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Thread: The smell of ink

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    Senior Member R.A. Stewart's Avatar
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    Default The smell of ink

    Is it just me being weird, or does anyone else like the smell of fountain pen ink?

    To me it's a subtle metallic tang (with the merest hint of blood--OK, that is me being weird), more noticeable in some inks than others. My Waterman Intense Black has only a very faint aroma, for instance, whereas I seem to remember a pretty noticeable smell with the Parker Quink I used in high school and college. (I'm talking about in the bottle, of course, not while writing or on the paper.)

    Goodnight for now--time to sniff my nightly bottle and turn in.

    ~Rich, bringing the weirdness since 1950

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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    Haaahhhww... (inhales deeply, nose fractions of an inch over the rim of an open ink bottle, ink stains on said schnozzle giving testimony to the fact that he sometimes gets too close) ...off course we do! I love the different fragrances both of unscented and scented inks.
    Last edited by inklord; February 27th, 2017 at 08:38 AM. Reason: typo

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    Senior Member R.A. Stewart's Avatar
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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    Thank you! I was seriously worried when I logged into the site just now ... like, "Have I pinned a big 'Too Weird to Deal With!' sign on myself?" Wait, though, there are different fragrances? Scented and unscented inks? Oooooh, I've got lots to learn.

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    Senior Member Paddler's Avatar
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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    Some stick inks are scented with a substance called "borneol" that starts out smelling like incense and gradually changes to camphor on the paper. Try that on your weird meter; it will likely peg it.

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    Senior Member Dreck's Avatar
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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    Quote Originally Posted by R.A. Stewart View Post
    Thank you! I was seriously worried when I logged into the site just now ... like, "Have I pinned a big 'Too Weird to Deal With!' sign on myself?" Wait, though, there are different fragrances? Scented and unscented inks? Oooooh, I've got lots to learn.
    De Atramentis offers several scented inks. My daughter is partial to the lilac-scented.

    Here in the US of A, I do believe that Goulet Pens is the only purveyor of De Atramentis' line of scented offerings.

    IMO, the absolutely best smelling ink is Noodler's 54th Massachusetts.
    Last edited by Dreck; February 27th, 2017 at 03:18 PM. Reason: more info
    Πάντα ζωής θεολόγικος

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    Senior Member SIR's Avatar
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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    KWZ inks have a unique, interesting, and actually quite pleasant - almost addictive, even - aroma.

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    Senior Member naimitsu's Avatar
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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreck View Post
    De Atramentis offers several scented inks. My daughter is partial to the lilac-scented.
    I'm not a fan of De Atramentis' scented inks. Most of the floral ones smell like old lady perfume... sorta overpowering and distinctly chemical/artificial.

    I have tried Apple Blossom, Black Rose, Red Rose, Blackcurrant, Tobacco, Jasmine, Violets, and Patchouli.
    With the worst offenders being Blackcurrant for "smelling like my nan" according to Sammyo and Patchouli for smelling like unwashed hippy.
    If Lilac is a more natural floral scent, I might give that one a whirl.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    My moderate collection of inks ranges from inconsequential to 'interesting' in aroma, and there is only one ink that I can actually identify by smelling the feed and nib when it is in a pen: Namiki Blue. Quite unique, and gives me the same vibes as when the office helper would return to the classroom with a freshly printed stack of mimeographed pages. If that ink was laid down thick enough, a good whiff could give visions, I swear.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    Scented inks: the only ones I really like are from Abraxas Basel - they use real essential oils and therefore you don't get the more chemical smell of some brands; their lavender ink is a great antidote to winter blues and their "Liebestinte" ("Ink of Love"), a bright crimson ink, has the real, true fragrance of centifolia roses. But I'm close to getting addicted to some Sailor inks' "inherent" fragrance as well. And now that Jon mentioned it, I'll have to try Namiki Blue...
    P.S. given past centuries' hygiene (or rather, lack thereof), I always hoped that De Atramentis "Alexander Hamilton" was not a scented ink...

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    Senior Member migo984's Avatar
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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    Given the derivation of its name, perhaps it's shouldn't be a surprise that the smell of some bottles of the eponymic Diamine Sargasso Sea is reminiscent of rotting seaweed.

