Always a noteworthy day for us ink mavens when a new batch of inkdrop samples arrive from Goulet Pens. Of course, after one look at the ink already stacked up in my workroom almost anyone would write me off as hopelessly obsessed. I remember chatting with nibmeister Nobuhiko Moriyama in Tokyo one day, and his casual comment—with a smile and the experience of having seen it often enough—that I was suffering from an ink malady. I plead guilty, if guilty is the correct word. I like my ink and sometimes feel undressed if there aren’t multi-colored ink stains on all ten fingers.
As is the case in each and every aspect of business at gouletpens.com, the inkdrop samples go out in the mail promptly on the first day of each month. Not the first time to say it, but no one beats Brian and Rachel in customer service. They do it all so very, very well. As is usual, the samples arrived in my mailbox before the fifth day of the month. Unlike last month however, the five samples this month arrived with the names of each sample attached. April was “Guess What” month as far as the brands and names went, an experiment that didn’t work for me, but in defense of Brian and Rachel’s unnamed mail outs, they did include labels this month for the unnamed ink last month.
The five inkdrop samples this time are: (1) Noodler’s Apache Sunset, (2) Diamine Majestic Blue, (3) J Herbin Poussière de Lune, (4) Iroshizuku Kon Peki and (5) Noodler’s Cactus Fruit Eel. Forget for a moment the individual colors and consider what a impressive set of inks this is as a group. Brian calls them the ‘Goulet Favorites’ and in response to that I am prompted to say the man has perfect pitch in putting one ink against another and another. The five shades seen in the photo here are well matched—the spicy orange Apache working so well with the dusky purple from J Herbin, the Iroshizuku blue a perfect sidekick to the richness of the Diamine Majestic, and that matchless Cactus Fruit tying the knot.
No attempt here to evaluate the in-pen-on-paper qualities of the inks, too much enjoyment this first trial just splashing and dabbing, swishing and smearing with brush and Q-tip. The Iroshizuku Kon Peki is an old friend, one that has impressed for a long time with its behavior in a number of different pens and on different paper. Thanks to recommendations from Brian I’ve come to know that Diamine is a class ink, rarely failing to please in saturation, shading and depth of color. Noodler’s ink has on one or two occasions disappointed when it comes to performance, but that is by no means a write off. Several Noodler’s inks are among my regulars. J Herbin in my experience has never performed as anything but an excellent high quality ink in all the fountain pens I’ve paired it with. Why should the Poussière de Lune be any different?
I look forward to filling a few pages with each of the five inks and getting an idea of what they look like coloring words and not just splotches. The Cactus Fruit especially is calling my name.