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The Smell Of Ink.


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Someone just remark that Sailor's ink has a unpleasant and odd smell.

That got me thinking. Well , I opened a few of my ink and took a few whiff .

Has anyone tried this?

Be careful . I felt a little dizzy after the test. Not sure who's the culprit.

The worst smelling was my Noddler's Tienanmen Red Ink....Strong ammonia smell.

The Sailors , Platinum are equally horrible.

Lamy , Caran d'Ache , Montblanc , Omas...no discernible smell.


Care to share your experience?

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After a suggestion from a fellow-FPNer, I have been including the smell of inks that I review in my observations.

The intent is to provide a quick, but not too reliable/quantifiable, means of detecting ink spoilage & contamination.

The smell 'test' is also useful to distinguish between an ink that has spoiled and/or is contaminated and ink that has simply decayed (over time).


Best Regards,


The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


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I just got an old bottle of Quink Black and mmmmmmmmmmm I still love the smell of that ink! It's something special about it.

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The horrible smell of the blue black ink we had to use at school in the 50s has put me off smelling ink for life! :(

Whatever is true,whatever is noble,whatever is right,whatever is pure,whatever is lovely,whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

Philippians 4.8

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Other than scented inks, most of the inks I have put to the sniff test don't have a very apealing smell!


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Lorna Reed wrote:


"The horrible smell of the blue black ink we had to use at school in the 50s has put me off smelling ink for life!"


Oh, yes. I attended public school in the U.S. In the late '50's we used a blue-black ink that was provided by the school. The teacher would fill our little desk inkwells from a huge bottle she kept in a closet. On days when she filled our inkwells, the room was filled with "that ink smell," presumably the phenols. Some of the kids liked the smell. I remember only feeling sick on my stomach. To this day, if I smell that smell I feel sick.

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The Namiki Black.. I do not like.


I like the smell of my Ebonite pens also!


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I don't much care for the smell of Noodler's bulletproof or eternal inks--which I think have a strong, head-ache-inducing odor of sharpie markers.


Most of my other inks smell wonderful. Also, I love the smell of ebonite and celluloid. For me, those smells are a bit like the distinct odor of photographic darkroom chemicals... smells like happiness. biggrin.gif

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Ah yes, I remember both the lovely smell of old Quink (though I did not like the ink) and the weird pong of the school blue-black-greenish ink that, I seem to recall, was made by adding water to powder before pouring into those little white china inkwells we had in the desks.



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I had to stop using Baystate Blue for a while because I was getting headaches every time I refilled my pen with it. Can't describe the smell, other than strong. :hmm1:

read, write, grade essays, repeat

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Pelikan Brilliant Black smells fresh and slightly sweet. I dont know why...


Inks from developing countries such as China and Vietnam all have a certain smell that I cant really identify. I dont really like that smell.



Adi W. Chew

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I find the odor of Sailor inks quite strong, to where keeps me from using them much. Some other people don't seem to notice it at all.


The handful of Noodler's inks I have all seem to smell faintly like citrus (or pizza crust, but that's another thread).


Most other modern inks I don't really smell. Unless I spill them. *cough*

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Someone gifted me some violet-scented Herbin ink. It gives me a headache when I try to use it, which tells me it contains perfume oil and not essential oil. Phew!


Mont Blanc's rose-scented ink doesn't give me a headache. ::purr::

Edited by wednesday_mac

Is there life before death?

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de Atramentis Pinot Noir really does smell like red wine (very bad wine)!

Nice ink, too :)

If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; But if you really make them think, they'll hate you.


Don Marquis

US humorist (1878 - 1937)

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I like the smell of Pilot/Namiki bottled inks. Their bottled blue-black smells like blood to me o_o and their black has a "inky" smell that just smells good to me for whatever reason o_0

my pen collection: Dollar 717i Demonstrator x3, fake Hero 616, Lamy Safari EF, Manuscript Dodec, Pilot 78g x2, Platinum Preppy F x7, Reform 1745 x2, Sheaffer Calligraphy Pen, Unidentified Wearever

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I think the smell of Sailor brown in has infected my Bexley Magnum Dragon. Is that a possibility? How can I get the smell out? I can hardly use the pen any more. :bawl:

Nakaya Piccolo Heki Tamenuri 14K XF

Nakaya Ascending Dragon Heki 14K XXF

Sailor Brown Mosaic 21K Saibi Togi XXF

Sailor Maki-e Koi 21K XF

Pilot Namiki Sterling Silver Crane FP

Bexley Dragon XXF


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