Ink Dupes #13: Noodler’s and Organics Studio

How many royal blue fountain pen inks are there? I think I own 6 or 7 myself. So for the next few Ink Dupes, I’ll be comparing them to each other. You’ll be getting an Ink Dupe post every week for a bit so I can power through these.

As a side note, Bert’s Blue (an exclusive for Bertram’s Inkwell) is sold out, and Tyler of Organics Studio has mentioned that he can’t find the recipe. So, for the time being, that ink is discontinued. Maybe in the future it will be available again. Sadly, I couldn’t find a review for Bert’s Blue, so you’ll have to do without.

The Inks

Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium
Price: ~$12.50 USD
Bottle Size: 88.7ml (3oz)
Price Per Ml: $0.14
Availability: Goulet Pens Exclusive
Organics Studio Bert’s Blue
Price: ~$13 USD
Bottle Size: 55ml
Price Per Ml: $0.22
Availability: Discontinued
Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Noodler's Liberty's Elysium and Organics Studio Bert's Blue

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

Review: Lume Deodorant

Fair warning, there is, within this review, what some people would consider TMI relating to sweatiness and BO. I felt it necessary to provide that information to adequately discuss the changes with and benefits of, Lume. So, you have been warned.

I acknowledge this is a long post, so, if you don’t care about backstory and just want to jump down to the overview, feel free to do so.


Growing up, drugstore deodorants were all I had available to me. I switched between them regularly trying to find one that would completely eliminate body odor. In the past, I have tended towards smelly. I said it. If I would sweat even a little, I would smell. Not really bad, like not likely to offend anyone, but I could smell it, and it bothered me.

I was also very annoyed by how difficult those traditional deodorants were to remove. I could scrub until my pits were red and sore and still feel residue. Rather unnerving, really.

Some years ago, I started seeing ads for “natural” deodorants. That was roughly when I started hearing about how bad regular deodorants are. To be honest, I didn’t really believe all of the claims, but I was curious about the natural deodorants. Perhaps they were better.

Turned out, that was a big no. I tried three different ones, which, while much easier to wash off, offered little to no odor protection. So I went back to the drugstore deodorants. They may be annoying, but at least they did their job.

Trying Lume

In January this year, I started seeing Lume ads on Instagram, namely this ad (watch from 0:14 – 0:56) nearly every day. Originally, I didn’t bother to watch the video, assuming it would be more of the same.

However, after seeing the ad a good 8-9 times, I became curious, mostly because of how silly it looked. So, I finally watched it. And it made me curious. The ad mentioned a few things I disliked about drugstore and natural deodorants. So I decided to give it a try. For reference, I bought the Lavender Sage Stick deodorant.

It didn’t get off to a great start. I still smelled, just like I had with the previous deodorants. But about a week after I started using it, I got an email from Lume. In it, they explained that it can take some time to get rid of all the residue from aluminum deodorants, and, that once it was gone, you have to experiment with how much Lume you actually need to apply.

There was also a note about making sure to apply Lume up to an inch beyond the hair growth areas to ensure full odor control.

So, I adjusted my application method and tried different amounts. It took some experimenting, but I finally had an odor free day. Then another. It was a great feeling. And, I found a great side benefit: my clothes weren’t covered in deodorant anymore.

I wanted to immediately jump on here and give you a review, but as i thought about it, I knew i needed to give it a proper test through some hot days.

So I waited. I made it through an entire stick and bought a second before I got a really hot (90°F) day.

I made it through the day with virtually no BO. That, of course, made me excited. Recently, I’ve had several warm and hot days (80+°F). BO has been nearly non-existent, and it’s been so liberating

The Cons

Nothing is ever perfect. Lume has one big con in my eyes, and a couple smaller ones. The main con: you have to rub it in. It’s annoying. I miss having a stick I can just apply on its own.

The lesser cons: it’s expensive, and it’s not an antiperspirant.

Lume is anywhere from nearly double to nearly triple the price of other deodorants. But, it lasts me 3-4 months, depending on just how much I apply. And, if you need an antiperspirant, then Lume probably isn’t for you. It’s a deodorant, it won’t make you sweat any less, it just keeps you from smelling.

With all of the benefits, though, I can deal with these detriments.

The Pros

Because I’ve already covered the pros in my overview, I’ll just list them here as an overview.

  • It virtually eliminates body odor.
  • It’s easy to wash off, and there’s no residue.
  • It doesn’t stain clothes.
  • Shipping is free in the US.
  • It’s long lasting. A single stick lasts me 3+ months.

