Ink Review: Robert Oster Signature Khaki

Robert Oster Khaki

I am reviewing another in my heaping pile of Robert Oster Signature Inks. This time its the Khaki which I was surprised to discover was actually a bit more green than what I tend to associate with khaki but it may be a misinterpretation of Yanks vs. Aussies sort-of thing. Oster Khaki ($16 per 50ml plastic bottle) is a color I associate with the perfect cocktail olive — or at least the dark briny juice that one finds cocktail olives floating in. I couldn’t write with this ink without wanting to put on one of those fabulous Thin Man movies and fill a shaker with several ounces of the finest gin and copious amounts of crushed ice. Asta, darling, time for your walksies!

Robert Oster Khaki writing sample

All sloppy drunken jokes aside, the shading and color on this ink is quite delightful. It walks a perfect balance (at least for me) between a yellowy green and deep woodsy green. It’s dark enough to be legible but green enough to be green with enough yellow to be MY KIND of green. Sometimes, in order to get greens dark enough, inks get too black, too blue or too well, not green anymore. And I don’t always want a bright candy color (I know that might be hard to believe).

Robert Oster Khaki Swab Comparison

Here’s my comparison swatches. These are the greens that were closest in hue to Oster Khaki. The closest is Bung Box 88 Green Tea and you’ll be delighted to hear that Oster Khaki is considerably less expensive and (IMHO) a better color. Diamine Safari and Montblanc Daniel DeFoe are both much more saturated colors in comparison.

So, there you have it. If I were to make a list of my favorite green inks, this one would be pretty close to the top of the list. And I am super picky about the perfect shade of green. If I were to have my own “signature” green, this might just be it.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Vanness Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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12 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I love RO Khaki! I picked it from the Vanness website as different than anything I had, and intriguing. It’s a winner.

  2. First, a jaunty vespa ride through the streets of Paris reviewing an Aurora Optima. Now, in a bar at the Ritz hotel having a martini and solving murder mysteries in 1934 New York, reviewing a RO Khaki colored ink. You must truly enjoy doing these reviews.

    I so very much enjoy reading them.

  3. Yes, khaki (pronounced like “car-key” in the UK) is, indeed, that dark green-brown. It’s one of many words that don’t mean quite the same thing in the States vs. Commonwealth countries. (My partner, who is English, and I have explored/discovered/argued about these differences for years. It’s always fun to discover that, even after many years together, there are still some concepts you think you both agree on but that secretly you both see differently.)

    1. For some reason, here in this side of the pond, khaki is always more of a sandy beige brown. And ends up being pronounced “kah-key”. I love how different the same language can be. I like your khaki much better.

  4. RO, being an Australian company, is referring to the British Khaki, which we Americans tend to associate more with olive, whereas when we refer to khaki it’s more on the tan/beige/brown spectrum. British khaki contains a lot more green. Cheers!

  5. Just for yocks I did a comparison of Diamine Salamander, Noodler’s Burma Road Brown and Robert Oster Khaki. All three are delicious inks, but of the three I think Khaki was the most delectable!
    Green is a subtle area! I’m intellectually inclined to think three might suffice (at any one time); a yellow/gold green (AltGoldGrun, Robert Oster Khaki etc.), a blue-green (Pigeon Blue or Miruai?) with a “true” green in the middle.
    Intellectual inclinations are pretty useless in practice!
    Any take on “Tokiwa Matsu”? . . . or the murky four from KWZ – Midnight, Foggy, Rotten and Hunters?

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