purple haze: colorverse milky lavender fountain pen ink
Finding a sunny spot at a cafe comes harder as the weather gets warmer. The tables in the shade are usually empty, but you would also like a piece of the rare warm sun, just like everyone else. So, once you finally spot a table at the cafe you wanted to go to, you sit down as quick as possible. It's still somewhat early in the morning, and the streets are not as busy as they will be in a couple of hours. Still, tour busses and trams pass through, carrying people along the river's edge. In between the grumbling engines, the street calms back down, and you can hear the rustling of the leaves in the gentle wind and the birdsong of sparrows hiding in between the branches once more.
My favourite part of spring is the lavender flowers. You cannot have bad memories with the lavender flowers. The variety that grows in the place that I currently live in doesn’t have much of a scent, but I can almost smell them anyway. It reminds me of the fields in Aix-en-Provence that we went one summer, you would open the car windows slightly and the most beautiful lavender smell would fill up the car. It also reminds me of horse riding in the summer, where they had planted lavenders around the manège. The flower buds would dry on the plant under the Mediterranean sun and the whole line of shrubs would vibrate with the buzz of the bees.
Lavender flowers remind me of the best parts of spring and summer, so it was inevitable for me to buy this fountain pen ink. The only part were I hesitated was getting the “Lavender” from Diamine or “Milky Lavender” from Colorverse. The swatches look similar enough on a computer screen, but I went with Colourverse simply because of the cuteness factor. The space theme and the little lavender drawings on the bottle were hard to resist. Don’t get me wrong, the Diamine bottles are very functional and I own plenty of them, it was a time to try something different.
Colorverse is known for their space theme, though they release some ink around the joys of being on Earth as well. Or growing lavender on Mars, whichever you prefer. I love this and have to actively stop looking at Colorverse inks to stop buying them, because I spend most of my free time volunteering for two different space projects. Some people have that obsession with space when they were growing up, which I never had, but I found myself there anyway. It’s quite fun.
Space theme and my second favourite flower make for a very strong case to buy an ink. Knowing Colorverse’s quality and impeccable colour selection, I had added this ink to my order for a bit of an extra purple goodness in my life. Lavender is my second favourite colour too.
I want to start first with the packaging, simply because even though the inks are amazing, that’s what you’re really buying. Incidentally, the cardboard box that most inks come in is the part I least care about, I usually throw it away. Colorverse is the exception to that. The bottles fit perfectly into the square based box, even though the bottles have an irregular shape. Considering the space prints at the inside of the bottle and the lavender on the outside, I kept the bottle. Not too surprising I guess, I keep these bottles more often than not. The printing colour on top of the box also represents the ink’s colour pretty well, so it is easy to find and remember in my ink drawer(s). Truly an example of a box worth keeping.
Then, there is that beautiful bottle. For this ink, it’s the 65ml bottle size, the largest they make. The base has a tear-drop shape that gives the little tail and a special shape to this bottle. Ink and pen pairings are careful combinations for me, aiming to show off both of them in the best light that they possibly can. This bottle shows me that they put the same effort and thought into designing the bottle as well. The bottle fits pretty nicely to your hand, the rounded shape sits like a smooth pebble from the beach in your palm. Due to this roundness and the different shape that the base of the bottle has, it feels like it should be unstable. It is not. It is easy to fill from, though my pens tend not to be on the larger size.
Buying something for the packaging is not something I tend to do, as I try to stay on the more practical side. The packaging gets thrown away, every single time. The part which makes Colourverse a good example of buying the packaging is that the inks also stand up to that high standard. They are well-behaved with beautiful colours. Also, we tend to form lasting opinions from first impressions, which means opening the packaging and peeling away layers of cardboard first. For me, this type of an experience translates to reaching for an ink more often due to the positive experience beforehand. As a customer, I want to feel valued and cared for. I will care a lot about which ink goes to my pen, and in return the company shows that they care about my experience with the ink beyond simple quality. Each ink/pen brand is good for one thing, and this is Colorverse’s forte. They make you want to buy and use the ink, and not only for the pretty colours that they come out with.
I do have a number of them on my wish list.
Well, since we opened the box and took the bottle out, we might as well ink up a few pens. I’ve been using this ink every now and then, so I decided to ink up three pens with different characteristics to look at how it compares in different nibs. The first pen is a TWSBI Diamond ALR 580 with a very wet medium nib, the second one is the same pen with a normal fine nib and the last pen is a Faber Castell Grip fountain pen with a dry fine nib.
In the medium nib, the ink exhibits some interesting shading. It doesn’t create gradients of colour, but instead kind of separates. The darker parts where the ink pools, like the ends of letters, have a well defined line between them and the lighter parts. In the medium-wet fine nib, it rarely shades and even the lightest shade of this bright lavender colour is easily legible. On the other hand, the dry fine nib isn’t the most enjoyable experience. The light colour blends to the lines on the page and doesn’t stand out very much in cream coloured papers. It is still legible, though it is not as effortless as in the other two nibs. You have to bring the page closer to your face to read comfortably. It behaves okay, as long as you don’t use the worst paper. The only point that I encountered is that it’s a bit sensitive to the oils transferring to the bottom of page from your hand, like most shading inks.
If you can’t tell, I enjoy this ink a lot. The colour fits my taste perfectly and the shading gives it some spice. Colorverse Milky Lavender is the best of both worlds, a lovely ink in a lovely bottle.
Thank you for reading!