Once again, I let my subscription to Goulet Pens Ink Drop accumulate for two whole months before I even opened the packages. The packages now include a glossy postcard with theme name and ink colors along with the Goulet Pens bookmark and five sample bottles of inks.
Inside these packages were two totally different color experiences. September was called Cool Down and featured deep, complex jewel tones and October’s theme was Autumn Leaves which is all shades of red, orange and browns. I tried something new with my ink swabs this time, inspired by the ink samples on European Paper’s site and I used a watercolor paint brush (Windsor & Newton Cotman #6 round).
In the September Cool Down set were Noodler’s Navy, Diamine Merlot, Private Reserve Ebony Purple, Omas Sepia, and Noodler’s Zhivago. Oddly, I had just reviewed Noodler’s Zhivago but its so rare that I get a color in an Ink Drop that I already own that I was not too bothered by it. Partially because the other colors were fabulous!
When I saw the color names on the sample vials with names like Navy and Merlot, I was not hopeful that I’d like any of them. But when I put the ink on paper, wow! Especially the Noodler’s Navy which I would never describe as navy. There is a brightness to it that reminds me of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. The Diamine Merlot is a deep red with just a hint or a burgundy color. Diamine Ebony Purple can best be decribed as a purple black — a rich, complex plum color. The Omas Sepia is a warm, rich brown with lots of shading.
As much as I enjoy the Ink Drop subscription, I tend to like that its a small quantity of ink. Just enough to sate my desire for a new color without making a long commitment to a particular shade. However, several of the colors in the Cool Down batch are ones I want in massive quantities. I’ll be buying a bottle of the Noodler’s Navy for sure and probably bottles of the Diamine Merlot and PR Ebony Purple too. I’d buy a bottle of the Omas Sepia for the cool shaped bottle alone.
October’s Ink Drop is called Autumn Leaves and included Noodler’s Qin Shi Huang, Stipula Sapphron, Diamine Blaze Orange, Noodler’s Antietam and Noodler’s Golden Brown.
My favorites from this were the Diamine Blaze Orange which was a lovely orangey with a hint of red and the Noodler’s Antietam which is a reddish brown. I do already have a bottle of Antietam which I should review thoroughly soon.
The Noodler’s Golden Brown has a bit of a greenish tinge to it that I found similar to J. Herbin Lie de Te which I never particularly liked. The Stipula Sapphron is a very yellowy orange and seemed very wet if that’s a quality you like in your inks. The Sapphron is a very light color and would work best with wider nib pens. The Noodlers Qin Shi Huang is a warm red, just a tiny bit pinkish. I didn’t notice much shading in this ink.
Ink Drop subscriptions are $10/month for US and $15/month outside the US and include five ink samples. Subscribers receive 10% off any full bottle purchase that was featured in the Ink Drop subscription for up to three months from the time of the subscription.
Both sets of inks were tested on Quo Vadis Habana bright white paper. The Cool Down colors for September were tested with my Parker Duofold flex 14K nib, dipped since the vacumatic no longer works. The Autumn Leaves set was tested with my Easterbrook double jewel in red (ladies size) and my vintage #2442 falcon nib, dipped because its easier to clean that way.
I pay for my subscription and receive no compensation for writing about the Goulet Pens Ink Drop subscriptions. I’m just a happy customer.
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I give a smiley-face for Blaze Orange, too, though I ended up buying their Pumpkin instead.
O.K., ‘Antietam’ for a dark red because…it was a very bloody Civil War battle? hmmm…
I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and this has me 100% ready to sign up for Ink Drop. Small quantities of ink on a regular basis? Perfect! I just need to find an excuse to write more.
Noodler’s Navy is one of my “desert island” inks. That and Noodler’s El Lawrence–both fantastic! 🙂