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My 10 Most-Used Inks

Posted in Ink

The other day, I was going through my inks, and I couldn’t help but wonder what inks I use most. So, me being me, I dug into my data, and pulled out my 10 most-used inks. To figure out which they were, I looked for which inks have been used in my last four notebooks (since I started tracking inks). Only 6 inks were used in all 4 notebooks. The remaining 4 were inks that I used for both regular rotation in 3 notebooks and had in always inked pens.

Honestly, I was rather surprised by the results, as these aren’t my favorite inks. At least, not the inks I think of when asked about favorites. Maybe I’ll cover those in another post.

Note: This list is in alphabetical order. I scanned my personal ink swabs from my ink notebook. I’ve done my best to make the inks look true-to-life, but I can’t account for everyone’s screen settings, only mine.

Caran d’Ache Delicate Green

Used in 4 of 4 notebooks.

Swab of Caran d'Ache Delicate Green
Please ignore the bleed-through at the right.

Delicate Green is like Kelly Green’s paler brother. It’s not quite as vibrat, but that’s not a bad thing. You definitely need to use Delicate Green in a wet or wide nib, though, otherwise it may be difficult to read. I tend to put Delicate Green in pink, purple, or brown pens.

DeAtramentis Madame de Pompadour

Used in 3 of 4 notebooks, plus an always inked pen.

Swab of DeAtramentis Madame de Pompadour

Madame de Pompadour is a gorgeous blue tending to blue/black. It’s become a favorite of both Jim and myself. I never have any problems with it. Madame de Pompadour is one of the few inks that “live” in a pen. This is my Visconti Medici Il Magnifico Lapislazzuli’s ink. I only ever ink that pen with Madame de Pompadour, as it almost perfectly matches the barrel color.

Diamine Kelly Green

Used in 4 of 4 notebooks.

Swab of Diamine Kelly Green

As I said before, Kelly Green is Delicate Green’s bolder brother. Kelly Green goes darker than Delicate Green, and is better suited for finer nibs. It’s best used in wetter nibs for the full effect of its shading abilities, though. Like Delicate Green, I tend to put Kelly Green in pink, purple, or brown pens.

J. Herbin Poussière de Lune

Used in 3 of 4 notebooks.

Swab of J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune

Poussière de Lune is one of the first inks I fell in love with, but it often feels like I overlook it. It’s such a beautiful, muted red-violet. And, as a J. Herbin ink, I know it will perform well in anything. Poussière de Lune is great for red, green, and teal pens.

Kobe #56 Rokko Shichidanka

Used in 3 of 4 notebooks.

Swab of Kobe Rokko Shichidanka

Rokko Shichidanka, of of Kobe’s two hydrangea colors. For the longest time, I just called it Kobe 56. I bought 57 (Hime Ajisai, the pinker version) first, but 56 is darker, and better suited to the finer nibs I prefer. 56 and 57 may not be the “original” multi shaders, but they’re the first ones I experienced, and I love them. I most often use Rokko Shichidanka in pink, orange, yellow, green, and black pens.

Kyo No Oto Kokeiro

Used in 4 of 4 notebooks.

Swab of Kyo No Oto Kokeiro
I got the brand name wrong in the swab. Oops.

Kokeiro is a lovely, grungy yellow-olive green. I’m not sure that’s the best way to describe it, but it’ll do. It also has some decent shading, though less than Kelly Green. I tend to use it in pink, red, and brown pens, although it’s nice in teal pens, too.

Laban Aphrodite Pink

Used in 4 of 4 notebooks.

Swab of Laban Aphrodite Pink

When I bought Aphrodite Pink, I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I do. It shades from a pale, dusty rose to almost brown. It’s the pink ink for people who don’t like pink. It’s a good ink for green and blue pens.

Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki Yo

Used in 3 of 4 notebooks, plus an always inked pen.

Swab of Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki Yo

Tsuki Yo is a blue/black with a hint of green. It’s perfect for those who need to use something more somber for work, but still want some personality. I love it in red pens, and it’s found a home in my Aurora 100th Anniversary. While I occasionally try a different ink in it (like right now) I always end up going back to Tsuki Yo. It’s such a satisfying color combination.

Sailor Ink Studio 160

Used in 4 of 4 notebooks.

Swab of Sailor Ink Studio 160

160 is an unusual color. It’s vibrant, but doesn’t shade much. It would be a fabulous highlighter color. But, since it’s so “solid,” I can use it in any nib and still get the same color. I usually use it in blue and red pens, but it can be fun in brown and black pens as well.

Sailor Jentle Apricot

Used in 4 of 4 notebooks.

Swab of Sailor Jentle Apricot

And, last, but certainly not least, Apricot has been a favorite since I got it. The color is deliciously vibrant — the swab really doesn’t do it justice — and “solid.” It doesn’t matter what nib I use it in, I still get a great bright orange. And it doesn’t do that gross crusty thing that so many orange inks do. I tend to use it in blue and turquoise pens, but it’s also a near perfect match for the Sailor Tequila Sunrise.

So, there are my 10 most-used inks. Are any of these your most-used inks? If not, do you like any of these colors? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. Thanks for sharing, ink reviews are useful but nothing is better than inks used everyday, the go to inks. I personally use DeAtramentis often and Madame de Pompadour is one of my favs.

    November 9, 2021
    • Madame de Pompadour is just such a great color. 😊

      November 11, 2021

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