Tag Archives: mearz and Paul

Pouf du Vent

"pouf du Vent" listed under 'pale purplish pink' in the dictionary of colours - !930

“Pouf du Vent” Mearz and Paul (Dictionary of colour 1930) and listed under ‘pale purplish pink’ in the Universal language and dictionary of colour names – 1955

Mearz and Paul produced a dictionary of colours in 1930 – A second edition was produced  20 years later. ~It was used mainly by mycologists to measure colour changes in fungi and other mycological studies. It has also been used in measuring colour in genetics, horticulture and botany.

The name has intrigued me ever since I read it, as it really stands out against the other, less evocative names found in the colour dictionary – I first thought it meant  Puff of Wind in English but  that’s  ‘Coup de Vent’ in French, I believe. The colour dictionaries of the 30’s and 40’s were partly created for the textile industry . So I thought it had perhaps something to do with textiles.  When I looked into Pouf ‘history’ certainly many textile and fashion descriptions came up : headdress, hairstyle, gathered up skirt or dress into a round puffy shape, It wasn’t until I realised that Mearz and Paul’s colour dictionary was mainly used by mycologists that I realised it must be for some sort of a pink puffball fungi – so i searched and found these below! 


Wolf’s Milk ( Photo by Jason Hollinger)

But it turns out its not a fungi at all, It’s a Slime Mould (?)

 Lycogala epidendrum, commonly known as wolf’s milk, groening’s slime is a cosmopolitan species of plasmodial slime mould which is often mistaken for a fungus

Its Cosmopolitan Slime…..Not a Puff of wind at all.