Fountain Pen Reivew: Benu Skull & Roses Crow Fountain Pen

Inside me there is still a 16-year-old goth girl. There. I’ve said it. I outed myself. So, when I saw the Benu Skull & Roses Crow Fountain Pen ($163) I knew I had to have it.

I first saw the Skull & Roses pens at the LA Pen Show at the  Dromgoole’s tables where Jesi and I were working. We both debated buying the pens on the table but we had so many people checking them out that we both waited to see if the pens sold at the show.

Then we got all “quick! we gotta pack up!” and I forgot to grab the Skull & Roses pen. A few weeks after returning from the pen show, I started thinking, “Dang! I wish I had bought that BENU,” but by that point, I couldn’t find the pen in stock anywhere.

I gave up getting one, until I saw that Truphae had them in stock and, as June is my birthday month, I decided to celebrate still being a kid, and bought it for myself.

The BENU packaging is pretty uneventful (and hence, not photographed) and that’s fine by me. It’s a simple white box with gold lettering and the pen is in a white, paperboard tube cushioned in paper shred inside. While the packaging is fully recyclable it doesn’t give away the cacaphony of color or funkiness going on inside the box. Sneaky.

The Skull & Roses Crow is a pretty silly pen all things considered.  It utilizes a traditional tapered, cigar shape with deeply engraved roses along the cap and barrel and a ring of engraved skulls around the cap band. The pen is a solid black plastic material with a texture in the non-embossed areas to give the pen a leather-like look — kind of like the texture on an old book.One might think of it as a budget-friendly subtler version of the Chaos pen (IYKYK).

If you look closely, you can see the letters BENU hidden in the rose vines.

The pen did come with a universal cartridge converter which I filled with “be still my Goth-y heart” Sailor Studio 350.

The nib is a standard Schmidt #5 nib. Love ’em or hate ’em, BENU uses Schmidt nibs. I got the EF nib and it was a little scratchy but I used a bit of micromesh and was able to smooth it out. I’m spoiled from years of using Sailor nibs so I still find the nib to be a bit stiff and not as fine as I’d like it but its a decent nib.


  • Length: 5.375 (capped)
  • Length  5″ (uncapped)
  • Weight 21gms (capped and filled)
  • Weight 16gms (uncapped with full converter)

The smooth grip section is about 0.875″ long with a minimal step down from the threads and an added bit of smooth matte grip area along the pen body creating a space of about 1.5″ overall to grip the pen without coming into contact with the deep sculpted designs.  For some, the deeply engraved exterior and small size may cause pressure on your hand from the design. I didn’t find the sculpted body to be too bothersome for everyday notetaking but I wouldn’t choose this pen to do NaNoWriMo or other marathon writing.

The cap is not really post-able which limits the length.

The Skull & Roses is also available in a translucent red and a mixed black-body-with-translucent-red band called Smolder (currently sold out).

In the end, the plus sides are the ridiculously goth-y design, lightweight and reasonable price. For some folks the downside would be the small Schmidt nib, not post-able and too much engraving that may interfere with overall writing comfort. My thinking is that if you are attracted to the design, the “downsides” can be overlooked because… c’mon, skulls & roses!

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4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. There is also a Goldspot exclusive translucent green version, if that color is your poison.

  2. Man, I love this pen, but the Chaos is my grail so YMMV. Did yours come with a little pen rest? I got mine late last year and it had a little star-shaped pen rest in the box.

    Two other things about this pen: the roller version uses fountain pen ink instead of roller refills and the fountain version also comes in translucent green (at Goldspot).

    And nice placement of the Siouxsie record!

    1. No. I didn’t get a pen rest with my Skull & Roses but I will keep an eye out to see if I can find one.

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