Dark Lilac (Lamy) Festival Time

1931: A bevy of princesses serve Alice LaFetra (right), the 1931 Lilac Queen. The tradition of selecting a queen and court began a year earlier. — Courtesy Lombard Historical Society / Handout, Sept. 16, 2014 (via Chicago Tribune)

I grew up in a Chicago suburb known for its lilac festival so I was tickled by the Dark Lilac Lamy Safari offered this spring as part of its limited edition color series. I remember the whole town ends up smelling like lilacs by the end of April which I always liked. Its goofy and quaint and I’m glad to see that they still have the festival and crown a Lilac Queen, even a Little Lilac Queen. Some things never change. The new Dark Lilac Lamy Safari will forever remind me of the Lilac Festival so its release date is perfectly timed.

Frank over at Fontoplumo has generously offered readers of The Well-Appointed Desk the chance to win one limited edition Lamy Dark Lilac Safari fountain pen plus a pack of matching Dark Lilac fountain pen ink. The winner may select nib size (EF, F, M or B).

The Dark Lilac Safari series also includes a rollerball and ballpoint pen. Just so you know.

TO ENTER: Please leave a comment below and tell me what event signals the arrival of Spring for you. Oh, and READ THE FINE PRINT!

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Tuesday, March 29, 2016. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Wednesday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Parcel is shipped directly from Fontoplumo by standard first class post. If insurance or other delivery is request, winner will be required to pay for additional shipping charges. Winner is responsible for any VAT, taxes or import fees. This giveaway is open to all readers.


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265 comments / Add your comment below

  1. For me, spring is signaled by the daffodils blooming. They started coming up this week, and a couple of them bloomed, but then got 18″ of snow dumped on them, so I’m wondering how they are going to do. We’ll see when the sun comes out again, and it warms up. Thanks for doing this giveaway, Ana and Fontoplumo!

  2. I absolutely LOVE your blog! The sign of spring for me is the bulbs beginning to pop through the cold earth that were planted in the fall.

  3. Besides the wacky weather, it’s got to be the blooming trees, first hyacinths, and the first robin of the season.

  4. Thanks both Ana and Frank for this opportunity. For me the first sign of spring is when the Robins start showing up, but it really feels like spring when I can sit outside and write in the sunshine with the dog digging in the mud. Yeah, it’s only 2C (about 36F to my American friends), but that sun sure feels nice on my face!

  5. I look for the first robin every year. This year I saw a tree full of at least 20 it was crazy. Usually I see one.

    I love lilacs. I had one outside my bedroom window growing up and my grandma’s house had a bower of huge lilacs I used to play in.

  6. I live in a rural area, so Spring has always been signified by tractors in the fields breaking ground for the new crops.

  7. It’s the pollen! The yellow cars, yellow paths and tracking pollen inside along with my allergies going crazy. Once that first burst passes, I enjoy the azaleas blooming.

  8. The sign of spring for me is when I can finally open the windows in the house for some fresh air a few hours a day.

  9. …there comes a day, a few weeks after daylight saving time begins, when, in the early morning, I can open my front door to go to work and once again the morning is lit by diffuse light, and the birds are singing and I can see the colors of the flowers. That is my Spring…

  10. The vernal equinox is a most powerful turning of the year and everything seems to be opening up. I was quoting e e cummings to a class this week. “in just spring when the world is mudlucious”. Well, I wish it was wet and muddy here in Southern California. But, he also wrote, “here’s to opening and upward, to leaf and to sap”. That is what springtime means to me.

  11. In Tucson, Arizona the palo verde trees announce spring to me. All year around, they are very inconspicuous. But in the spring they burst forth with a gorgeous display of small yellow flowers. The tree is blanketed with them!

  12. It has to be the hyacinths! It can get as warm as it likes outside, but it’s the smell of hyacinths that means winter is finally over. (It’s a shame they’re just a little TOO strongly scented for my tiny apartment!)

  13. For me, two things signify spring.
    1: There is a street lined with trees near my building, they all bloom at once around this time and its beautiful to just drive down the road.
    2: The inevitable sinus and allergy issues that ONLY crop up around mid to late March. Every year. Without fail.

  14. I keep honeybees and spring to me is when I see the bees arriving back at the hive with legs full of pollen so heavy that have crazy landings. Honeybees are really not that graceful.

