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  1. TAG Kyoto - kyo-iro - Cherry Blossom of Keage TAG is a stationary shop in Kyoto (Japan) that produces some interesting soft watercolour-style inks. With the kyo-iro series they produce a line of inks that that are inspired by the city's many beautiful and historic sights. Each of these inks is dedicated to a specific town in the Kyoto area. The inks come in 40 ml bottles, packaged in luxurious thick paper with a texture that feels like heavy watercolour paper. In this review the spotlight is on Cherry Blossom of Keage. This is a soft and delicate red-leaning rose ink, whose colour is inspired by the sight of cherry blossoms arching over the train tracks at Kyoto's Keage Incline in the spring. I don't usually write with pink/rose inks, but that doesn't mean I can't like them. And this ink does look beautiful - it's a quiet and toned-down rose, that captures quite well the delicacy of the cherry blossom. Cherry Blossom of Keage is a nicely saturated and relatively wet-writing ink. It provides a sufficient but not too harsh contrast with the paper, making it easy to read in all nib sizes from EF to 1.9 stub. It lays down a substantially darker rose line with wet pens like my Pelikan M101N Red Tortoise. The ink looks great on both white and yellow paper. In fact, this is one of the few inks that I like better on yellow paper, where it looks softer and more delicate. To show you the impact of saturation on the ink's look & feel on paper, I made some scribbles where I really saturated portions of the Tomoe River paper with ink. This gives you a good idea of what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. As you can see, Cherry Blossom of Keage moves from medium to relatively high saturation, without resulting in extreme contrast between the light and darker parts. This translates to elegant & subtle shading over a wide range of nib sizes. The shading is mostly absent with my Lamy EF nib, but is present in F and above. Due to the restrained contrast, shading looks both elegant and subtle. Wetter pens - like my Pelikan - lay down a much darker and more saturated line, and the subtle shading almost drowns in the saturation. I definitely prefer this ink in drier pens. The ink's chromatography shows pink, red and purple-grey tones, that combine to the rose-red colour of this Cherry Blossom. The purple-grey - I've found no better way to describe it - removes any vibrancy from the ink, and is probably responsible for the ink's toned down appearance. The result is simply lovely. The lower part of the chroma seems to indicate that the purple-grey remains attached to the paper. In reality though, this ink is absolutely not water-resistant. Some colour remains on the paper, but it's only smudges and nothing really legible remains. I've tested the ink on a wide variety of paper - from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. On every small band of paper I show you: An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip 1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturation An ink scribble made with an M-nib Lamy Safari The name of the paper used, written with a B-nib Lamy Safari A small text sample, written with the M-nib Safari Source of the quote, with a Pelikan M101N with F nib Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Safari) Cherry Blossom of Keage behaves really well on my test papers, with no noticeable feathering, not even on the notoriously bad Moleskine paper. See-through and bleed-through are also absent. Only with the Moleskine paper did I get visible bleed-through when using broad nibs or wet pens. Drying times are mostly in the 10 second range with the Lamy Safari M-nib. The ink looks great on all papers, but - as I already mentioned - I like it better on the more yellowish paper. Writing with different nib sizes The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. Kyo-iro Cherry Blossom of Keage can handle all nib sizes without a problem. With the EF nib, you still get a nicely saturated line. Shading is present in nib sizes of F and above when using dry pens. With wet pens, the shading tends to disapper, buried under a much darker-rose saturated line. This is one ink whose looks I prefer in dry nibs/pens! Related inks To compare Cherry Blossom of Keage with related inks, I use my nine-grid format with the currently reviewed ink at the center. This format shows the name of related inks, a saturation sample, a 1-2-3 swab and a water resistance test - all in a very compact format. Diamine Amaranth comes close in colour, but lacks the delicate and soft-toned nature of this kyo-iro ink. Inkxperiment - Spring is in the Air With every review, I try to create an interesting drawing using only the ink I'm working on. These inkxperiments show what the ink is capable of in terms of colour range. They are without any doubt my favourite part of doing an ink review: playing with the ink, experimenting with drawing techniqes and just having lots of fun. For this drawing, the topic derives from the ink's name: cherry blossom. No need to brainstorm another theme for this inkxperiment! I started with a piece of HP photo paper. This has become my favourite medium for ink drawings. The photo paper really enhances any ink's colour, making it look much more vibrant. I first created the background, experimenting with some drawing materials like kitchen paper and a plastic sheet with holes in it. This translates to a nicely textured background for the cherry blossom. The resulting drawing shows what can be achieved when using this kyo-iro ink for artistic purposes. Conclusion TAG kyo-iro Cherry Blossom of Keage is a soft rose-red ink - quiet, elegant, delicate... An ink with lots of character, that works on all papers and in all nib sizes. This is also one of the few inks that I prefer on more yellow paper, which essentially enhances Cherry Blossom's delicate character. The ink also works quite well for artistic purposes. I really enjoyed using this TAB Kyoto ink - if you are on the lookout for this type of colour, Cherry Blossom is certainly worth a try. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Back-side of writing samples on different paper types
