A month ago, I finally signed up for Ink Drop from Goulet Pens. My first sample was "safe for work," meaning they were all reserved and dark colors that wouldn't call much attention in the office. The one that caught my interest first out of the bunch was Ebony Purple by Private Reserve. I thought a dark purple would look great as an everyday writing ink, so I inked it up in a Lamy Vista that was nearby.
I have to admit, I was a little disappointed by just how deep and dark the ink is – I struggle to see the purple when I'm writing. I normally have to hold it up to a light to see purple showing through in the lighter areas of the pen strokes. Despite that, it's a great ink that performs well. Let's get into the details.
This ink flows super smooth – very well lubricated. My Lamy Vista is normally a bit scratchy with other inks, but it's surprisingly smooth with this ink. There's a minor (very minor) amount of shading if you're using a broader nib. Obviously, you can get the best shading if you're using a calligraphy or flex nib, but in my fine Vista, it's hardly noticeable. If you're a big fan of inks that shade beautifully, this one won't please you. The ink does surprisingly well on cheap paper, barely feathering at all. I was impressed by this because I expected it to feather quite a bit because of how dark and smooth it is.
Dry time is a bit of a problem. I gauge it at somewhere between 25 and 30 seconds to completely dry, so this ink is probably out for most lefties. I'm a righty, and I still end up smudging the line above where I'm writing. Dry time is definitely slow with this one.
Cleaning the ink out of a pen is a cinch. No complaints here – it's a pretty easy ink to clean.
The saturation of this ink is incredible, and I think the name they chose is a literal interpretation. It really is ebony in color and the purple is an after-thought. Personally, I'd like to see more purple, but that's not really a problem with the ink – it's just personal preference.
If you like subtle inks that don't stray from the standard colors, this is a good one to try. Like I said, most people will have to look pretty closely to notice the purple, and it's fun when you finally do notice. But it certainly isn't distracting, which is why it's safe for an office environment.
Overall, I wasn't really excited by this ink just because of how dark it is, but I'm certainly interested in trying more inks from Private Reserve. This ink behaves admirably, and if the rest of their line is similar, that's really good news. Now, on to try the other ink samples before the next batch comes in!