  15. I agree that daffodils always signal spring for me. We have tons of them all along the interstate and in out neighborhood. They are always my favorite! (I loved the daffodil bag you posted Friday too!)

  16. Thanks for the great prize. I love seeing the first daffodils appearing. They are by far my favourite flower and always a beautiful way tell that Spring has sprung.

  17. In Maine it’s far too early for Lilacs. We have a row of them in our back garden, but we don’t see flowers until May. They are beautiful.

    My wife loves her Lamy, so I hope I win!

  18. I know it’s spring when my rhubarb (already making tiny leaves) and asparagus (nothing yet!) make an appearance. But we’ve had many crocuses which match the pen.

  19. When I was growing up, it was the snow melting and flowers starting to bloom (we had some lilac bushes in the backyard, so that smell pings of home)

    In my current location: apparently my car being yellow from pollen? I’m glad we finally had a good solid rainstorm to rinse some of that off…

  20. I love lilacs! The sign of spring I look forward to every year is when the songbirds come back, oh, and frogs croaking everywhere!

  21. Well … Spring is heralded by the festival of Holi. . The festival of colours .. in India we celebrate the start of Spring through spread, pouring and generally plastering everyone in our homes, neighbourhood with coloured powder.. it’s all a lot of singing, eating, drinking and getting covered with dry coloured powders or coloured water. Special food and sweets are made for this day every year… Holi brings everyone together… just like this give away by Ana and Fontoplumo.. great way to kick off Spring!

  22. Ana, I love your story about Chicago. I went to college in Texas and Spring happens when the Bluebonnets start blooming. The Highways are Covered in them.

  23. We live in a neighborhood where the houses are fairly close together, and my first true sign of spring is when the neighbors start walking door to door to linger and chat when they walk their dogs or finish yard work or just want to be sociable! I love this pen – gorgeous color!

  24. The arrival of spring, to me, is signaled by the blooming of the Bluebonnets in the Hill Country in Texas. It’s like an ocean of blue, everywhere you look. The rolling hills carpeted in blue flowers look like waves on the ocean. It’s just about the most beautiful thing you can possibly imagine!

  25. Robins overwinter here sometimes so I listen for geese heading back north and spring peepers instead. They have both been quite early this year.

  26. Trees in bloom (redbuds and mountain laurel where I live now, dogwoods where I grew up) and the sweet smells of flowers and cut grass. And allergies.

  27. The beginning of spring for me is when it’s finally warm enough for me to spend hours on my front porch swing (usually journalling with my pens!).

  28. Thank you for this opportunity. The trees shedding the husks then going through the seed to leafing out is Spring to me. Seeing each new touch of green.

  29. Spring here arrives with millions of beautiful pink blossoms on our crabapple tree. Oh, and the face-melting allergies brought on by juniper pollen.

  30. Daffodils and pollen here in NC. I love the former, not so much the latter, but it’s just part of the season.

  31. Thank you, Ana and Frank, for this exciting giveaway! Lamy made a great choice with this color – it is beautiful.
    There is a special moment – usually in March – when upon stepping outside I can just feel “it” in the air. I can smell the approach of spring. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t get another snowfall here in Michigan – but it’s a sign that spring is very, very close.

  32. You know spring has arrived–as opposed to a winter day that’s 70+ degrees, not unusual in south Louisiana–when the azaleas blossom. They come in a variety of colors, all pretty, but I especially like the fuschia ones, which are almost too bright to be natural. I also enjoy seeing the spring calves wobbling around.

  33. First sign of spring is the robins returning from migration! (And the lilacs! Love the smell of lilacs!)

  34. What a lovely giveaway! For me, the first sign of Spring in Texas is when the bluebonnets appear out on the roadside.

  35. It se me like every Easter we get one last light snow. That always feels like the start of spring to me.

  36. For me, spring is marked by the barrage of allergies and bugs popping up everywhere! I can’t really say the weather because in LA, we’ve had random bouts of 80 degree weather since January, haha.

  37. Spring starts when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, middle of February. The joys of living in south Florida…

  38. The early-blossoming magnolias are a pretty good signal of the arrival of spring in Brooklyn. Thanks for this lovely giveaway!