  2. Papier Plume - Garden District Azalea (New Orleans Collection) Papier Plume is a stationary shop in New Orleans, that's been getting some attention lately on this forum with their "New Orleans Inks", that celebrate the rich colours and history of the city. One of their inks in this series is Garden District Azalea, a soft pastel-like rose-red ink with quite a unique personality. Garden District Azalea is a soft rose-red ink that looks quite good on paper. I'm not exactly a fan of pink inks, but this one leans more towards the red end of the spectrum, and is actually quite appealing. I like the pastel character of this ink, which gives it a soft and soothing apperarance. The inks shades nicely, even in finer nibs. The shading is very present, but with not too much contrast between the light and darker parts, making it aesthetically very pleasing. Nicely done! The ink itself is typical of other Papier Plume inks in this series: it lacks lubrication, especially when used with a dry pen like the Lamy Safari that I use for my reviews. Saturation is quite good though, even in finer nibs. When used with wetter pens, lubrication improves significantly, resulting in a much more pleasant writing experience. For this ink, it certainly is recommended to pair it with wet pens. The ink has an average dynamic colour span. To illustrate this, I did a swab where I really saturated portions of the paper with ink, pooling it on. This illustrates the dynamics of Garden District Azalea, with moves from a very light rose to a darker rose-red colour. On the smudge test - rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab - the ink behaved remarkably well . There is very little smearing, and the text remains perfectly readable. Water resistance is not so good though. The ink quickly loses its colour, leaving only some light-rose smudges on the paper. With short exposures to water, you will barely be able to reconstruct your writing. With longer exposure, all traces of your scribbles are forever lost. This is also apparent from the lower part of the chromatography, which shows that some of the dye remains attached to the paper, but most of the dyes wash away with the water. I've tested the ink on a wide variety of paper - from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. On each scrap of paper I show you:An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturationAn ink scribble made with a Lamy Safari M-nib fountain penThe name of the paper used, written with a Lamy Safari B-nibA small text sample, written with an M-nibDrying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)Garden District Azalea behaved perfectly with most papers in my test set. Only with the notoriously bad Moleskine paper I noticed a tiny amount of feathering. I quite like the ink's appearance on Paperblanks journal paper, which happens to be my journal of choice. The ink is quite subdued, with a very nice pastel-like appearance. I happen to like subdued colours, but if you're into vibrant inks, this one might not be for you. At the end of the review, I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. With low-quality and absorbent paper, the ink exhibited quite some show-through, and even a bit of bleed-through (e.g. Moleskine, Graf van Faber Castell). With the other papers in my test-set, the ink behaved really well with my Lamy Safari test pen with M-nib. With wet pens though, bleed-through becomes more of a problem, and you might not be able to use both sides of the paper. Writing with different nib sizesThe picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. All samples were written with a Lamy Safari, which is typically a dry pen. I also added a visiting pen – my wet Pelikan M400 Tortoise Brown with an M-nib. Here the ink leaves a very saturated line, and no longer suffers from sub-par lubrication. Related inksTo show off related inks, I recently switched to a nine-grid format, with the currently reviewed ink at the center. The new format shows the name of related inks, a saturation sample, a 1-2-3 swab and a water resistance test – all in a very compact format. I hope that you’ll find this way of presenting related inks more useful. It’s a bit more work, but in my opinion worth the effort for the extra information you gain. Inkxperiment – Red EvolutionI've recently started to experiment with ink drawings, keeping things simple and more-or-less abstract. I find this to be a fun extension of the hobby, and consider these single-ink drawings a nice challenge. It also gives you an idea of what the ink is capable of in a more artistic setting. This time I went with an abstract theme. I used 300 gsm rough watercolour paper, and started by painting in a faint rose-red background with water-diluted Garden District Azalea. I then painted in the abstract red evolution. The dark parts are pure ink, liberally applied to the paper. The lighter rose-red centers were painted in with a felt-tip brush. The end result gives you a good idea of the way Garden District Azalea can express itself when used for drawing. ConclusionGarden District Azalea from Papier Plume is a soft and pastel-like rose-red ink that is at home with both writing and drawing. Not an ink for those who like their inks vibrant, but more targeted at us folks that enjoy the more subdued kind. The ink works well with most paper types and shows subtle and pleasing shading. With dry pens lubrication is sub-par, with negative impact on the writing experience. This is an ink that begs for wet pens and/or broader nibs, which is where it shines. Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Backside of writing samples on different paper types
  3. I thought I would do something a little different and review the J Herbin scented ink sample set as one main review. I have the sample set of 5 x 10ml bottles, but these 5 scented inks can be purchased separately in 30ml bottles This is what J Herbin say about them on their web-site: "These exquisitely charming inks, lightly scented and presented in elegant semi-frosted bottles, are perfect for fountain pens since they are naturally scented and do not contain pigments. J. Herbin scented inks are made from floral water (hydrosols) of rose, orange, lavender, apple and violets. The hydrosols used by J. Herbin come from Grasse, France, a Provencal town long associated with the perfume industry, and famous for its floral scents. Scented Fountain Pen Ink Sampler Fashioned with great care, scented inks are inspired by a tradition that began in Italy in the 19th century. J. Herbin and other manufacturers used to collect different scents from the perfume industry and add them to their inks. Known as “Les Subtiles” (The Subtle), each ink matches fragrance and color: bleu/parfum lavande/10; vert/parfum pomme/34; amber/parfum orange/41; rouge/parfum rose/68; and violet/parfum violette/77" Some of these inks are the same as inks in the standard collection, but have added fragrances: Amber/parfum orange/41 is "Ambre de Birmanie", Rouge/parfum rose/68 is "Rouge Opera", and Violette/parfum violette/77 is "Violette Pensee". Unusually I found that my sample of Rose scented ink has more of a pink tinge to it than my sample bottle of Rouge Opera does. The fact that I have already reviewed the first two of those inks was also a factor in selecting to review these scented inks together. I used my pilot Plumix pen with it's steel stub nib. It seems to have had the effect of making some of these inks dry more quickly than when I did the previous reviews with my Lamy Nexx M nib. None of these inks are meant to be waterproof, but I noticed that both Rose and Violette are quite resistant.
