Must admit I don’t like ‘ornate’ descriptions of colour. Cliches can be boring – how many times have we read ‘eyes as blue as a summer sky’? But contrived, long-winded or eye-brow raising similes can be equally irritating. A couple of examples describing hair – ‘as blonde as a buttercup in a meadow’ (does that mean yellow?), ‘as blonde as a dirty cloud’ (what? was she grey? But no, the writer was supposedly describing her mother’s blonde hair when she was young). Just as a matter of interest, did you know that, in early colonial times in America, Puritans used no similes or metaphors in their writing, because these glorified the writer, not God. Southerners, however, used showy language in literature much more freely. Maybe I was a Puritan in an earlier existence, since I prefer to keep colour descriptions simple!
I once read a story where the author had obviously decided to use every possible variation of blue for the heroine’s eyes – cerulean, baby-blue, azure, sky-blue, denim, electric, sapphire etc – so much so that I got distracted from the story wondering what shade of blue her eyes would be on the next page! As with many things, sometimes less is more!