Inks 3: Purple, Blue & Green

Note: The color swatches below were made with a swab on Clairefontaine Triomphe paper. I covered the entire length with a back and forth, then re-dipped and went over the first half again, to get an idea of the shade range of each ink. All these tests were white-point corrected with a preset correction curve, to keep the different colors from affecting the correction curves of each one. They are as accurate to the original as I can make them, but as you know, screens vary….

+ Indicates sample vial only

* Indicates scented ink

Company/Ink; Comments Swatch

Private Reserve Ebony Purple

Deep purple with charcoal tones, nearly black. This ink actually reads black in finer nibs, or under any but the brightest light.

Scribal Workshop Cryptid Series, “Nessie”

A new brand, introduced by Goulet Pens. An absolutely HUGE bottle, of what seems so far to be a very well-made ink. This is a nice deep purple, more visibly purple than PR’s Ebony Purple, but with that nice plum-ish tone, more red than Diamine’s Imperial. I like it!

Pelikan Violet

Nice violet purple, actually a color I might associate with violets. (Although in reality, I suspect they may run more to the blue, but it matches the violets on my vintage chine to a T!) If it has a flaw, it is a lack of saturation, and a dry-ish flow.

Noodler’s La Reine Mauve +

A beautiful deep blue-ish purple, that has the advantage of being ‘bulletproof.’ Its permanence comes at the cost of any shading, but it’s a great color, and waterproofs are always nice for letters, signatures, and so on.

Diamine Imperial Purple

Nice clear purple, not too blue, not too pinky. Some shading, but never gets too ‘solid.’ (Did an odd sort of color shift thing in the scan, but it doesn’t look that way on the paper.)

Levenger Amythyst

Levenger’s purple is a bright clear purple that leans blue. It’s more brilliant than the Lavender below, but close in terms of hue. A bold and well behaved ink!


Diamine Lavender+

This is a pretty blue-purple, but not what I’d call Lavender. It’s bluer that any of the other purples I have, but still unquestionably purple. Seems to shade nicely, and wuld likely really shine in a broad or calligraphy nib.

Caran d’Ache Blue Sky

A basic cobalt blue, much like Pelikan’s Brilliant Blue or Herbin’s Eclat du Saphir, though with much better shading characteristics than either. I’m not a fan of true blues, but the depth and variance in this one might win me over. Or maybe not, since this is one of CdA’s now discontinued line.


Pelikan Blue

A very brilliant ‘true blue.’ Nice enough, even though blues are not my favorite range. Like the other two ‘true blues’ I have, it seems not to shade much at all. It’s deeper than the Eclat duSaphir, and brighter than the Florida blue, so I think it’s my favorite of the three.


Herbin Eclat Du Saphir

A ‘bluer than blue’ kind of blue. Lighter than Waterman Florida, but with a similar lack of shading. (It’s actually a truer blue that shows in the scan, equally dark but just a shade brighter than the Florida Blue above.)

Waterman Florida Blue

Your quintessential Royal blue. Only the barest hint of shading, tends to dry to a uniform shade regardless of amount of ink laid down. (I did all of these swatches the same way.)


De Atramentis Myrrh *

One of the fainter scents of all my DA scented inks, and again, a bit of an odd choice to match the scent. Still, it’s a gorgeous color, a rich teal-ish blue.


J. Herbin Bleu Azur

This is a light, summer-sky sort of blue. I actually got this as a possible¬†highlighter ink, for which is is OK, but far from eye-catching. I’ve since sworn lifelong allegiance to Pelikan’s Highlighter ink, which I have yet to be able to photograph!

Visconti Aquamarine

This is another of the older, large glass champagne style bottles. Aquamarine is a good name for this color; it evokes the gem, and shades to a deeper marine blue-green.


De Atramentis Aircraft *

Brilliant sky blue with just a hint of turquoise, shades to a clear ultramarine blue. Odd, but not unpleasant jet-fuel scent.

Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron

One of the Warden series bullet-proof inks from Nathan Tardif at Noodler’s. Lighter and brighter than Bad Belted Kingfisher, but with a bit less shading and not as… dramatic. Still a blue I can get along with!


