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Scents of Australia

Blackstone Inks have released a set of inks called Scents of Australia. FPN member Jamerelbe has already done a set of reviews on them, as has member Lgsoltek, so I thought I would do a comparative review, between the six inks, and a couple of others for comparison.

The six inks are Australian Bush (khaki green), Blue Gum (dark teal blue), Blue Cypress (greeny blue), Red Kunzea (red), Wild Orange (orange) and Brown Boronia (brown).

The scents are floral, but apart from the Wild Orange (which has a citrus-y smell) I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the other scents. The Aus. Bush definitely has a scent of clean, mild Eucalyptus.

The scents are not intense. You can smell them when you open the lid of a bottle, and if you hold the nib up to your nose, but once the ink has been written and dried, you can’t smell anything.

What has taken some time has been working up a suitable method to do the comparisons. I have a set of 3 Jinhao X-750 pens, all adjusted to be similar in wetness, and with Asian Medium nibs, so I did three inks at a time. I wrote samples on 4 different papers — old stock Reflex (OSR) to demonstrate a poor quality paper, Fuji-Xerox Sustainable Earth (FXSE) and J. Burrows Premium (JBP) for medium quality office paper and Japanese Muji paper to show shading and sheen.

Because I had three similar pens, I did three inks at a time, starting with the Blue-Green inks, followed by the Red-Orange inks. Above the Blue-Green I did a comparative sample of Monteverde Horizon Blue (a well-behaved Medium-Wet ink) and below a sample of Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue (a Medium-Dry ink).

The Australian Bush sample came as a pre-release version called Gum Trees. The other five samples are retail versions.


The Scented Inks are, generally, wettish inks, but they are quite well behaved on modern papers. Most of them are wetter than the Monteverde Horizon Blue, but there is some spread between them.

The Australian Bush is the wettest of the six inks, and the Brown Boronia is definitely the driest. The other four — Blue Cypress, Blue Gum, Red Kunzea and Wild Orange are in between, and pretty much the same degree of wetness.

None of the scented inks showed any feathering on any of the papers, although the Monteverde H.B. showed a little on the old stock Reflex.

All of the inks showed some degree of bleeding on the OSR, with the Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue, the Brown Boronia and the Wild Orange showing the least. There was no bleeding on any of the other papers.

The only ink to show any spreading at all was the Australian Bush, the wettest of the inks.

The Blue-Green inks all showed noticeable shading on all the papers except the OSR. The Blue Gum showed the greatest degree of shading. As well, examination of the edges with a loupe show a degree of sheen.

There was little to no shading or sheen demonstrated by any of the Red-Orange inks.

The inks are all far too wet to be used in a dip pen – they need to be used in a fountain pen with a proper feed.

Five of the six inks appear to be quite saturated, the exception being the Brown Boronia. I can’t tell if it is the dyes used, or the concentration, but the Brown Boronia doesn’t appear to be much more intense than the Pelikan Blue.

The Scans

There are lots of images here, because I scanned on four types of paper, and showed the back of two of them.

First, the best paper, Muji Refill paper. I only did the front, because there was nothing to show on the back.

Muji Front




Next, the worst paper, old stock Reflex, showing the front, and bleeding on the back

OSR Front



OSR Back



Finally, the middle-of-the-range paper, J.Burrows Premium

JBP Front



JBP Back



I haven't included the Fuji-Xerox sample because it duplicates the J.Burrows Premium results.


“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.

And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

Granny Aching

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Thank you for your comparison which is very helpful and reminds me to order the Australian bush!

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Hey DC, my sample of Blue Cypress looks like your Blue Gum, and my Blue Gum is like your Cypress. I think either my samples or yours are mixed up.


Well, looking at Jamerelbe's review of Blue Gum, his Blue Gum is bluer than his Blue Cypress, which is quite green.




“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.

And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

Granny Aching

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Great comparison!

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Well, looking at Jamerelbe's review of Blue Gum, his Blue Gum is bluer than his Blue Cypress, which is quite green.





Hmm... I just checked with Mishka5050 who sent me the samples. She and I did find our Blue Cypress to be bluer, and Blue Gum greener. It's also what the official swabs on Blackstone's website show. However their text description calls Blue Cypress a "green/blue" and Blue Gum a "blue/green". Well it's confusing. I guess we'll have to ask Kevin...

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Great comparison. I think I'll have to see a check-up on who's who before I order them (or some of them).

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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JustWrite Pen Company

I'm sorry for the confusion with Blue Gum and Blue Cypress. I just checked the Blackstone website and the Blue Gum and Blue Cypress swatches had been transposed. They are both blue/green inks and can look very similar. I did debate about whether to release two inks so similar but the scents of both the Blue gum and Blue Cypress were just too appealing despite the similarity in colour.


Blue Gum is a definite blue colour with a hint of green and Blue Cypress has a very definite greenish tint. Both inks contain the same blue and green dyes only in different proportions and while I am very pleased with the two inks, on reflection it was probably not a good idea to use the same blue and green dyes. With different nibs, paper and lighting they can look very similar at times and it can be difficult to separate them in scans and photographs.


Once again, my apologies for the mix-up and I have changed the swatches and descriptions.

Kevin Watson
Blackstone Ink :: JustWrite Pen Company, Australia
Website: www.justwrite.com.au www.blackstone.inkEmail: info@justwrite.com.au

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Australian Bush and Brown Boronia look very well. Very, very well.


They are BEAUTIFUL colours...



Boronia can look flat in Tomoe (surprise.. surprise)... but it shades wonderfully on regular paper. :wub: :wub:





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"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge." -Stephen Hawking,

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Of the inks, the Blue Gum is my favourite. I can't understand why, as it is not my normal shade of blue, but it just seems to have a sort of glow or aura about it, and that shading -- to die for. Anyway, it currently lives in a stainless steel Jinhao X-750 and goes with me to work.


“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.

And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

Granny Aching

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