Ink Swab: Montblanc Toffee Brown

Montblanc Toffee Brown

I’ve had this ink on my wishlist since 2014, but I didn’t really go to Montblanc boutiques to check if they had it. Yesterday my husband and I were walking from Greenbelt 1 to Glorietta and we passed by the Montblanc boutique on the ground floor. We wandered in and I ogled the gorgeous pens on display. My husband bought the ink bottle because, as usual, I was hemming and hawing about getting it for myself. As soon as we got home, I inked up one of my favorite pens with it, my Parker Vacumatic Golden Brown.

Montblanc Toffee Brown

My first impression before I tried the ink was that I loved the bottle. It’s so pretty, and functional too. That portion near the cap functions like a little pocket that catches ink so that your pen can suck it up even if there’s little ink left in the bottle. Sort of like its own ink miser. The bottle’s opening will fit large pens comfortably. The cap is, surprisingly, quite heavy for an ink bottle cap. It’s my first Montblanc ink, so I’m pretty excited to try it out.

Montblanc Toffee Brown

When I put the pen on paper, it was pure pleasure. The ink flowed moderately wet, and it made the nib glide on paper. When wet, it’s the color of espresso. Rich, dark brown, almost a bit reddish. When it dries, it shows off the most beautiful shading. In natural light, it almost looks like there’s a soft fire glowing inside the strokes. The gradation of colors range from a rich, very dark brown, to a reddish, golden brown. Like luscious toffee. Here are a few close up shots of the writing sample.

Montblanc Toffee Brown

Montblanc Toffee Brown

Montblanc Toffee Brown

Montblanc Toffee Brown

Montblanc Toffee Brown

Montblanc Toffee Brown

The closeup shots don’t do it justice at all. It looks really beautiful in person. I think the closest hue to this I’ve encountered so far is Pilot Iroshizuku Tsukushi, but Toffee Brown has a redder hue. Diamine Ochre is also a little similar, but that has a bit more yellow in it, I think. It’s not water proof or water resistant.

Overall, it’s a wonderful ink! I wrote a whole page in my journal with it right after testing it out and it looks so beautiful on a full page. Like parts of it are softly glowing. I would love to see this in a stub nib. I’ll make a new post about it once I try that out. I think I’ve found my favorite new brown ink.

6-Pen Lineup for the Week


I’ve been a very good girl. I haven’t breached my self-imposed “6-pen at a time” rule. Seeing that I have a few new iro inks, I decided to use all of them in my lineup this week, plus a Noodler’s ink because I did not think of buying a green iro ink (facepalm).


Here’s my line up for this week:
TWSBI Micarta, Medium – Yama-Guri (Wild Chesnut)
Pilot Vanishing Point, Medium – Tsuki-Yo (Moonlight)
Bexley BX802 1.1mm – Yama-Budo (Crimson Glory Vine)
Edison Pearlette, 1.1mm – Ina-Ho (Rice Ear)
Bexley Corona 1.1mm – Asa-Gao (Morning Glory)
Parker 51, Medium – Noodler’s Burma Road Brown (which writes more like a vintage green for my pen’s nib, my favorite Noodler’s ink)


It’s gonna be a happy, happy week. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ink Swab: Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Guri (Wild Chesnut)


As I mentioned in my last post, at first sight I thought this ink was black, since I don’t know the meaning of all the Japanese names of Iroshizuku inks. The brown on the label and the box is just so dark, it could pass for black. A quick swab proved me wrong, though.


I loooove Iroshizuku ink bottles. I think they’re fabulous and not boring at all. It speaks of the care and thought that goes with packaging a product that the Japanese are very well-known for. It gives you a feel of the old world perfectly blended with the new. #fangirlmoment

On to the ink! I love brown inks. I am very partial to brown and green inks, but if I’ll be stranded on an island with only one color of ink, it would be brown. Which explains why I have a lot of brown inks in my stash. It’s hard to imagine that I didn’t even know this many shades of brown existed before May last year! Of course, not all shade of fountain pen ink may be suitable for daily writing. Work requires a bit more conservative colors. Yama-Guri is the perfect ink for daily writing. It’s that ink you use when you really want to use brown ink (or prefer not to use blah-ck) but you don’t want people wondering why your signatures and notes are the same color as their flower pot.


Yama-Guri is a very conservative brown-black, with a few undertones of purple. It’s close to the color of Diamine Macassar, except for the purple shade in it. It does look like the outer shell of a wild chesnut. (It’s also a perfect match in shade and in flow with my TWSBI Micarta. Sigh. โค )


It’s a rich brown color with beautiful shading. The color range for the shading is dark brown to darker brown, so it still manages to look very conservative despite the shading of the ink.


It dries relatively fast, 15 seconds on an average and is a bit water resistant. Like my other Iro ink, this one performs perfectly. It’s a very well-behaved ink. It flows wet even in fine nibs, does not nib creep, and it’s so smooth that it feels like I’m writing with a lubricant rather than fountain pen ink. It’s highly saturated without being stubborn to clean off.


The color also doesn’t change much when it dries. It retains its vibrant color and beautiful texture. If anything, the brown becomes a bit more deeper than when it was wet.


Overall, it’s a wonderful addition to my brown ink collection. I don’t think I’ll ink the TWSBI Micarta with anything else in a long time.

Y U Break My Heart?!