Noodler’s FPN Van Gogh Starry Night +

I hear raves about this blue, but frankly, it doesn’t do much for me. Then again, I’m not a big fan of blues to begin with. It’s a deep, dark, blue-black, sort of a navy. Doesn’t shade much.

Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher

As far as blues go, I really like this. It’s a blue blue (as in not greenish or grey-ish, as many blue-blacks tend to be), and it has a richness that reminds me of a sapphire ring my grandmother had. Also, bullet-proof!

De Atramentis Charles Darwin

A.K.A. ‘Blue Jeans.’ Deep navy blue, not too royal, not too green. Lighter range is a true denim hue. Lovely!

Mont Blanc Blue-Black (vintage, c. 1970s)

I nabbed a couple of vintage Mont Blanc inks in the plastic bottles. I had high hopes, but given that the plastic (similar to that used in many ink cartridges) will leech moisture, I suspect that these brimful bottles had at least partially evaporated and were diluted. I’m not generally a blue-black (or blue) fan, but I”d have liked to see the original color at least. As it is, it will be part of my vintage collection, not my active rotation.


De Atramentis Petrol

Subdued but intense blue-green. Ranges from a sort of dark celadon/aqua to a deep stormy midnight ocean. Hard to describe, but a really beautiful color!

Private Reserve Blue Suede

Very bright turquoise blue, almost a green. In fact, I’d say this is closer to the Visconti Green than to any of the other blues I have. Shades to a nice deep teal, and loses a bit of that electric blue/green when writing.

Visconti Green

Bright and Christmasy emerald green with a definite hint of turquoise, particularly in the lighter range, shades to more of a spruce. (Glass bottle.)

Mont Blanc Green (vintage, c.1970s)

I nabbed a couple of vintage Mont Blanc inks in the plastic bottles. I had high hopes, but given that the plastic (similar to that used in many ink cartridges) will leech moisture, I suspect that these brimful bottles had at least partially evaporated and were diluted. It’s a shame, as this would have been a stunning color in full strength. As it is, it will be part of my vintage collection, not my active rotation.

Levenger Gemstone Green

This is a nice deep green that leans blue, but not too far. It doesn’t shade much, but balances at a pleasing emerald, and is a well-performing ink.


Noodler’s Bad Green Gator

Another offering from the ‘bullet-proof’ Warden Series inks. I like this a lot, but I think I prefer the Polar Green but a hairsbreadth, though there is, in fact, very little difference between them.

Noodler’s Polar Green

Waterproof, lubricating, non-freezing, and green. Very similar to the Bad Green Gator, but I think my preference for this year’s holiday cards.

Stipula Musk Green

This is an odd color, not quite brown, not really green. I’m actually not entirely sure why I bought it (unless it was an attempt to not buy another brown…). I haven’t really tried it out yet, but I think this might be a love or hate ink. I can see it having a really pleasing vintage look to it…. Watch this space.


De Atramentis Ghost

Mournful green-grey, another tough one to describe. Think old mossy wood, stained green over water-logged grey. Has a very evocative (considering the name) scent of pine, water and camphor – makes me think of haunted mansions in the Bayou. Or something….


Private Reserve Avocado

Lovely soft middle green, not too yellow, but vivid. Subdued enough not to scream ‘green,’ but bright enough to be fresh and verdant. Shades from olive to deep pine.

Noodler’s Green Marine +

A very vibrant, intense dark green. I love this color! Semi-waterproof, meaning it will bleed out a regular cloud of green, but won’t actually go away.

Noodler’s Sequoia

Deep, cool, pine green, close to black when wet, shades to a deep hunter when dry.



De Artramentis Sandalwood *

A scented ink in a cool green that leans just a touch to the blue, but still a pure green. The scent is a kind of soapy rendition of sandalwood, rather reminiscent of Bee & Flower Sandalwood soap.


De Artramentis Neroli *

A clear, energetic spring green, a hint of yellow without being washed out, and a heady rich floral scent of Neroli. A perfect ink for early summer!

Inks 1:
Orange, Red, Pink & Burgundy

Inks 2:
Rust, Brown, Grey & Black

Inks 3:
Purple, Blue & Green

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