  39. I know it’s spring when my Alaskan Malamutes start shedding, and the pollen is blanketing everything!

  40. Here in north Texas, it’s the mayfly invasion – they take over my house for a few weeks, then they’re gone.

  41. Spring’s arrival used to be announced by the daffodils that lined the pathway to my front door and ringed the foundations of many long-forgotten homes. Now that I live further south, its presence is made known by displays of yellow yet again. Alas, it is only the copious amounts of pollen from the ubiquitous pine trees that coat each and every vehicle, inside and out.

  42. Spring is heralded by different things depending on where you are. Here in Northern California, we usually already have so many beautiful flowers out, it’s not like where I grew up in Boston that it was a fight between the Forcythias and the snow.

  43. Spring starts for me with snow drops, even if they have to poke through snow. I grew up in Rochester, NY where we have a lilac festival in May. The lilacs are on a south facing hillside and can be smelled for blocks.

  44. Thank you for the chance: Spring has arrived when I hear the birds singing as the sun rises earlier each day, when the Cherry Blossoms arrive and when I panick & have to look for my allergy meds & mint nose salve since it is not just the random sniffles!

  45. Spring starts when it gets above 65 degrees for a week straight. Then I can put my big jacket away. Haha! Thanks for the chance!

  46. I always think spring is here when I smell the damp in the air and see the grass start to green up in the yard. Oh, and the mud everywhere.

  47. For me, it is the birds vivid colors in spring time….mating/nesting season. I also enjoy listening to their lovely songs and calls.

  48. The first robin sighted in my neighborhood usually signals Spring for me, but it’s not until there’s a whole chorus of birds every morning that I feel like it’s really here.

  49. The first few brave yellow daffodils poking their heads out of the wet ground usher in spring here in southern Indiana, and they’re everywhere. They are the little ray of sunshine as we go from gray and snowy winter to gray and wet spring.

  50. The first sign of spring for me is that time-honored phrase “pitchers and catchers report”. Spring training means baseball is right around the corner!

  51. I used to always look for a robin as the first sign of spring. Now that I’m an adult, I realize that’s not very accurate.

    I don’t know how to describe it, but the air just feels different to me when spring begins. I walked outside a few mornings ago and the air was a bit chilly, but the sun was shining bright. Spring was here.

  52. Cherry Blossoms (well, anyhow, I used to live in the DC area, though not now, but friends post pictures on Facebook)

  53. It’s officially spring for me after Easter rolls by here. The days start to get longer and rain starts pouring. Some years it’s rained every single day for a month straight and even longer.

  54. oHHH my gawd I’ve been hungrily eyeing this pen since it was first announced.

    To me, Spring means my car is covered in yellow-green pollen :T once that starts happening, whether or not it “feels” like spring…spring is here nonetheless.

  55. When I was growing up it was always the arrival of robins, but more recently it has been whenever the snow and ice finally give up.

  56. I know it’s spring when I get this huge urge to CLEAN, and then a long binge cleaning session occurs lol.

  57. Daffodills. Crocus. washing the car to get rid of the road salt, and not having to worry about getting more…

  58. We have a large magnolia tree in our front yard. When the purple blossoms begin to shoot through the buds, it feels like Spring.

  59. Birds! Not robins, but the presence of lots of turkeys as I drive through the neighborhood. Also the absence of sparrows, the winter visitors.

  60. When the snow is gone and freshness of air is resume,the lakes are not frozen anymore,leaves and trees start retain their colors,sun is as bright as a young bride,then i know and i can feel inside out that Spring is around:)….

  61. When the red, red robin comes bob-bob-bobbing along… Actually I go by the sound of all the birds in the neighborhood. They just seem to have happier songs when it is finally Spring! Then the air starts echoing the joy by having a different feel to it.

  62. For me, spring is official when the tree swallows zoom up from Mexico. One moment there is silence, then one day you walk outside and there they are zipping by, bubbling like water and chattering. That day came a week late this year. But it’s definitely spring now.

    Gorgeous pen. Especially with the black nib. Stealthy and kind of sexy.

  63. I have a beautiful ornamental pear tree in my front yard and there’s always a day when it’s first in bloom when we get a glorious blue sky and a mild day and you just know it’s Spring.

  64. Daffodils! When Spring comes, the daffodils bloom and their cheery yellow flowers always makes me feel so cheery after the long, dreary winter.

