INK REVIEW: Visconti Purple

As I mentioned when I reviewed the Monteverde Limonada earlier this week, Goulet Pens also sent along Visconti Purple ink for me to try. This is my first Visconti ink to review in detail.

It’s impossible not to notice the unique Visconti packaging. The oddly-shaped bottle arrives in a hard plastic two-piece box that can be used for storage. The plastic bottle is designed in such a way that as a writer reaches those last few precious milliliters of ink, the ink is in a very small area, and therefore quite easy to reach with the nib. No tipping the bottle or using a syringe/dropper required.

This would be a genius design . . . except it’s not.  The bottle is top heavy and even being super-duper careful, I was concerned about tipping it over as I filled my pen.

Mr. Pentulant suggested that perhaps I should place the bottle of ink into the lid of the box to fill a pen, but that was awkward, too.

The bottle aside – look at that color!

How does it write?  Quite wonderfully! It’s a bright shade of purple with solid saturation. At first, I wasn’t sure that I liked the brightness of the purple – I thought it was perhaps a little too rainbows and unicorns. After using it over the past few days, though, I’ve grown to appreciate the color and don’t think it’s as little girlish as the swab seems to indicate.

I had no trouble with the ink’s behavior at all. The pen started right up, I’ve had no flow issues, no bleeding, and I would say this is neither a particularly wet or dry ink. There was a teeny tiny amount of spreading on a couple of lesser quality papers.

Dry time isn’t bad!

Overall, this is a really nice ink and I can see myself using it regularly.

As usual, I waited to read reviews until after I’d formed my opinions about Visconti Purple. It seems that people over on FPN really went crazy for it when the ink was first released in 2012/2013 and I can see why – look at this shading! The Limonada is a medium nib, but it leans toward fine to me. I’m going to have to give this ink a go in a broader nib.

Thank you, Goulet Pens, for giving me the opportunity to try a new-to-me brand of ink! Here’s a link to the sample and one to the full-sized bottle.

Keep an eye on Instagram for more writing samples and I’d love to hear all about your experiences with Visconti inks.

INK REVIEW: Diamine Purple Pazzazz

Every now and then, there’s lots of excitement about a new product line in the pen community. Diamine Shimmering Inks definitely caused a lot of speculation and conversation.

When Pen Chalet asked if I wanted a bottle in exchange for posting a review with my honest opinions, my reply was, “Send me the purple!”

Diamine Purple Pazzazz Ink Swab

After gently shaking the bottle, I swabbed Purple Pazzazz (the spelling kills me!) on both a smooth card and a textured Mnemosyne Word Card.

(Important Side Note:  Mnemosyne Word Cards are no longer being produced. If you use these for your swabs and are worried about running out, you may want to get them while they’re still semi-available.)

I love the Purple Pazzazz’s color. A nice deep, rich purple and and the gold shimmer is present, but not overwhelming.

I like using Lamy Safari / Al-Star for new-to-me inks. The Safari pens perform consistently for me and nearly all inks work well in them. I selected a broad nib to encourage lots of shimmery goodness.

I’m bummed that the gold shimmer isn’t noticeable in my writing samples. I definitely gave the bottle a good shake before filling. Maybe it’s the paper (HP 32lb.) I’m using?

Gold bits aside, Purple Pazzazz (that spelling!) is a wonderful ink.  The color is a dark dark eggplanty purple. It performs well with no issues whatsoever.

Diamine is so smart. The color of the lid on each of their Shimming Inks is the color of the shimmer – gold or silver. The opening of the bottle seems a little narrow to me, but the Safari was able to be dunked in there with no trouble at all.

Making spatters is a guilty pleasure.

Lovely gold shimmy-shimmy in the spatters.

I’m going to need to give Purple Pazzazz another try. I really want to see that golden sheen in handwriting.

I mentioned above that the Diamine Shimmering Inks comes in ten different colors – below are swabs of the nine I have. I missed Brandy Dazzle, darn it.  Fortunately, Pen Chalet included a coupon in my box for 10% off my next order and I’m about to take advantage of that.

Keep an eye on my Instagram feed and here as I try out more from this line and please let me know your writing experiences with them, too!

REVIEW: Pilot Iroshizuku Mini Boxed Set


I love Pilot Iroshizuku. The brand writes amazingly well for me and I’m fond of nearly all the colors. Big love, for sure.

This Pilot Iroshizuku Mini Boxed Set came to me courtesy of Goulet Pens. They made me promise to give my honest opinion in exchange.

I had mixed feelings about reviewing this item – I knew I would love at least two of the inks (I already did), but would I love the packaging? You know, probably not – it was most likely just a throwaway. How wrong I was.

Let’s dive in . . .

Removing the thick white paper/cardboard protective sleeve reveals a hard plastic hinged case. The case has a satin finish, beveled edges, and is very sturdy and well-constructed. I’m immediately impressed.

Even though Goulet Pens sent the Boxed Set as a freebie, I still got a sucker pop. Score!

Flipping the lid reveals the three 15ml Pilot Iroshizuku Inks – Kon-peki, Yama-budo, and Tsukushi.

And, again, I’m impressed with the box design and padding. The bottom custom-cut hard foam holds the ink securely in place and the padding on top adds extra protection for the thick glass Pilot Iroshizuku bottles.

A wonderful variety of colors.

The case is wonderful, but what about the inks?

Kon-peki is a beautiful beautiful bright blue. It was one the first inks I reviewed and then I did a fun comparison of it and Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuyu-kusa.

Yama-budo is a delicious grape purple ink. I use it regularly and compared it to Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses in this review. It’s become a favorite.

Almost two years ago, I reviewed Tsukushi. I loved the performance, but not the brown color. I swabbed it earlier this year and didn’t think it was so bad, after all. Keep an eye on my Instagram feed this week, I plan to try it again – third time’s the charm?

This Boxed Set would make an amazing and thoughtful gift for any fountain pen user. If you’re considering this for yourself, it would definitely protect your bottles while traveling.

Are you concerned that 15ml won’t be enough ink? If you’ve found your perfect dream ink, 15ml will never be enough. If you’re like me and change inks as often as you change your nail polish, it could be plenty. 15ml should give you enough ink for at least eight fills – depending on your pen/converter.

Let’s talk money for a moment. This set sells for $32 at Goulet Pens. They don’t sell the 15ml bottles individually, but I’ve seen those on other sites for $14 each. Easy math.

Full-size (50ml) bottles of Pilot Iroshizuku sell for $28 each at Goulet Pens. That amounts to $.56 per ml. For the 45ml of ink we’re getting in this set, we’re paying $.71 per ml – and we’re getting three different inks – and we’re getting the fancy case.

You’ll decide for yourself, of course, but I think this is a good value for the set and the money.

Everything Pilot Iroshizuku is high-quality and this set is no exception. If you love (or want to try) the colors or are looking for the perfect gift, this set is for you.

I paid nothing for this set from Goulet Pens and the opinions are all mine, always.