i n k l o d e

fountain pens, inks, paper and more

Posts in the ink category

Diamine Red Dragon

Diamine Red DragonDiamine Red Dragon bottle

I suppose the argument could be made for some kind of confirmation bias, but I think this ink is very aptly named. Diamine Red Dragon is a bold red with a sort of aged, muted quality to it. I envisage beautiful, detailed illustrations of some fantastical dragon in an old, leather-bound book. The cover is worn and the pages are foxing, yet the images retain an almost magical realism to them– like a moment captured from a world long relinquished to fairy tale and myth.

Red Dragon is a relatively well-behaved ink with some barely visible feathering when flexed on Rhodia paper. No bleeding with normal writing, even on the copy paper I did a quick test on. The shading is on the subtle side, but becomes quite noticeable in brighter light. I never had any flow issues with the ink, and it cleaned out of my pens just fine. To me, this ink has a somewhat similar feel to its brother, Diamine Oxblood, but with far less brown mixed in. Overall, Diamine Red Dragon is a really nice red that would be well suited for anything from drawing to personal writing!   Diamine_Red_Dragon_01

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Sailor Kobe inks are exclusive to the Nagasawa shops and pay tribute to the many faces of Kobe, Japan. Sannomiya Panse shows off the beautiful color of the blooming grasses and flowers along the main street of Sannomiya and hails the arrival of spring.

This is a very bold and vibrant purple ink that has the usual characteristics of Sailor inks. That is to say, it is a deliciously viscous ink with great flow and decent dry times. I found no bleeding or feathering on Rhodia paper unless it is pushed really hard with flex or if the ink is allowed to pool in some cases. The shading is moderate to excellent, depending on the pen. It goes from a very very dark purple to a light, soft purple with a tinge of pink to it. My favorite thing about this ink is how it looks great in broader nibs and finer nibs. It’s really a beautiful ink and the subtleties of the color are a bit lost on a digital screen. I’ll let the pictures do the talking!  Another amazing ink from Sailor, and I highly recommend it!


Sailor Kobe Sannomiya Panse



J. Herbin Poussiere de LuneJ. Herbin Poussiere de Lune bottle

J. Herbin Poussière de Lune is a wonderful dusty purple ink, even after its reformulation. The name means, “dust of the moon,” and I think it suits the color quite nicely. A while back, J. Herbin changed the formula of a number of their inks. Among these was Poussière de Lune. Unfortunately, the reformulation also noticeably changed the color of the ink from a light, dusty, and melancholy purple to something a little bolder and deeper. Some where rather disappointed in this change, but regardless, the ink remains a lovely purple hue. The ink has a bit of shading and can actually get pretty deep in color. Water resistance is poor, but writing can remain slightly visible after exposure. Considering the level of saturation in this ink, I was pleasantly surprised by how easily it cleaned out of my pens. This was actually my first dusty purple ink, but it was the whole reason I became interested in purple inks of this shade. Though it may not find its way into my pens as often as it once did, I still really enjoy this ink. As one of my favorite inks from J. Herbin, I definitely recommend it!


J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune review


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Montblanc Leonardo Red Chalk

Montblanc Leonardo Red ChalkMontblanc Leonardo Red Chalk bottle

Montblanc Leonardo Red Chalk is a limited edition ink that pays homage to one of the most renowned figures of the Italian Renaissance. Some of his famous drawings were done in what appears to be a dusty red chalk and this ink is a nod to that. The color is a lovely, dusty red with hints of brown. There are many subtle qualities to the color of this ink that really appeal to me. I am a big fan of earth-tone colors, but I often find them muddy and unfulfilling as fountain pen inks. I think Montblanc have done a great job at keeping this ink from becoming dull and flat, but instead have created a color that is unassuming, yet possesses some of the timeless qualities of da Vinci’s original drawings.

At first, I was rather unmoved by the ink, but the more time I spent with it, the more I began to appreciate it. The ink is not waterproof in the slightest and becomes illegible when exposed to water. The shading can be quite nice in the right pen. Dry times are average, and I did experience quite a bit of railroading when flexing, but this may not be indicative of any flow issues as I had none in my non-flex pens.

It’s a lovely dusty reddish brown that I recommend picking up while you still can!


Montblanc Leonardo Red Chalk review

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J. Herbin Bouquet D’antan

J. Herbin Bouquet D'antanJ. Herbin Bouquet D'antan 10 oz bottle

J. Herbin’s Bouquet D’antan is a very soft, light pink color that has a bit of an antique nostalgia feel to it. The ink, in my opinion, is not dark or saturated enough for every day writing. It is very easy for writing to become illegible if you are using a pen that is a bit more fine. That being said, I was surprised at how saturated the color can get. The ink goes down on the page like water, but as it dries the color really starts to shine through. There is something about this pink color that feels distantly warm, like a cherished memory in the back of your mind. Parts of it have faded, and may not be entirely clear for those who were not there at its creation, but you remember it well.