  65. To me, Spring arrives when the forsythia shrubs are in full blossom with their vivid yellow flowers.

  66. Street sweepers! Very early on in spring they go out and sweep up all the sand that was put down on the roads over winter.

  67. Spring starts when the thaw starts. There’s a certain fresh smell in the air as the snow starts to disappear. Happily, spring has begun early this year!

  68. I got engaged in mid March, so when that anniversary comes around, it feels like a whole new seasson, new year and reminds me of the start of a whole new life – and the change in the season mirrors that!

  69. When I lived in the Pacific Northwest, the sweet scent of blooming lilacs and sweet peas curling up the trellis said spring to me. Now that I’m back “home” in the Deep South, it’s the heady perfume of wisteria and the sight of the pretty pink and white dogwoods, which are about a week away from peak right now. They are truly gorgeous!

  70. Spring comes on quicker every year in the Canadian prairies but once the snow starts its rapid melt then spring is heralded (as everyone makes a mad dash to fix up their bicycles before winter enevitably returns for an encore).

  71. I know it is spring when the rain smells a certain way. It sounds bizarre, but it smells like worms!

  72. There are a ton of wild plum trees in my neighborhood. When they bloom, that’s the first sign of spring for me.

    I’m sorry if there was a double comment from me, I don’t think my last comment went through and I waited a day to make sure it wasn’t going to show up before commenting again.

  73. My rose bush will suddenly poof overnight from pruned-back sticks to a fully-leafed bush, with buds to appear shortly thereafter. It’s hard to miss spring with such a clear sign!

  74. Definitely the smell of the air when all the cherry blossoms start blooming! Everything smells fresh and clean and fragrant like a second opportunity

  75. I hope I’m not leaving a bunch of comments! I keep getting an error message about referrers.

    Anyway my best sign of spring is the return of the canadian geese honking in the park on my way to school. 😀

  76. For me, Spring has arrived when I hear a Robin chirping, see the lilac tree bidding up and see tulips plants poking up through the flower bed soil. Oh, and the air has a special sweetness, the promise of warmer days ahead.

  77. I know spring has arrived when my cat prepares pieces of lizards for me and presents them in the patio under the bougainvillea. It is both beautiful and really gross all at the same time. Oh, and the sneezing fits from the blooming bougainvillea.
    That Lamy Safari is absolutely gorgeous.

  78. For me, I know spring is here when my daffodils start blooming. The sight of all those happy yellow flowers can brighten up even a gloomy, rainy, winter-is-trying-to-come-back kind of day.

  79. Spring starts for me when I see shoots of crocus, daffodil, or tulips peaking out, even if through snow.

  80. I know it’s Spring when, at the end of the work day, the late-day sun pierces the window next to my desk, lighting up my workspace so that the fresh ink on my documents literally shimmers 🙂

  81. The smell of lilacs always make me smile. Purple is my favorite color and I love Lamy’s products. Spring can’t be very far away

  82. Thank you for your contest! Spring in my neighborhood begins with the first yellow and purple crocuses raising their heads from the winter earth.

  83. When the redbud trees are in bloom (and I’m also getting referrer messages and hope I’m not entering multiple times)

  84. To me the first sign of spring is the tiny blooms of the crocus. Here in Maine they are the first bits of green to poke up through the snow and “spring” into bloom.

  85. Spring starts for me literally the first day I’m done with school! All cold weather disappears until the start of fall.

  86. I know spring has arrived when I hear Junebugs hitting the window ( in south Texas Junebugs arrive in March )

  87. When I lived in Japan, the arrival of cherry blossom flavored sweets in shops would always let me know spring was near. As far as events go, the cherry blossom festivals would signify the start of spring for me.

  88. The moon shines like a beacon directly in my window beckoning me to open it and smell the mock orange blossoms.

  89. Daylight savings time is the event that signals the arrival spring for me. Also, spring flowers and awful allergies. 😛

  90. The smell of the earth and chirping birds signal the return of spring to me. I also like the blooming of the lilacs:-)

  91. I know Spring has arrived when the first sound I hear in the morning is the song of a little bird outside my bedroom window.

  92. Spring starts when the daffodils come up, but it’s really here once the forsythias bloom. I love that bright burst of yellow!