My absolute favorite ink with the Edison Pearlette is Diamine Sepia. I’ve been having so much fun with this pen and ink combo but I just recently noticed that when used for long writing, it tends to dry out. I thought something was wrong with the pen because the same thing happened when I loaded it with Diamine Macassar.

So I did a lot of troubleshooting on it. After a lot of flossing, flushing, soaking, soaping, and ultrasonic cleaning, the problem still persisted. I realized that after writing two pages, the feed begins to starve. I was getting ready to return it to Scribe when I thought…maybe I can try another ink with it? Something that flows wetter than the brown inks I tried?

So I loaded it with Bilberry and wrote two pages. Lo and behold, it wrote perfectly. This only meant one thing…Pearlette and Diamine Sepia…not an OTP. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ (cue music…where do broken hearts goooo? can they find their way hooooome?)

I loaded the pen with Diamine Ochre and so far, so good. It writes superbly, except that it’s not Sepia. The color of Sepia is perfect for the color of the pen. I’m so saaaad. Oh well, pen geek problems. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I guess I’m just gonna have to find the perfect brownish-yellowish ink for it. Maybe Iroshizuku Ina-Ho? I guess I’ll find out when I get my order from Create Crafts. ๐Ÿ™‚

#FPOTD: Parker 51 and Edison Pearlette


I’m enjoying my pens for today so thoroughly. Both are great writers and both are beautiful in very different ways. The ink pairing of earth colors is absolutely gorgeous too. I love it a lot.

Parker 51 – Burma Road Brown
Edison Pearlette – Diamine Sepia

Pen and Ink OTP: Bexley, Edison, Diamine and J. Herbin


Finally got my first Edison pen today, the Pearlette in Aztec Gold Flake. It’s so pretty and the material used is really beautiful. Today’s pen OTP are:

Bexley BX802 and J. Herbin Stormy Gray
Edison Pearlette in Aztec Gold Flake and Diamine Autumn Oak (later changed to Diamine Sepia, still goes well together)

otp2Actually, Diamine Sepia also looks pretty awesome.

#FPOTD: Bexleys and Sheeny, Shady Ink


My pens for the day are two Bexleys (Corona and BX802), both with 1.1mm nibs from Goulet and inked with two of the most fun inks I have in my collection; Bilberry and Apache Sunset. If you use a pen with just the right amount of wetness and broadness, on paper like Elias journal which is just the right amount of smoothness and absorbency, the result can be magical. It’s one of the reasons I try out many different paper with my fountain pen. Not all kinds of paper can show off the properties of ink, like shading or sheen. This combination hits the spot perfectly. ๐Ÿ™‚

Waterman Expert II with a Left Oblique CI Nib by Pentangeli

I sent my pen off to Pentangeli Pen Spa and Nib Works to have it ground as a cursive italic nib, but I changed my mind and thought I’d have it reground to a left oblique cursive italic instead. Thanks to the busy holiday season, I was able to ask JP to change the regrind just in time, before he had any work done on it.


photo by JP of Pentangeli Pen Spa and Nibworks

I met up with JP today, despite feeling under the weather, so I can take the pen home. It’s actually like getting an entirely different pen from before. It used to be a medium nib, now it’s a left oblique cursive italic, which is like a regular cursive italic nib, except it has a cut to make it oblique. Photos below are taken by JP too.

weiilo3ย  ย  ย  ย  weiilo2

This kind of nib is a lot more forgiving for people like me who like to rotate their grip on their pens. The result is very much like how my TWSBI Micarta writes (that’s a cursive italic), except that this one’s sweet spot is a lot easier to find.


It’s a joy to write with, and like the other nibs that JP fixed and reground for me, the ink flow is better than ever (not extremely wet) and the nib is smooth with just the right amount of feedback. A trip to the pen spa has made this pen an even better pen than it was before. ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, this blue ink that JP put in the pen is perfect. I need this in my life. โค

Pen and Ink One True Pairing: Wahl-Eversharp Skyline and Sailor Miruai

I’m not exactly sure yet why this is true, has always been true in my experience, but some inks just work better with some pens. I had to adjust my expectations because I thought that all kinds of ink would work the same way with all kinds of pens. As it turns out, that’s not always true, not even with the most consistent writers I have in my collection, like Lamy.

I found that some inks flow a bit more “dryer” in some pens and a bit wetter in others. For example, I loaded my Parker 51 demi with Diamine Twilight and the flow wasn’t very good. It wrote in very thin, skipping lines. I thought the pen was broken or clogged up. I cleaned it up and tried again, same result. When I changed the ink to Diamine Onyx Black, lo and behold–it wrote magnificently (and thus started my penchantย to collecting Parker 51’s).

Here’s another OTP that I thoroughly enjoyed. Wahl-Eversharp Skyline with Sailor Miruai (Seaweed Indigo).


The person who sold me the pen actually let me get a fill from his bottle when I bought it. I wrote with the pen until I used up all the ink, and then cleaned it out and used Diamine Twilight with it. Surprisingly, that ink bled through the pages of my journal like crazy. It flowed too thick and wet. I got myself a bottle of Miruai and tried that again (the color of the ink perfectly complements the dark moss green color of the pen). It behaved perfectly. Absolutely no bleed through.

There’s probably a scientific explanation for all that? Maybe? I’m happy to just call it a pen and ink OTP. ๐Ÿ™‚