuse are:

In Stephanie’s words :

I distinctly remember Chartreuse being a purple-pink color close to Magenta but a little darker. Less pink, more purple, but still too pink to be a true purple. I’m so confused??

2. Mistry’s words were:

chartreuse was a dark red color

3. According to Cas:

I thought chartreuse was a rich sort of pinkish-magenta color? I really thought chartreuse was a shade of red? Not green or yellow at all? When I clicked the Wikipedia link to see what color it is, I was so confused. I’m glad other people share in this confusion as well. Seems like too pretty of a name for “lime green”. Ick. Doesn’t sit right with me.

4. I. K. said:

And yet the etymology makes perfect sense. Then again, that might be at the heart of the potential difference. So, if this Carthusian order, who’s liquor got the name associated with it, and lend itself to the name of the colour instead made a particular blend of red wine, perhaps Chartreuse would get a different colour association. Honestly, without saying anything one way or the other on the matter, if I would have guessed without knowing, I’m certain I would have guessed it was a reddish colour. It does have the ring of a warm red drink to it.


5. JM’s words were:

Yeah the whole color changing business is a weird one.

6. In Tee’s words:

I asked a friend of mine, what color she remembers Chartreuse being and she remembers it as always being the yellow/green color, but she also remembers it as being part of a series of colors spanning yellow/green to red/pink/purple, which is very interesting. I myself remember it being the red/pink/purple color only and not the yellow/green that it is now(that looks and sounds way off) nor as part of a series of colors that are in different color groupings.

7. Natalie commented:

I’m shocked that chartreuse is now suddenly a shade of green. I always thought it was a reddy/purple colour too. I have a vague recollection of thinking that chartreuse sounded french, like a red wine, so it made sense. And now it’s green? WEIRD! The mind boggles.

8. Rebecca replied:

I most definitely remember chartreuse as being a dark purplish pink color. My mum laughed at me when she realized that was what I thought. I was astonished to find it’s actually a yellow-green. I remember it as being similar to the crayon marked “scarlet red” in this Could it be something to do with them being in the same collection? The similarities of the words “chartreuse” and “cerise”?

9. jma said:

Wow… I remember a while back (maybe 12-15 years ago? I’m pushing 40 now) I was driving my car, describing something to my friend in the passenger seat and I used the word “chartreuse” . She was surprised and we ended up getting into a debate about the definition of chartreuse. I was shocked to learn that it was the color it is now (that yellow-green-aqua color)… and had to “eat-crow”, so to speak. BUT I had forgotten the color I previously thought it was, since I’ve known the “official” definition for so long. Upon reading your post, I realize the reddish color you describe is exactly the color I used to think it was.

10. According to Becca:

I could have sworn that chartreuse was like a magenta colour. I remember watching (and yes, i know how this sounds) blues clues, and the guy went, red and purple make chaaaaarrtruuuuuuuuuse.

These are just the top ten comments among approx 18o comments on one particular site. While many are confused about this yet, some came to a conclusion, they remembered the whole thing wrong while some analysed more about it.


There is this blog of metallic man, where a conclusion to this chartreuse was posted on november 12th of 2018 by a blogger. It is a blog of his opinion on this chartreuse effect.

He mentioned there about a “Reality Template”. We all have access to this reality template. Various realities are created by this template. It is through this template we experience new memories in life. Sometimes, this template gets prone to changes thus combining with our thoughts, it produces new memories or altered memories. This leads to redefinition of our memories. This redefinition of memories is the cause behind our memories mis matching with the reality. It is these reality templates that are the reason behind our memory not matching with the reality.

According to him: “All thoughts combine to create a ‘reality’. It is a constantly changing baseline template, referred to as a “reality template”. Our consciousness then feeds off this template and creates a customized reality for our soul to acquire experiences from. When large groups of people are manipulated and discordant thoughts are generated, the reality template changes significantly. Such is what happened with the Chartreuse issue.”


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