  93. The apartment complex where I live always spreads fresh mulch and dirt at the start of spring for its annual round of bright flowers. That dark, earthy smell always gets me excited for the warmer weather to come!

  94. When I go for a run in the morning and I have to take off my outer layer because it’s too hot to run…

  95. Unfortunately, the arrival in west Texas is usually signaled by a nice big dust storm. The sky turns a nice shade of brown. -.- Seriously Texas, dirt is not a weather. Stop trying to make it happen.

    A nicer thing, though, is the Persian New Year! It falls on the first day of spring each year, and it’s definitely an awesome beginning to the season.

  96. I know Springtime is here when I start to see buds on the trees and green shoots peeking up from underneath the mulch on the sidewalk!

  97. I too grew up with a lilac festival in Spokane, WA. I truly miss the beautiful purple shade and that fresh scent that can never be fully reproduced.

  98. I know spring is here when it “feels right” to wear my light-colored full-skirted dresses again!

  99. Well, they cynical side of me would say that I know Spring has arrived when I suddenly can’t breath because of my allergies acting up. 😉

    A more positive answer is that in South Louisiana, one of the sure ways to know Spring is here is the azaleas beginning to bloom.

  100. In Texas it’s when the weather is just right. The days have gotten less colder so you can enjoy being outside before the heat of summer creeps in. Everyone is outside enjoying the days before it’s too hot to do anything.

    1. Boy, I hear that! Born and raised in San Antonio, I totally understand about the heat and humidity. I love Texas, but I moved to Colorado to get away from that heat!

  101. Here in New Orleans, the beautiful arrival of spring is always heralded by the release of pot loads of pollen from the giant live oak trees: bright golden, yellow pollen that dusts your car, clothes, hair, pets…next week comes the arrival of the stinging caterpillars! And yes, the gorg flowers in bloom everywhere, too! My fav time of year…

  102. The herald of spring for me is great skeins of geese wayway up in the air, heading north, announcing themselves and the new season.

  103. Spring is brought on by the blooming of flowers in my flower beds: colour coming back into the world after a long, white hiatus!

  104. It’s not the most beautiful part of Spring but the first sign is when the ants head inside looking for food!

  105. My first sign that it’s actually spring is the first sighting of geese winging their way back north.

    Thank you for the giveaway, I am so excited about this pen color!

  106. For me, Spring is all about rain and allergies. Winter is dry and windy, spring brings rain, and with it, blooming trees.

  107. spring is the start point of the allergies and good weather for me. struggle with breathing is hard but warm sun covers it all 🙂

    thanks for the giveaway

  108. Something changes in the air when spring starts. It is something specific that I can’t seem to identify!

  109. Spring springs when I see the darling little white and purple violets appear in the lawn. I can’t bear to mow them.

  110. Dang, this is seriously when all the comments come in on your blog!

    Spring is here when cars become coated yellow with pollen – yuck!

  111. For me it is the cherry blossoms and daffodils, and then the cleaning! Spring cleaning really is a real thing in my family and as soon as the light is better I find going to a relatives house can see me help moving furniture around, helping clean windows or even helping to decorate! It also means lighter nights for crafting which I love!

  112. I know spring has arrived when the crows start yelling at me to get out of my own yard because they are planning to nest in my linden tree. And the cherry trees are blooming. 🙂

  113. Spring starts for me when I get out on the practice field for my kids’ baseball teams for the first time each year. So, tomorrow, spring finally arrives for me!

  114. I know spring has arrived when I see the thick yellow clouds of pollen in the air.The pollen coats everything, cars and porches turn yellow. When it rains, yellow water pours off my roof. Ah spring, the yellowest season.

  115. The clouds of pollen and the humidity of southern Florida signal the arrival of spring for me. I welcome it somewhat reluctantly. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  116. I LOVE when my lilac bushes finally bloom and the smell wafting into my house. I also love seeing the puddles and having my windows open.

  117. Pretty simple, really… I know spring has sprung when a certain blooming tree makes me repeatedly sneeze, and there’s now some daylight remaining when I get off work.

    That dark lilac Lamy Safari looks luscious.

    I just wanted to add that I’ve become a real fan of your blog, and I ended up ordering a Hobonichi Techo because of your blog post.

  118. For me, Spring arrives with air that holds the softness of silk, while the setting sun throws rose petals into the echoing sky.

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