Ink Review: The Royal Treatment – Or a Review of Several Purple Inks

In Medieval and Renaissance times, the color purple was reserved almost exclusively for royalty. Brian calls me the Queen, which is perhaps why I like the color purple so much. Bright blue is my favorite color, and many shades of purple are very close, so, to me, it all makes sense. For the ink lovers among us, I offer you several purple inks this week, and yes, Julie, you did influence my ink color choices this week!!!

Noodler’s La Couleur Royal (gotta love the name!!)  is a bright and intense blue-based purple. In our ink swatch book, it is by far the bluest purple of the bunch, almost to the point of appearing to be a purple-y bright dark blue. I often put this in my Aurora Mare, and I do love the contrast between the pen body and the ink color. For a deep, rich, vibrant blue-based purple, this one rules…

Noodler's La Couleur Royal

Noodler’s La Couleur Royal

Sheaffer’s Purple on the other hand, is a very bright, definitely purple-y shade of purple. This hue I consider to be a little bit lighter, and a little cleaner, if you know what I mean. Not a dusty shade, not muted, just a clean, bright, “look at me” color. Think Miami in summer, bright tropical shades – this would be amazing in a turquoise colored pen….. Sheaffer ink in general is wonderful in pens, and I have always trusted any Sheaffer colors that I have used, which ranks it higher than other brands, at least for me.

Sheaffer Purple

Sheaffer Purple

Noodler’s Purple is rich and intense, as are most of the Noodler’s colors. More purple than La Couleur Royal, darker than Sheaffer’s Purple; this to me is the perfect example of what a darker purple ink should be. Even in my fine nib pens, this ink shows up on the page as a nice full-bodied purple color. One of my personal favorites!!

Noodler's Purple

Noodler’s Purple

J. Herbin Violette Pensee. Many Herbin colors are brightly-hued but muted, and this is no exception. Definitely a purple, but not screaming for attention. J. Herbin Violette Pensee is the “girl-next-door” of purples…. easily overlooked at first glance, but on a second look, this is a really nice option – maybe I should give this more thought. J. Herbin inks have the advantage of being the most forgiving with clothing ( meaning if you are clumsy like I am, these will wash out easily from shirts & rugs lol). That factor alone adds points, especially in pens that I carry around in my purse.

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

Noodler’s Purple Martin has been an excellent seller for us. It’s an interesting color, especially for Noodler’s, since it is a little more muted and subdued, than many other Noodler’s shades. While not a wallflower by any means, Purple Martin is more subtle, more laid back – in some ways a classier color than some of the other purple inks. Noodler’s Purple Martin is like a woman in her 40’s, refined, with no need to grab attention like Sheaffer’s Purple, no reliance on sultry undertones like Noodler’s Purple. No identity crisis like La Couleur Royal (am I blue, am I purple??). Purple Martin is subtle, dependable, still distinctly purple, but not overly so. In a fine nibbed pen, this is a lovely tone, and in a broad nib, this often appears as a surprise… what IS this lovely shade?

Noodler's Purple Martin

Noodler’s Purple Martin

For purple inks, the fountain pen users have dozens of options, and I have only covered a few here today. Ink manufacturers have done an amazing job of offering us almost too many choices… It usually boils down to what catches your attention, what brand you may be loyal to, or what you want to play with next.

Don’t forget, once you start to accumulate several different inks, you might need a place to keep track of them… <hint hint>

Share with us your favorite purple color… does it change with your mood, to whom you are writing, or what pen you are using?  Let us know, we would love to hear from yyou.

Lisa & Brian