Ink Review: Diamine Shimmertastic Magical Forest


Diamine Shimmertastic Magical Forest
Pen: Pilot Metropolitan (M)
Paper: Rhodia 80gsm
Shading: moderate
Saturation: low to moderate
Flow: medium wet
Dry Time: short; 13-15 seconds with a Pilot medium

The sheening and shimmering inks craze has been in full force since J. Herbin debuted their 1670 line of inks with gold flecks in them.  Since that time, Diamine took shimmering inks to a whole different level and released their "Shimmertastic" line.  The Shimmertastic line currently consists of 10 different colors, most of which were new colors that haven't seen a simmering version before from other brands.  Magical Forest was my first test of these new inks, and I have to say I am very impressed with its balance of subtlety and uniqueness.

One of my favorite things about this ink that is different than some of the J. Herbin inks, is that is has a silver sheen, or flecks, whereas the J. Herbins had a gold sheen.  I feel like silver goes well with almost any color, and pairing it with this green was a great choice.  As far as the ink properties themselves, the ink writes moderately wet, but not too wet.  I got no feathering or bleeding on my Rhodia pad or any other typical fountain pen papers.  The dry time was good at around 14 to 15 seconds with a medium Pilot nib.  The sheen itself shows up pretty well in good lighting, but it also doesn't overwhelm the color of the ink.  This might be good and bad depending on the person - myself, I like the balance a lot.

Chromatography of the ink reminds me a lot of the tie dye t-shirts we wore in middle school - very bright blue and yellow.  The ink compares closely with Diamine Woodland Green or Noodlers Gruene Cactus (it sits right in the middle).  

I really enjoyed my time with this ink.  If you're a fan of a heavy sheen or fleck in your ink, this one may not be heavy enough for you, but I feel it has a very nice balance.  Its a mid-range green, so you could easily use it in your day to day without a lot of distraction from the work you're doing.  It behaves wonderfully on most papers, and had a quick to moderate dry time.  One downside is the price - it runs $20 for a 50mL bottle at most ink vendors, whereas other Diamine inks are around $15 for 80mL.  It is a couple bucks cheaper than the J. Herbin 1670 inks, though, and you get a much bigger variety of colors that sheen.

Thanks for reading! Drop a comment and let me know what other inks you'd like to see a review of!

Ink Review: Private Reserve Avacado


Private Reserve Avacado - June 2015 Ink Drop
Pen: Lamy Al Star (F)
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm
Shading: high
Saturation: high
Flow: wet
Dry Time: 14 seconds

The final ink in this month's Ink Drop is Private Reserve Avacado.  I've actually had a bottle of this ink for a while now, but just hadn't gotten around to writing up a review.  I forget where I first learned of this ink - I want to say it was SBREBrown's Inkcyclopedia, but I'm not certain.  What drew me to it was its very unique color.  It is a nice deep green, but rather than being a flat dark green, it has a distinct yellow undertone in lighter areas.  It gives some cool color patterns in the ink and sets it apart from all other dark greens I've used.

You may notice that the ink's name "Avacado" is spelled incorrectly.  I've not found a story on why this is the case, but I suspect it was an accidental misspelling.  Private Reserve's website now spells the word correctly (Avocado), but it seems they haven't gotten around to changing the labels (or I just happened to get one of the older ones).  I'm kinda glad I got a bottle of the old label, just so I have it.  

The ink is very well behaved on my Rhodia pad.  No feathering or bleedthrough.  Luckily the ink has no noticeable spread either, and despite it's high saturation level, it does have some great shading.  Very unique.

The chromatography was neat as well.  Yellow and orange is the main component, with a tiny touch of red and blue.

As unique as this ink is, it doesn't compare to anything I've seen.  The closest I've used so far is KWZI Foggy Green, which is darker with more blue undertones.


One thing I have noticed with this ink is that it tends to crust up under the cap of the bottle.  I'm assuming this is a result of the cap letting tiny bits of air inside, as I've had this ink loaded in a pen for a while and luckily haven't had any crusting issues.  Each time I open the bottle I have to take a paper towel and scrape the ink crust off the edges of the top of the glass - kind of a pain, but at least it's not ruining my pens.

I highly recommend you try this ink out if you're a fan of greens.  It's got a very unique color and the shading is awesome.  You can pick up a 66ml bottle for $11.

Thanks for reading!

Ink Review: Iroshizuku Yama-guri (Wild Chestnut)


Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-guri - June 2015 Ink Drop
Pen: Lamy Al Star (F)
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm
Shading: low
Saturation: high
Flow: wet
Dry Time: 14 seconds
Waterproofness: only the black undertone

The fourth ink in this month's Ink Drop is Iroshizuku Yama-guri.  Yama-guri, or Wild Chestnut, is an apt name for this ink, which fits right in with the Farmer's Market theme.  A warm, dark brown, the ink reminds me of milk chocolate.

Yama-guri is a very well behaved ink, as is typical of the Iroshizuku inks.  No feathering or bleed occurred in my Rhodia pad, even with the flex nib.  The ink is pretty highly saturated, so there was minimal shading, though I've found that to be the case with a lot of the darker brown inks.  Dry time was a tiny bit high at 14 seconds, and water test shows the only portion of the ink that stays behind is a dark grey or black color.

Chromatography had quite a few colors in the mix - the greyish-black base stayed put, which makes sense based on my water tests.  then there is a dusty purple,, followed by a bit of orange, yellow and pink.  The chroma sheet was nearly identical to the Kobe #3 Sepia I did a few days ago.

Speaking of #3 Sepia, this ink definitely resembles that ink on the page.  In swab form, Sepia is a little more reddish than Yama-guri, but on the page the resemblence is closer.  Yama-guri is a tiny bit lighter with certain nibs.  KWZI Green Gold has some similar brown tones, but is quite different on the page.

I am actually really warming up to some of the brown inks out there.  Yama-guri is definitely one to check into if you're looking for a good brown ink to add to your collection.  You can get a full size bottle for $28 at most US retailers, or you can get the smaller 15mL bottle for $10.50 from Vanness Pens.

Thanks for reading!

Ink Review: Noodler's Saguaro Wine

Noodler's Saguaro Wine - June 2015 Ink Drop
Pen: Lamy Al-Star Silvergreen (F)
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm
Shading: low to moderate
Saturation: medium
Flow: wet
Dry Time: 17 seconds

The third ink in this month's Goulet Ink Drop is Noodler's Saguaro Wine.  The ink gets its name from a red fruit from the Saguaro - a cactus that grows tall over many years and is native to the western united states.  The fruit is prized by the locals, and is often made into wine - hence 'Saguaro Wine.'

The ink is nicely saturated and wet flowing.  On my Rhodia pad, it behaves quite well with no feathering, bleed or ghosting.  The ink doesn't spread either, which is a plus.  Shading is minimal because of the high saturation, but you can get some.  Noodler's doesn't list the ink as waterproof, but after a decently long soak, a faded pink line still remained on my test.

Chromatography shows a light pink which makes up most of the color, and then bit of magenta.

The closest swab in comparison that I have is Noodler's Socrates - though it differers quite a bit on paper than it does in swab form.

If you're a fan of purply-pinks, then you'll definitely like Saguaro Wine.  If you're interested in a bottle for yourself, you can get 3oz for $12.50.

Thanks for reading!