cognac color

Cognac Color – What Colors Go With Cognac?

In most cases, if you mention cognac, burgundy, or Bordeaux, you will likely conjure up images of wine and brandy. However, this is exactly where each color comes from, with cognac specifically being a popular color in fashion and décor. To appreciate this color even further, we will be going over a few interesting facts about the cognac color.



What Color Is Cognac?

To understand what the real cognac color looks like, you will have to check out the French brandy. You will notice that the liquid has an earthy, glowing appearance, with shades of brown as well as red. You can also say that cognac is several shades lighter than that of the color burgundy. So, ultimately, you can describe the cognac color as a warm reddish brown. When it comes to cognac color vs. brown, both colors are extremely similar, and you can say that cognac is a shade of brown that has more of a moderate red undertone.

what color is cognac

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Cognac#9a463d0, 55, 60, 40154, 70, 61 
Brown#a52a2a0, 75, 75, 35165, 42, 42 


Cognac Color: A Brief History

As we have mentioned, the cognac color comes from the French variety of brandy, which also originates from Cognac, a region found in France. So, the name comes from the actual place where the brandy is made. The alcoholic beverage is made from grapes, unlike some other drinks that are barley-based.


The remodeling show, which is known as “This Old House”, selected cognac as their color of the month in 2014. They advised that cognac provides an elegant and luxurious feel when used to paint rooms. This is why other regal interiors use the color, for example, Buckingham Palace and other Victorian-type manors.

It is also said that when Obama was President, the interior designer, Michael S. Smith, used furniture in the cognac color as accent pieces in the White House.


Meaning of the Cognac Color

Since cognac is a little bit red and brown, it does impart similar qualities. Cognac can symbolize power, warmth, wealth, and refinement. As with the cognac brandy, the color is also associated with luxury, sophistication, maturity, and stateliness. The brown brings in a sense of reliability and practicality. If the color is overused, it can become a bit pretentious and prideful, and irritating to some.

what color is cognac leather



Shades of Cognac Brown

There are other shades of cognac brown that you can choose. All of these colors have similar traits and simply vary slightly in their composition. There might even be different cognac colors, with different hex codes when you search online. The hex code is a way you can identify a specific web color. Designers also rely on other information to help them decide on certain colors, for example, color codes.

Color codes, like the RGB and CMYK, are used to determine how much of each color is present when it comes to online designs or printing. Each uses different additive and subtractive color methods to create the color you see. The ref, green, and blue (RGB) colors are derived from a light source, while the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) colors are used for printing. This means ink and pigments are used to create colors. Below are a few shades of cognac from burnt sienna to a natural tan.

cognac color vs brown


Burnt Sienna

This is a deep reddish-brown color that originates from a substance known as sienna, which is an earth clay that gets it color from the minerals like iron oxide and manganese oxide. As you can see, the web color below can be described as a soft red.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Cognac#9a463d0, 55, 60, 40154, 70, 61 
Burnt Sienna#e974510, 50, 65, 9233, 116, 81 


Saddle Brown

This particular shade is a rich and saturated saddle brown that has more of a brownish undertone that gets its name from the leather a saddle. The web color displayed below is described as beina a dark moderate red.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Cognac#9a463d0, 55, 60, 40154, 70, 61 
Saddle Brown#8b45130, 50, 86, 45139, 69, 19 

cognac brown



This is a much lighter hue, but it also produces the same neutral look as cognac. The web color below is described as a slightly desaturated orange. Like all shades of brown, the tan color provides a sense of warmth, earthiness, and stability, and can easily work as a neutral color in designs.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Cognac#9a463d0, 55, 60, 40154, 70, 61 
Tan#d2b48c0, 14, 33, 18210, 180, 140 



What Colors Go With Cognac?

Colors and how they work with each other can be a little confusing, so learning a bit more about color theory can help you gain a better understanding. When deciding on what colors go with cognac, the color wheel can help provide several great color combinations. Cognac goes well with many colors including shades of red and neutral colors like white, beige, tan, brown, copper, and black.

cognac shades


Complementary Cognac Colors

This color combination is perfect if you wish to create a color contrast. Any colors that are placed on opposing sides are deemed complementary colors. This can be anything from a dark cyan hue to navy blue. You can also consider lighter grayish-blue colors paired with cognac.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Cognac#9a463d0, 55, 60, 40154, 70, 61 
Dark Cyan#3d919a60, 6, 0, 4061, 145, 154 
Navy Blue#000080100, 100, 0, 500, 0, 128 