There’s also an additional potential benefit that I can’t verify yet. I have many shirts that are faded at the armpits, likely from my deodorant. It will be interesting to see if there’s a reduction in fading now that I’ve switched to Lume.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I can’t think of any reason not to try Lume, as long as you don’t need an antiperspirant. I heartily recommend it to anyone. It is, simply put, the best deodorant I’ve ever used.

Identifying My Vintage Pelikan

This past Saturday, I went to Bertram’s Inkwell to pick up the pen I won from Pensplaining with Corinne. While there, Adam mentioned that they had a bunch of secondhand pens. So, pen fiend that I am, I asked to see them.

Note: If you don’t want to read the story, feel free to jump down to the pen porn or the list of sites I mention in the narrative below.

Out came three big zip cases of vintage pens. I went through the cases, but I don’t typically love the look of vintage pens. They aren’t as pretty as modern pens, in my opinion. But, in the third case, there were a bunch of vintage Pelikans. Among those was a red and black pen. I love red and black, so I pulled it out.

Unfortunately, the nib was looking a bit rough. Out of curiosity, I took at look at each of the other Pelikans. Most of them were stubs or broad, which I know I don’t like writing with. But, this one was intriguing.

Vintage Pelikan 100

The nib was obviously bouncy, so I asked to dip in, and Bert was nice enough to allow me to dip it in ink. I don’t have the writing test from the shop, but here’s basically what I did.

Vintage Pelikan 100 Scribble Sample
Scribble sample with Diamine Soft Mint

With that writing sample, I couldn’t leave the pen behind. There’s more to the story at the store, but to keep this from getting too long, I’ll just say I bought the Pelikan.

Research Time

I started with a basic Google search for “small vintage Pelikan fountain pen”. It took clicking through several sites, but I eventually stumbled across Pelikan Guide.

I clicked on the first “black caps” option, not realizing that there was more than one. But it worked out for me, because I hit the research jackpot. The first image was my pen. And I what I found amazed me!

I’d purchased a Pelikan 100 in Black/Jade Green from 1929-1930. I had picked up what was now the oldest pen in my collection. But, one site wasn’t enough to end my research. So I searched for “Pelikan 100 black jade green” and got a lot of results.

I found this site which called my pen, and its all-black variant, 1st year pens. And this site indicated that the green version came first.

I can’t actually find my info on whether the green version really did come first, but it’s clear I have the first model Pelikan ever made. And that’s pretty freakin’ cool.

SIDE NOTE: In going back to find links while writing this post, I discovered Pelikan Collectibles which has this fantastic timeline, and is a great resource for all things Pelikan.

I continued my research, mainly to try to determine if I had the jade or marbled green version, and found that this pen is apparently rather rare. I’d like to think this is my cosmic recompense for stupidly giving up a super-rare mini Conklin Nozac from the 30s (I think) last year.

I also determined that the ink window on my pen is normal. In every image I found where you could see the ink window, it was equally dark. Which seems odd to me, as what’s the point of an ink window you can’t really see the ink through?

But, I’m hardly going to complain at this amazing find. It’s super cool to have this piece of history. So, pen identified, I’ll leave you here, with some pen porn and writing samples.

Pen Porn

Click on any image to view it even larger.

Vintage Pelikan 100 Uncapped
Vintage Pelikan 100 Uncapped
Vintage Pelikan 100 Nib Closeup
Look at that beautiful nib!
Vintage Pelikan 100 Nib Closeup
I love the heart breather hole. It’s a shame Pelikan switched to a circle.
Vintage Pelikan 100 Cap Finial
For you Finial Lovers
Vintage Pelikan 100 Nib Flex Closeup
Starting to flex…
Vintage Pelikan 100 Nib Flex Closeup
… a bit more…
Vintage Pelikan 100 Nib Flex Closeup
… and full flex. And I learned the nib has a couple stress points. Good to know so I can be careful when flexing.
Vintage Pelikan 100 Writing Sample
And a writing sample with Diamine Soft Mint.

Sites Mentioned

I get it, sometimes you don’t want to read the full story, so here are the sites I mentioned in the narrative above:

Ink Dupes #12: Diamine and Colorverse

When looking at the swabs for these two in my swab notebook, they looked almost identical, but in this test, I noticed a distinct difference. So, while this isn’t exactly an ink dupe, I felt it was worth sharing for those who, like me, thought that they are.

Also, Colorverse Photon is only sold in a two-pack with Gluon. The price listed for it is the total price for both, and the price per ml is the price of both bottles divided by the total mls (80) of both bottles.

