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Ten autumn inks

September. Autumn has started on the northern hemisphere. The evenings are longer, the nights already cold and the days more chilly. Yet, there is still plenty of sunshine and the leaves are starting to turn yellow, brown, and red. So what ink colors match this early Fall season? I’ve compiled a list of ten suitable colors. Fully aware that any list is arbitrary and unfair to some beautiful colors that I left out. To name a few, Montblanc’s Homage to Victor Hugo, Diamine’s Macassar, Herbin’s Lie de Thé or Cacao du Bresil, and KWZ’s Capuccino. Yes, these are all brown inks. Too early in the season. I guess I will have to write a brown ink special in a few weeks. The colors that did make it to the list are more colorful, resembling the sunshine and colorful leaves. In random order Yama-guri (Iroshizuki), Oxblood, Autumn oak, Pumpkin, Burnt Sienna (all Diamine), Rosso antico, Red fox, James Purdey & Son single malt (all Montblanc), Habanero (Noodler’s), and SBRE Brown (PW Akkerman).T…
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Citrus Black, Platinum

Citrus Black is one of the inks from the Platinum Classic ink series. A beautiful color-shifting iron gall ink that really stands out. When first applied to the paper it is a retina-destroying yellow, but then quickly changes into a darker color that resembles more olive green than citrus fruit in my opinion. But the name  maybe comes from the initial yellow which is not unlike a lemon. I had to get used to this color, but it works really well. Definitely an eye catcher in the office and unusual but perfect for personal correspondence.  The video below shows how it shifts colors on paper. 

The ink itself is a bit dry when writing, but very well behaved. A (wide) wet nib is recommended for both the color and ease of writing. Shading is beautiful and heavy, there is no feathering,  negligible show-through and drying times are reasonable. As a true iron gall ink, this ink can take a bit of water. 
It's hard to compare this ink to others. To give you an idea of the color I have compared …

Homage to Victor Hugo, Montblanc

This years writers edition of Montblanc is an homage to Victor Hugo, the French poet novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. The ink in the series is a sepia brown and very fitting for the fall I believe. The ink is a bit light, almost yellowish, but still has enough style and class to be used for both personal correspondence as well as note taking in the office. It comes in the familiar 50ml square, ribbed glass bottle. The ink has a lot of shade and as can be seen in the writing samples below, the color shifts colors, depending on nib. With a larger dip pen the color becomes a deep brown, where the ink swab and medium nib show the ink as much lighter. In the price range you may expect a wonderful ink and Victor Hugo doesn't disappoint. Beautiful shading, no feathering, no show through, excellent lubrication. Some Montblanc inks tend to be a bit dryish while writing, but this ink is very smooth and writes like a dream. Drying time (on Tomoe River paper) is 45 secs, whic…

Encre du Desert, Montblanc

Encre du Desert by Montblanc is part of the Antoine de Saint Exupéry (Petit Prince) series and a hommage to this aviation pioneer and writer. I didn't know what to expect from this ink but was pleasantly surprised. Labeled as "dark saffron"  the ink is somewhere between brown and purple; depending on nib size and light. 

I have used it for several days now, both in a work setting as for some personal communication and I think it's suited for both. Dark and distinctive enough for the office, warm and special enough for personal writings. 

The ink is very well behaved and better lubricated than most Montblanc inks. No feathering and beautiful shading. Show-through is significant, even on decent paper (Tomoe River, Rhodia, Clairefontaine). Drying time is a bit longer than average, 50 seconds on Tomoe River paper, the paper used for the review below.
Water or fluids will ruin your writing. 

Encre du Desert is a subdued, purple color that definitely leans towards brown in mos…

Habanero, by Noodler's ink

I've often called Noodler's ink very functional and not very beautiful. And even though that is mostly true, some of their colors are definitely challenging that opinion. Black Swan in Australian Roses is a beautiful ink and when I saw Habanero on Reddit, I knew I would have to buy this ink too. A color that is mostly suitable for personal writing, but with the Corona lockdown, you can use anything for work notes while in a video call. 
High shading, no feathering, no significant show-through, and decent lubrication. The ink writes really nice. However, it is very wet and has an extremely long drying time. On Tomoe river paper it looks wet for more than half an hour and smears very easily, even after 45-60 minutes. This of course does limit the possible use of the ink, less suitable for a notebook or journaling.  Once dry, a little bit of water will ruin it, but the ink remains legible if you're quick enough with a kitchen towel. 
Compared to other orange inks this one is br…

Roasted Chestnut, Diamine

My second ink from the 2019 Diamine inktvent series, bought in a full size bottle. A medium dark brown that reminds me of cold winter nights with a fireplace. Warm enough for personal correspondence and writing, but subtle enough for work notes as well.
Not surprisingly for a Diamine ink, the ink behaves really well with high, beautiful shading. No feathering, good lubrication, negligible show-through and a quite wet ink. Drying times are average, 35 seconds on Tomoe River paper.  The ink doesn't like water much, even a little bit of water will ruin the writing. Diamine calls this a standard ink, there is no sheen or shimmer. 
The bottle is beautiful, but as the Jack Frost ink, putting the cap back on straight is impossible, the threading in the cap is quite poor. 
I have compared the ink to a few other medium dark browns. Herbin's Terre de Feu is more red, Lie de The comes close (a bit more light) and Diamine's Cacao Shimmer is - besides the shimmer - a lot lighter. 
Roasted C…

Moss Green, Graf von Faber Castell

After not having used it for a year or so, I decided to ink a pen with Graf von Faber Castell's Moss Green. A lush, dark green ink that fits the current spring weather well. I'm not a huge fan of green inks, but every now and then I like to write with them.  Despite any prejudices people might have against green ink, I believe this ink can be used for note taking in the office, or for any personal communication and notes. 
The ink writes really well, the shading is high and beautiful. There is no feathering and despite the dark color, the show-through is negligible. Lubrication is good and wetness low to moderate. Despite that, the drying time is above average: 45 seconds.  The ink doesn't like water very much. It might remain readable for a rewrite, but even after two days, a minimal amount of water ruins the ink. 
Compared to other dark green inks, this ink comes relatively close to KWZ's IG Green #3. Vert Empire is a much duller color. Emeraude de Chivor is slightly les…