Ink Review: Troublemaker Inks Petrichor

By Jessica Coles

It’s no secret – I love finding new inks.  New and exciting colors and bottles, new ink properties and behaviors to analyze and sometimes new adventures in finding, ordering and waiting for the delivery.

Troublemaker Inks is a small and relatively new ink manufacturer located in the Philippines.  I say relatively new because they have been around for a while, they have just exploded in popularity due to their newest batch of inks described as shading colors.  These shading inks are Kelp Tea, Petrichor, Abalone, and Milky Ocean.

I first heard about these four inks on Instagram, immediately went to the Troublemaker Inks website and placed an order.  For all of them.  The website is bright and well-designed and the ordering very simple.  The ordering was so seamless that I didn’t even realize that I was ordering from a different country until PayPal showed me a currency conversion. Easy-Peasy.

For this review, I’m going to talk about Petrichor.

Petrichor is an ink not unsimilar to Sailor 162 or Sailor 123.  The ink contains several colors together which show in differing ratios depending on the width of your nib and the paper being used.  Below are several comparisons to show the various colors in the ink.

First, the greys:

Then the teals, the dominant color:

Lastly, dusty pink, present in the center of the shading in Petrichor:

So what color is Petrichor when writing?  I used Tomoe River, 52gsm paper (from Curnow Bookbinding and Leatherwork) to try to show as many colors as possible.

Here, the main color seems to be a medium grey with an undertone of teal.  Later in the writing, the grey is still dominant, and the shading is more noticible.

In a large glob of ink, all the colors are present plus a bit of dusty purple.

On my hands, the various colors are still there!

Luckily, Petrichor is relatively easy to wash off.

Although it is very difficult to show in photos, the overall impression of the ink on Tomoe River paper is a grey ink with teal and purple undertones.

The best part? ALL SHIPPING IS FREE.  Anywhere. In the world.  No international shipping charges.  No minimums to hit. Not that I would have had a problem hitting a minimum order amount.

Now for the tough part of any online ordering. The waiting. And waiting. And waiting. This was the only negative part of my experience with Troublemaker Inks.  The waiting.  I placed my order on June 5th, received a shipping notification on June 13th and then nothing.  The tracking number provided did not update for weeks.  I heard from pen friends that Troublemaker had a tough time keeping up with the sudden increase in demand and had needed to restock bottles! I can absolutely understand why.

Suddenly, I opened up the mailbox and a ray of light shone down on me.  It was here!  The inks were packaged safely in paper and bubble wrap, sealed with a thin layer of plastic wrapped around the bottle opening.  Rather than paying for the shipping in one chunk, the package was covered with various stamps from the Philippines.  I do mean covered.  Every inch of the front side of the envelope was either the address or stamps.

For the review above, I threw the ink in the first available pen I had that was uninked – a Moonman C1.  I had ordered this one thanks to Joe at the Gentleman Stationer. It’s a great pen for watching ink.

The bottles for these inks are dark plastic, square and include a small example of the ink color printed on the label.

Some inks made by Troublemaker are offered in various viscosity choices from dry to lubricated.  When I was presented with a choice when ordering, I chose the suggested: wet. It was #3 on a scale of 1-4, 1 being the driest and 4 described as lubricated. I would say that while writing, this feels a tad on the wet side of normal – not noticeably different from my typical ink choices.

Would I recommend these inks?  Absolutely.  These are wonderful additions to the ink world in every way.  Be prepared to wait about a month, though.  This wait might become longer as popularity increases, though, so act soon!

Disclaimer: All items in this review were purchased by me.  For more information, visit our About page.

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4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I was just looking at their website yesterday. I can’t believe I’ve let the name of this company just sort of slip by me for so long. When my sorry budget gets back into some kind of workable order, I’ll be visiting them to make purchases of my own. All of their inks look so interesting! Why aren’t more people talking about them?

  2. Thanks for this review! I finally received my order of 4 inks, including Petrichor. Looking forward to trying them out.

  3. Wow, I really liked Petrichor but I found it dry in a few nibs. It’s interesting you found it lubricated and a 3 on the wet side.

    I use flex nibs mostly and I tried this in my Pilot 823FA (wetter ebonite feed) and the nib was a tad scratchy, hard starting and railroading when it normally doesn’t. I switch to Waterman Blue as a reference ink that is a nice wet ink and it’s a night and day difference. The nib was a bit smoother and felt more lubricated as a result.

    I love the colors and shading of the TM ink’s I’ve bought but I found Petrichor along with Abalone, Kelp Tea, and Milky Sea to be quite dry. I believe that to get that kind of shading and color spread they need to be dry inks.

    I will use some trusty White Lightning and try again.

  4. Thank you for the review! I am hoping to try these inks, if they ever become easier to get! I am having a problem with four of the images in this review not loading completely. It happens every time I try to read it, so it’s not just a temporary thing. Only part of the image loads, and the rest appears as a grey block.

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