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    inklord (March 1st, 2017), naimitsu (March 2nd, 2017)

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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    I was just thinking about the different scents of ink at the office this afternoon. I recently put a cartridge of J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage into a pen. Most of my inks aren't really obvious as the go down on paper. This one is noticeable and not what I consider pleasant.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, my bottle of MB Seasons Greetings Brown smells delicious. As was intended, it reminds me of the x-mas holiday season with notes of cinnamon and sugar which remind me of cookies and pies. I don't use the ink too often (never dries), but I do occasionally pop the top and smell it.

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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    I sorely miss the distinctive smell of the old Waterman's Blue-Black - it's been a long time.

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    Senior Member naimitsu's Avatar
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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    Quote Originally Posted by migo984 View Post
    Given the derivation of its name, perhaps it's shouldn't be a surprise that the smell of some bottles of the eponymic Diamine Sargasso Sea is reminiscent of rotting seaweed.
    Now that you mention it, that's probably why I couldn't stand the smell of that ink! I knew that it was unpleasant to the nose, and I got the sense that it was more than the overly inky smell. It's been awhile since I've been around rotting seaweed, so it wasn't what came to mind immediately.

    Thank you for unwittingly solving one of my conundrums!

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    Senior Member R.A. Stewart's Avatar
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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    Quote Originally Posted by naimitsu View Post
    I'm not a fan of De Atramentis' scented inks. ... With the worst offenders being Blackcurrant for "smelling like my nan" according to Sammyo and Patchouli for smelling like unwashed hippy. ...
    Ah, see, that one intrigues me. Though I did wash back in the 60s, the era left me with an abiding love for patchouli.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    My moderate collection of inks ranges from inconsequential to 'interesting' in aroma, and there is only one ink that I can actually identify by smelling the feed and nib when it is in a pen: Namiki Blue. Quite unique, and gives me the same vibes as when the office helper would return to the classroom with a freshly printed stack of mimeographed pages. If that ink was laid down thick enough, a good whiff could give visions, I swear.
    Memories! Maybe those early experiences of mimeo ink primed me for later, um, vision quests.

    This whole conversation has been fascinating for me. With my limited ink experience, I had no idea there was such variety out there. I really appreciate the observations and impressions that everyone has been sharing.

    It all makes scents now.

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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    Quote Originally Posted by SIR View Post
    KWZ inks have a unique, interesting, and actually quite pleasant - almost addictive, even - aroma.
    Indeed! I have been trying them for the first time, thanks to Massdrop, and I was really surprised by the smell. Some vanilla in the recipe?

  20. #16
    alexander_k
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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    One of my earliest memories of fountain pens is the acrid smell of the ink my father used in his Pilot fountain pen (probably something by Parker). When I was a toddler, I'd spent many evenings playing next to his desks, looking at and smelling the magic he did with pen, ink and paper. No wonder I'm still into fountain pens and always aware of the smell of my inks. It's no wonder either that I'm into KWZ inks.

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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    I like the smell of fountain pen ink.

    I have a flask of Lamy black ink and it smells strongly, a smell like machine oil or something.
    I love that smell.
    I can't find this anymore, so what I do now is to mix a little bit of this smelling Lamy ink into the other flasks. Typically I only use Waterman ink, because it gives so much better and smooth writing in all my pens.
    I have 20+ fountain pens: Sheaffer (the best ever), Waterman, Montblanc Meisterstuck, Parker, Laban, Jinhao, Faber-Castel, Cross, ....

    Do you know where this ink with a smell can be found?
    Thanks

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The smell of ink

    Quote Originally Posted by rui.s View Post
    I like the smell of fountain pen ink.

    I have a flask of Lamy black ink and it smells strongly, a smell like machine oil or something.
    I love that smell.
    I can't find this anymore, so what I do now is to mix a little bit of this smelling Lamy ink into the other flasks. Typically I only use Waterman ink, because it gives so much better and smooth writing in all my pens.
    I have 20+ fountain pens: Sheaffer (the best ever), Waterman, Montblanc Meisterstuck, Parker, Laban, Jinhao, Faber-Castel, Cross, ....

    Do you know where this ink with a smell can be found?
    Thanks
    I don't know how old your Lamy black ink is or what the bottle looks like but Lamy currently makes black ink and you can find it at many stores that sell pens and inks as well as places like Amazon.
    I definitely wouldn't recommend that you add some Lamy black ink to all of your other Waterman inks before writing with them.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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