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.

INK SWAB 206: L’Artisan Pastellier Classique Bouton D’Or


I’m always on the look-out for new (to me) fun inks to try.  I recently discovered Ink by the ML and maybe went a little crazy with samples.

L’Artisan Pastellier Classique Bouton D’or is a terrific yellow/orange. I would say that this swab scanned a bit darker than the color is in real life. Some people may find this one a bit too light to have a practical application – I, however, adore it and will be hunting down a full-sized bottle.

So, since we’re on the topic, which off-the-beaten-path inks do you adore?

Where I’ve Been

I’ve been missing from here (still active on Instagram) for a little over a month – an amazing, incredible, life-changing month.  You see, more than twenty years ago I stopped having contact with my family of origin. I’ve managed to piece together a pretty awesome group of people who I’m proud to call family. There’s Mr. Pentulant and his amazing stick-together-no-matter-what family who welcomed me 100% into their fold. There’s an unbelievable friend who always made me feel like family – and even let me borrow his from time to time. And when my perfect son met and married his perfect girl, I felt that I had a whole family. I was good to go, chugging right along, happy, fulfilled, and living a pretty blessed life.

Last month, I heard from my sister. We started out slowly, but that didn’t last long. Pretty quickly, we were sending messages at the speed of light – learning about each other and (re)discovering all that we have in common.

We made plans to meet at the end of September in Portland, but then changed those plans and met in New York last week. We wandered through museums, saw a couple of musicals, had Starbucks, and sat around in our stretchy pants while I kicked her butt at Boggle.

There were some awkward silences. Some, “I wonder if she likes me,” on both sides (she does, I do!), but overall, we nailed it.

I’m going to Florida soon for her birthday. I’ll meet her husband, her daughter, her son, her puppies, and maybe even a friend or two. Oh, and she says she’s been practicing Boggle. (I’ll still win.)

It is astounding – how extraordinarily changed my life is.

I’ll get back to doing what I do here – posting inks swabs and pen reviews. I just need a moment to catch my breath and take it all in.

INK REVIEW: Diamine Blue Velvet



Blue Velvet is part of the Anniversary Collection from Diamine to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the brand.  150 years!  The collection is comprised of eight different inks in these fancy wedge-shaped bottles.

I’m just going to put it right out there – I LOVE Diamine Blue Velvet. Big love.

Letting the pictures do the talking here . . .


IMG_3829.JPG IMG_3826.JPG IMG_3825.JPG IMG_3827.JPG IMG_3824.JPG IMG_3828.JPG


Bottom Line – amazing color, some shading, great saturation, flow is excellent from the Pilot Elite I tested with (more on that pen another day). Big love. Big honkin’ love.