Analogous Cognac Colors

You will notice that all the warmer reds, yellows, and oranges are in one area of the color wheel, while the cooler greens and blue colors are located in the other. The colors that are positioned close to or next to each other are your analogous colors. So, shades of pink, red, and orange will work well with cognac.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Cognac#9a463d0, 55, 60, 40154, 70, 61 
Dark Pink#9a3d620, 60, 36, 40154, 61, 98 
Dark Orange#9a753d0, 24, 60, 40154, 117, 61 


Monochromatic Cognac Colors

Various shades and tints that are derived from cognac, which provide darker as well as lighter versions, are monochromatic colors. This color combination will always provide a harmonious look that is appealing and that can create more of a layered look in designs.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Cognac#9a463d0, 55, 60, 40154, 70, 61 
Dark Cognac#632d270, 55, 61, 6199, 45, 39 
Light Cognac#e9cac60, 13, 15, 9233, 202, 198 

what colors go with cognac


Triadic Cognac Colors

Another contrasting color scheme is triadic colors, which can be seen on the color wheel as a triangle form if you draw a line and connect them all. Using cognac as your main color, this could be deep indigo and dark green hues. 

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Cognac#9a463d0, 55, 60, 40154, 70, 61 
Dark Blue#463d9a55, 60, 0, 4070, 61, 154 
Dark Lime Green#3d9a4660, 0, 55, 4061, 154, 70 



Mixing Cognac Color Acrylic Paint

Shades of brown are great for painting landscapes and can also help to produce effects like creating slight graduations from lighter to darker on a canvas. This can help to create depth and realism in a painting.

When mixing colors, always make a color chart where you can add all the colors you mix. This makes it easier to come back and see what colors you blended and the proportions you used. You can simply purchase a brown color paint and adjust this by adding more white or red to achieve cognac, or you can start from scratch.

To make brown, you can use all the primary colors and mix them to create a brownish color. This means mixing red, blue, and yellow. You can also consider adding in small amounts of white and using different proportions until you achieve a cognac color. You can also consider mixing complementary colors like red and green. This also means blending a primary and secondary color.

You could also try mixing colors like violet, orange, and white. Start with a small amount of white, then a tiny amount of violet, and then a little orange. Whatever approach you use, you are looking to create a dark reddish-brown color. Of course, if you wish to mix lighter shades, you then simply add more white paint.



Cognac Color in Fashion and Interior Designs

The cognac color is well-liked as a fashion color and makes the perfect color for handbags or shoes. Cognac brings warmth into an outfit, which is great for those fall and winter outfits. You can pair cognac with other warmer tones, however, including white and black or deeper purples into the mix will create a more interesting look. Consider a beautiful leather or suede jacket in the cognac color. Cognac skirts or long trousers are also a popular option.

When it comes to interior design, painting walls in shades of cognac can provide a warmer, comforting, and relaxing feel to a room. What color is cognac leather? This is similar to the cognac color and is ideal for leather couches or chairs, or even leather boots and bags. You can include cognac color as an accent color by using cognac leather or colored fabrics in furnishings.

cognac interior

White will always work perfectly with cognac and do not forget to try other color combinations like navy blue, deep purples, bringing in other shades of brown, or incorporating natural elements like wood. Preferably, stick to the 60:30:10 rule, which uses a base color, a secondary hue, and then the accent color. Cognac is one of the easier neutral colors to work with, and you should be able to use it as your base color, or as an accent color.


If you are looking for a sophisticated, luxurious, refined, and warm color, then cognac should be one of your first choices. A variety of earthy cognac tones make the color easy to work with and brings some glamor into various designs.



Frequently Asked Questions


What Color Is Cognac?

Cognac is a warm color that is reddish-brown and may even have a slight grayish undertone to it. The web color can be described as a dark moderate red, however, there are also various shades of cognac as well.


What Colors Go With Cognac?

Cognac works well with many colors, especially other shades of brown as well as white. However, it also goes with darker shades of red and other neutral colors like beige and black. To create contrast, consider pairing cognac with darker greens and deep purples.


What Color Is Cognac Leather?

When looking a the cognac color vs. brown, you can say that cognac is a shade of brown. Cognac leather, which is naturally aged leather, depicts this shade of brown very well with its subtle reddish undertones.

Cite this Article

Charlene, Lewis, “Cognac Color – What Colors Go With Cognac?.” Art in Context. January 20, 2023. URL:

Lewis, C. (2023, 20 January). Cognac Color – What Colors Go With Cognac?. Art in Context.

Lewis, Charlene. “Cognac Color – What Colors Go With Cognac?.” Art in Context, January 20, 2023.

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