The Inks

Diamine Soft Mint
Price: ~$15 USD
Bottle Size: 80ml
Price Per Ml: $0.19
Availability: Readily available
Colorverse Photon
Price: ~$36 USD
Bottle Size: 80ml
Price Per Ml: $0.45
Availability: Readily available
Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Diamine Soft Mint and Colorverse Photon

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

Ink Dupes #11: Organics Studios and Diamine

For those who don’t know, BWIPS stands for Baltimore Washington International Pen Show. The BWIPS 2018 ink was a special edition ink that was given away around the show that year. Because it was such a small batch, I couldn’t find an ink review, but I’ve found it to be rather dry.

The Inks

Organics Studio BWIPS 2018
Price: Free
Bottle Size: 80ml (ish)
Price Per Ml: 0
Availability: Limited Edition
Diamine Dark Forest
Price: ~$16 USD
Bottle Size: 40ml
Price Per Ml: $0.40
Availability: Readily available
Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Diamine Dark Forest and Organics Studio BWIPS 18

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

Review – Seize


by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor

SeizeSeries: Magnus Blackwell, Book 3
Genres: Adult, Supernatural
Release Date: March 26th 2019
Pages: 359
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
My Rating: ★★★★☆

Lexie Arden has a loving husband, a thriving business, and consults with the New Orleans Police Dept on murder cases. Kalfu has given her everything she desires, but challengers to her authority are closing in.

Her dark secret remains hidden from everyone except Magnus. He sees the evil growing stronger, changing her, and hurting her marriage. If Lexie doesn’t rid herself of Kalfu’s influence soon, the consequences will be irreversible.

When she unexpectedly inherits a cottage in the swamp, she uncovers a library of rare books on voodoo. Their spells can reverse the dark lord’s hold and set right the balance between darkness and light. But such magic requires a great sacrifice; one Lexie isn’t willing to make.

With the shadow spirits and raging voodoo gods vying for her attention, Lexie is on the verge of losing everything—her husband, her power, Magnus, and possibly, her life.

The battle for control of the mambo’s soul is about to begin.

Continue reading “Review – Seize”

Book Blitz – A Touch of Darkness

Disclaimer: I’ve stated in the past that I don’t feel comfortable promoting books I haven’t read. I signed up for a review tour stop for this book, but received notice on May 2nd that the book would not be available in time for the tour. Rather than abandon my spot on the tour, I decided to post this excerpt as requested by the author via Xpresso Book Tours. Please consider this post as informative as opposed to promotional. I have not read the book as of posting this.

A Touch of Darkness

by Scarlett St. Clair

A Touch of DarknessGenres: Adult, Mythology, Romance
Series: Hades & Persephone, Book 1
Release Date: Spring 2019

Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist.

Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible.

After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever.

The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a Goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—and it’s forbidden.

Continue reading “Book Blitz – A Touch of Darkness”

Conflict in Books

I hear often enough that without conflict, there is no story. That a story without conflict is just a boring series of events. But when I read, I prefer either a short conflict, something that I’ll read the resolution to before I have to set the book aside to go back to life, or light conflict, that you know the character can make it through. I’m guessing this puts me in the minority.

But here’s the thing — reading is my escape. There’s plenty of conflict in movies, the news, and my own life to last me ten lifetimes. To escape from that, I want something different. Let me say, I’m specifically referring to fiction here. Obviously, I don’t expect non-fiction to lack conflict or to be anything other than truth.

I appreciate a book where it’s obvious from page one that there will be a happy ending. It means I can just lose myself in a stable, happy story. I can also work with a story with conflict that gives you frequent highs to get you through the lows.

But when the main character, or any character you can become emotionally invested in, is hit by problem after problem, it’s depressing. Where is the escape in that? What’s the point in a book that makes you feel worse by the time you finish it than you did when you started it?

What’re your thoughts on conflict in books? Like it? Love it? Let me know.

Ink Dupes #10: Diamine and Lamy

Here’s another “fan request”. While they definitely look different in chromatography and swabs, I think they’d be indistinguishable in all but the wettest pens.

The Inks

Diamine Pansy
Price: ~$5 USD
Bottle Size: 30ml
Price Per Ml: $.17
Availability: Available
Lamy Dark Lilac
Price: ~$12 USD
Bottle Size: 50ml
Price Per Ml: $0.24
Availability: Discontinued

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Diamine Pansy and Lamy Dark Lilac

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.