Stop and Smell the Roses

Ink Drop, May 2015: Wake Up and Smell the Roses

I have been a member of Goulet Pens’ Ink Drop since September 2014. My monthly ink samples have become a part of my life that reminds me to take time to enjoy something beautiful—an important reminder in the midst of the busy semester or even in the midst of my researching and writing during the summer. I have found a rhythm with my ink sampling to the extent that it has become vaguely ritualistic. Maybe it is the interruption of that ritual that has made this month’s Ink Drop feel so special.

Usually, I sit down at my dining table with the samples, a couple notebooks, a cup of water, paper towels, my Safari, and my Serwex flex pen. I go in the order that the inks are listed on the enclosed card, discovering each on its own. I try the inks in both pens, record my thoughts in my ink journal, wash the pens, and move on to the next ink.

Both last month and this month, this ritual has been interrupted. Last month, I hurried through the samples because the common area in my apartment is not air conditioned—a serious problem in Texas. I swapped out my regular test pens for a dip pen and didn’t even try the colors out in my regular pens (something that I am now thinking I might need to do).

I suppose that I shouldn’t blame my interrupted ritual entirely on the environment. The truth is that the most recent few Ink Drops haven’t been my cup of tea. Whereas at the beginning, I was ordering full bottles of my favorite colors, lately, I haven’t found a color that I truly loved enough to order even another sample of. This is probably more because I’ve been busy and also because I’m in love with the ink I already own than because of any poor choices with the inks chosen for the drops. They’re always beautiful, even if not my choice colors.

So, this month I was pleased to find a renewed interest in the colors I received. I knew that things would be different from the moment I opened the De Atramentis Hyacinth. I opened the vial and noticed immediately not the color, but the scent. Looking back at the theme for the month, “Wake Up and Smell the Roses,” I had to smile. Well played, Goulet. Not only

are the colors rose-themed, the inks are scented.

Each of these lovely colors has a beautiful smell in addition to a beautiful color.


De Atramentis Hyacinth

is a truly blue blue and I'm not sure the photo above does it any justice. It reminds me of the Kaweco Blue that comes with the pen and I love it. It would be great for taking notes in class or general writing. The smell is beautiful. It dries quickly. All in all, I'm considering purchasing a bottle when my sample runs out. 


Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses

is another beautiful color with a great smell. In fact, I probably like the smell more than the color. It takes a while to dry, but I think it's still lovely. I've used other Noodler's scented inks and loved them, as well (the black roses ink is to die for!). I don't like this color as much as some of my other red inks, so I probably won't buy it (it's a little dull in comparison to, say, Diamine Red Dragon). I'll probably save this sample for next semester and use it to grade.

If you're like me, you're probably wondering why on earth anyone would make a yellow ink for a fountain pen, but I guess that some people use it to draw or do art. Also, the Mix Free line was developed so that people could mix the colors freely, so maybe that's the reason for having a yellow. Either way, the

Platinum Mix Free Sunny Yellow 

has dries quickly and is a lovely color, but not practical for me.



Pigmented Rose Red

 is a great color. I really like the way that it looks on paper as well as the way it looks in the vial. The second I saw it, though, I knew that this must be one of those inks that can gum up a pen quickly. After some research, I discovered that I was right. The term "pigmented" means that the ink is meant to last longer and dry faster, but in turn it can stain or block up the pen you're using. According to the articles I found, you probably shouldn't put it in a pen that you won't use every day or that you don't mind replacing. That being said, I'm still considering buying a bottle because the color is great and I go through

a lot

 of red ink in my daily life. Sometimes, I use red exclusively.

Last, but not least, the

Waterman Harmonious Green


I have to say, I had high hopes for this one because my favorite ink of all time is a Waterman ink (Inspired Blue). I do like this color and the ink. It dries quickly and has a great green color. But, I'm not a green ink person, so I probably won't be buying any of this anytime soon.

All in all, this was a great sampling of inks and a great opportunity to take a break from my real life. It took a while to review, but I enjoyed every minute of it.