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  1. Ink Shoot-Out : Papier Plume Sazerac vs Diamine Golden Honey For no special reason, I have been using quite some ochre & orange inks this summer. While playing around with my inks, I noticed that Papier Plume Sazerac and Diamine Golden Honey seem to be quite similar oranges. This peaked my interest... time for a detailed comparison of both inks to find out which one I like the most. Enter... the Ink Shoot-Out. A brutal fight spanning five rounds, where two inks engage in fierce battle to determine who is the winner. Tonight we have a free-form fighting tournament... anything goes... but no biting! In the left corner - from the French Quarter in New Orleans - François "La Guillotine", the killing machine that chops down his opponents. In the right corner - from London's Soho district - "Gentleman" Joe, whose jaw-crunching uppercuts are always accompanied with a "my sincere apologies". Both champions enter the ring. The crowds are cheering for what promises to be a brutal fight. The bell rings and signals the start of the first round. May the best ink win... Round 1 – First Impressions Both inks make a great first impression on me. These are nicely muted oranges, and definitely not vibrant. I like my inks this way... a good presence on the page, but not eye-searing and in-my-face. These inks have style! Both inks also exhibit subtle yellow-leaning shading, without too much contrast between the light and darker parts. This gives your writing an aesthetically pleasing look. But even in this first round, it's definitely a dirty fight! Both champions show off their elegant moves, but they also throw some heavy punches that really hurt their opponent: Golden Honey is without any doubt the master of the finer nib. Sazerac feels really dry and undersaturated with fine and medium nibs. Golden Honey writes nicely wet with much better lubrication, and leaving a more saturated line. "My apologies"... but it's clear that in this area the New Orleans champion takes some pain. Papier Plume's Sazerac on the other hand looks richer and shows a broader tonal range in the swabs and on the saturation sample. A bit more character, more elegance. That's a rib-crunching chop from "La Guillotine". Looking at broader nibs (the squiggles drawn with a 1.5mm calligraphy nib), Sazerac becomes more saturated, but - in my opinion - also loses some of its charm. Golden Honey keeps a more yellow-orange appearance, retaining more of its muted character. Both inks make a great first impression. Sazerac looks slightly better for drawing, but Golden Honey is clearly the better ink for writing. The fact that Sazerac still feels very dry in my M-nib Safari costs it points though! A fair fight with punches in both directions, but Gentleman Joe clearly dominated this round. In my book, this round is a solid win on points for Diamine Golden Honey. Round 2 – Writing Sample The writing sample was done on Rhodia N°16 Notepad with 80 gsm paper. Both inks behaved flawlessly, with no feathering and no show-through or bleed-through. With the EF nib, both inks were equally horrible... dry, scratchy, unsaturated. Yuk! With the M-nib, Diamine recovers and writes nicely wet and with good saturation. But Sazerac still suffers, and keeps feeling dry and scratchy. With broad nibs, both inks offer a pleasant writing experience. But looking closer at the broad nib, you can see that Sazerac leaves a wider and a bit over-saturated line. It almost becomes too wet, where the line left on the pages expands a bit too much. This also seems to result in a flatter and less-pleasing look. Diamine Golden Honey on the other hand retains its crispness, and shows more character and depth. I definitely like the Diamine ink better in this respect. Colourwise, both inks look quite similar. But for writing there are big differences! Here the English champion delivers an uppercut that totally floors its opponent. "My sincere apologies" indeed! Sazerac goes to the floor, totally dazed. The crowd goes nuts, and roars its approval. What a spectacle! There is no doubt at all... round 2 is a solid win for Gentleman Joe. Round 3 – Pen on Paper This round allows the batlling inks to show how they behave on a range of fine writing papers. From top to bottom, we have : FantasticPaper, Life Noble, Tomoe River and Original Crown Mill cotton paper. All scribbling and writing was done with a Lamy Safari M-nib. Both champions did well, with no show-through nor bleed-through. But this round is not about technicalities, it is about aesthetics and beauty. Are the fighters able to make the paper shine ? One thing is immediately apparent: these inks are at their best on pure white paper. Due to the yellow undertones, their presence on more yellowish paper (like the Life Noble) is underwhelming. With the M-nib, the Diamine ink is more saturated, much wetter, and offers a superior writing experience. Looking at the swabs and saturation samples, Sazerac shows more depth and character. For this round, both inks are on par with each other, both scoring some points and taking some punches. Sazerac seems to recover, and now stands up again to the English champion. But neither ink dominates, and as such this round ends in a draw. Round 4 – Ink Properties Both inks have drying times in the 15-20 second range with the M-nib in my Lamy Safari. To test their smudge resistance, I rubbed the text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab. Here, Diamine Honey shows a little bit more smudging, but the text itself remains crisp and clear. To test water resistance, I dripped water on the grid and let it sit there for 15 minutes, after which I removed the water with a paper towel. Both champions are weak! Water resistance is totally absent, and all ink simply disappears from the paper. Not good! What a disappointing display! Both champions went on the defensive, and performed very weakly in this round. The crowd gets restless, starts boo-ing. That is not what we paid for! For this round, neither champion gets points. Round 4 thus ends with a draw. Round 5 – The Fun Factor Welcome to the final round. Here I give you a purely personal impression of both inks, where I judge which of them I like most when doing some fun stuff like doodling and drawing. And for this round, both inks are simply amazing. I did the drawing on HP Advanced Photo paper. The background uses heavily water-diluted ink, which brings out the yellow. For the flowers I used 2:1 diluted ink, while the flower accents and stems use pure Sazerac and Golden Honey. I dare you the find the difference! Both inks are equally gorgeous looking when used in a more artistic setting. I really enjoyed using them. For this round, both champions recovered completely, and gave their best. Punishing kicks, solid blocks, graceful moves, loads of energy… The crowd is loving it... this is what we came to see. Round 5 totally rocks, but in the end both champions performed equally well, and no clear winner emerges. The Verdict Both inks are great-looking muted yellow-oranges, that look fantastic on paper (provided you use broader nibs). For writing, Diamine Golden Honey is without any doubt the better ink. It's still horribly dry in fine nibs, but starting with M-sizes the ink recovers and provides a smooth & pleasant writing experience. Otherwise, both inks are really quite similar. But round 2 clearly determines the outcome of this fight, and so the Belgian judge declares Diamine Golden Honey as the winner of this shoot-out.

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