Dry times are adequate, though when it smears you can barely tell anyway. This is definitely not a waterproof ink and it becomes barely visible when exposed to water. Writing with a flex nib and really laying down a lot of ink, you can get the color saturated enough to be quite legible. However, if you are looking for a pink ink for every day writing, I would suggest looking elsewhere. Still, if this ink is to be used for artistic purposes or in situations that calls for a lovely light pink color, Bouquet D’antan is an excellent choice.




Noodler's Air Corp Blue-BlackNoodler's Air Corp Blue-Black bottle

Noodler’s Air Corp Blue-Black is a very dark blue-black ink that tends to lean towards the black end of things, but the blue that peeks through has a hint of green hue to it. The ink also belongs to the bulletproof line of Noodler’s inks and is very resistant to water. However, I did notice in my water tests that the blue tends to wash away leaving only the black hues of the ink in place. The flow is pretty good with only minor railroading in my Pilot Namiki Falcon if I push the flex. Small amounts of bleeding on Rhodia if you really pool the ink, but otherwise it’s not an issue. Interestingly, on the rare occasion that it does bleed, only the blue color seeps through while the black does not. Overall, I would say that this is a great ink that can be good for daily use as an alternative to a more traditional black, blue, or blue-black ink. The fact that it is also bulletproof definitely gives it an edge on many other blue-black inks on the market if you’re looking for staying power. I definitely recommend it!

Note: I apologize for putting the words “Air Corp” together in my review.


Noodler's Air Corp Blue-Black review


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Sailor Jentle Miruai


Sailor Miruai was released several years ago as a limited edition part of Sailor’s “Spring” line of inks. The color quickly gained popularity and was missed by many people when supplies were finally depleted. Thankfully, in early 2014, Sailor re-issued several of the most popular limited edition seasonal inks to be added as a part of the normal Jentle line-up. Sailor Miruai was among the most anticipated of the returning inks of the line.

Miruai means, “Seaside Pine Blue,” and the color definitely evokes such an image. Miruai has a cool tone to the green with a hint of blue that makes it a lovely blue-green ink. The behavior is on-par with the quality of the Sailor Jentle line and is well behaved with no bleeding or feathering on Rhodia. While the ink is not waterproof, it does exhibit some staying power after being exposed to water and retains a bit of legibility. The shading is subtle, but it transitions from a cool blue-green to a very dark green (almost black) color and the result is quite lovely. I find the ink to be calm and pensive. Along with the name of the ink, I envision a cool, early fall morning amidst the scattered pines along a rocky beach. The ocean breeze is chilly, but strangely comforting as you lose yourself in your thoughts.

Sailor Miruai review

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Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-peki

Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-pekiPilot Iroshizuku Kon-peki


The Pilot Iroshizuku line of inks are well known for their vibrant colors and all-around well-behavior. So it is no mystery that Kon-peki has found its way onto the shelves of many fountain pen users. This highly praised ink is a beautiful, bright blue color reminiscent of a warm summer sky. Water resistance is poor and the ink becomes barely legible when exposed to water. Like most of the Iroshizuku line of inks, Kon-peki flows well in most pens and puts down a lovely wet line. I get no bleed through on Rhodia paper, even with heavy flex writing. The lovely shading does well to give the ink a playful feel and the hint of a red sheen adds a little something special that makes this ink a must have for anyone who loves bright blue inks.


Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-peki Review

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I was looking to purchase a few Pelikan Edelstein inks when I noticed that the stores in my area were selling a “Limited Edition” wood box gift set of the inks. Considering the price of the individual ink bottles, the added cost of the box itself was negligible so I decided to go for it and pick it up.



Upon further inquiry, the box itself is not actually an official product sold by Pelikan, but rather a limited edition packaged set sold by certain retailers in Asia. My local shop informed me that the box itself is manufactured in China before being shipped to select retailers for packaging the inks. Regardless of its origin, the construction of the box was surprisingly high quality. The box itself is sturdy and the foam inserts are stiff and protective. I feel confident that this box will be more than sufficient for storing and protecting my Edelstein inks.



The boxed set came with an (almost) complete collection of the Edelstein ink line.

The inks included are:

  • Onyx
  • Sapphire
  • Topaz
  • Jade
  • Aventurine
  • Mandarin
  • Ruby
  • Pelikan Brilliant Black 4001




I personally think that the packaging is very fitting for the renowned beauty of the Edelstein bottles. My only lament is that there is no slot for Tanzanite which was presumably released after the creation of this packaged set. However, it is still a lovely way to store my Edelstein inks and I am very happy to have it as a part of my collection!

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Waterman Intense Black

Waterman Intense BlackWaterman Intense Black bottle


Though I was surprised by how dark this ink can actually get, normal writing with this ink tends to lean towards the gray side. The ink is well behaved and is a good solid black, but if you are seeking an ink that is truly intense and unwavering, this is probably not your black ink. It is not very water resistant so I would be hesitant to use it on important documents, but it is definitely reliable in many other ways, and I could see it being used for every day writing for notes and the like. This cooler toned black has no outstanding qualities, but is nonetheless a decent black ink.

Waterman Intense Black Review

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