  4. It's time for another Ink Giveaway PIF! I am giving away most of a bottle of Rotring Persian Red ink. Rotring no longer makes bottled fountain pen ink, so this ink has been out of production for some time. The ink was originally packaged in a bottle with a fill spout, that could fill a converter directly from the bottle (I will attempt to attach a photo). The cap has cracked, so I was forced to transfer the ink to some small jars, which is the way you will receive it. Each jar holds 15ml, and there are about one and a half jars of ink. Here are the rules: 1) United States only. 2) Winners of my previous PIFs (Levenger and OMAS inks) are not eligible for this PIF. 3) Everyone who posts on this thread saying they want the ink through Tuesday, January 3, 2017 is eligible. 4) On January 4, 2017 I'll post here to close the PIF and everyone ahead of me in the thread will be entered. I'll select a winner using the random number generator at random.org. I'll list the winner here, and contact them via PM to set up shipment. 5) You can enter as many of my PIFs as you want, but you can win only one. In the event the same FPN member wins two PIFs, I'll ask you to choose which you want. I'll draw another name to win the other prize. 6) I will ship to the winner for free, in exchange for a letter or postcard from you containing handwritten samples of your five favorite ink colors. Or, you can pay for shipping, whichever you prefer. (I will ship via USPS). 7) Winners who don't respond to my PM within three days after close of the PIF will forfeit their winning. I'll draw again to find another winner. Bottle: http://i.imgur.com/pdEvvxx.jpg Writing Sample: http://i.imgur.com/GuZhWsh.jpg
  5. Organics Studio was a small producer out of Maryland. Some of their inks were awesome. This is one of them. They have fallen into the category of unobtanium.
  6. Hi all! This is my first post on the Montblanc forum. I'm interested in the white lacquer Solitaire Classique in either the rose gold or rhodium finish. However, as I've read that rose gold is not sturdy and wears easily, I'm concerned that the pen would lose its plating, not just on the nib but on the entire section. Is this something I should be concerned about given how expensive the pen is? And would the rhodium/platinum plating be sturdier and less prone to wear? I really love this pen's finish, but am concerned about how well it would hold up. Thanks for your help!
  7. I ran across this lovely journal and was wondering if anyone has any experience with this line of journals by Lang. The exquisitely lovey artwork is created by Susan Winget. I love the beautiful cover, but as we all know, a beautiful journal with horrible paper won't do much good other than sitting on a shelf collecting dust. I have already sent an email to the company inquiring if this product is fountain pen friendly. We will see what they say. In the meantime, if anyone has any experience with these journals by Lang please share what you know! http://www.lang.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/450x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/rose-classic-journal-1009503.jpg http://www.lang.com/rose-classic-journal-1009503.html
  8. Dear Fellow Fountain Pen Users, ​I have just discovered that some of my roses in my garden have a sweet aroma to them. I have scented my papers with incense sticks every time I send a letter to anyone. But I'm getting a bit gitty now discovering that I can have rose scented paper! I don't have a girlfriend, nor do I plan on finding one anytime soon. What I do have is a surprisingly large circle of lady friends, for lack of a better phrase, that I do know very well and send letters too. I also correspond with my older brothers and every now and then, a stranger. So the question must be asked. When is it appropriate to use rose scented paper? Thanks for the Help!
  9. Hi, i just purchased a pack of Waterman pink rose (large) cartridge. It was ordered from an online shop. I think something is just not right. But as this is my first Waterman cartridge, i need help. The pack that i received seems to be almost half empty. Hence a picture of your new cartridge will be highly appreciated. As i will be able to question the seller. And it was not purchased from eBay. Rather a reputed online portal in India. Regards, Chayan

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