Skip to content

25 Days of Dupes 2022 Wrap-Up

Posted in Fountain Pens

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. If you were unable to purchase the Inkvent Calendar, then this likely helped settle your mind about experiencing the colors. I’m sure that these 2022 colors will eventually be released individually, so hopefully this series helped you decide which ones — if any — to get.

Comparing the Inkvent Calendars

I found this year’s Inkvent calendar disappointing. There were only two inks I couldn’t match perfectly, and I’m certain it comes down to not having the right ink, as opposed to those colors being super unique. This year’s calendar was released later than last year’s, and I didn’t have the time to place additional orders trying to find perfect ink matches.

On top of the ease of duping, I was able to perfectly dupe 15 inks — that’s 60 percent! — with Diamine inks, 10 of which — 40 percent!!! — were from previous Inkvent calendars! There were an additional 7 previous Inkvent inks and 8 regular Diamine inks that were close enough matches that you’d likely have trouble telling them apart in writing samples. That is simple unacceptable.

Let’s not forget that the back of the Inkvent box reads:

These beautiful new ink colors cannot be found anywhere else in Diamine’s exciting ranges Created especially for the Inkvent Calendar, they’re perfect for use with fountain pens, brushes and nibs.

The back of the Diamine Inkvent Calendar 2022 “Green Edition”

Diamine, I call BULLSH*T!!

Doing Things Differently

I don’t know if the issue is that Diamine already has “all the colors” in their extensive ink catalog or that they’re being lazy. Either way, this calendar didn’t even come close to living up to its promise.

If, in an alternate universe, I were able to develop next year’s calendar, I’d work with Diamine’s existing ink range. I seriously doubt any of us have used all of Diamine’s inks. Imagine, instead of so-called “new” inks being disappointingly easy to dupe, you instead had 25 days of existing inks evenly spread across the color spectrum — including special editions — with day 25 being a truly interesting multishader. That could be a calendar worth $115.

“Running the Numbers”


I “ran the numbers” for the formulas a little differently this year. There are four main formula types: standard, shimmer, sheen, and scented. I’ve grouped the various subtypes into those four main types. While this means the numbers won’t add up to 25 — or 100% — you get to see how things actually break out.

Standard10 (40%)13 (52%)12 (48%)
Sheen4 (16%)6 (%)9 (%)
  Sheen & Shimmer143
  Chameleon & Sheen2
  Scented & Sheen1
Shimmer13 (52%)10 (40%)7 (28%)
  Sheen & Shimmer143
  Chameleon & Sheen2
Scented2 (8%)
  Scented & Sheen1

It may just be my corner of the pen world, but the number of people I know who actively avoid shimmer inks is higher than those who enjoy using them. So it’s surprising to me that the majority of the inks this year contained some form of shimmer. I would have preferred to see an increase in multishaders — maybe 5 or 6 — rather than shimmers.


The color variety is pretty good this year, although heavy on greens through blues. I’d like to see a truly even calendar. Taking the 11 color categories I have below, Diamine could include two of each, then the additional three inks could be the color of the calendar (you know, greens for the green edition, etc.). These calendars are supposed to introduce us all to new colors. Having a fairly even split is a great way to actually do that.


The Dupes

Below, you’ll find an easy reference so you don’t have to click through the separate blog posts to find the Inkvent dupe names. I only list the ink that I feel is the best overall dupe. If you want to see the comparison swabs or the other dupe options, you can click through to the corresponding post.

  1. Bliss – Diamine Aqua Lagoon
  2. Yule Log – J. Herbin Lie de The
  3. Solar Storm – Diamine Storm
  4. Spruce – Diamine Holly
  5. Spiced Apple – Diamine Poinsettia
  6. Ghost – Vinta Inks Armada
  7. Alpine – J. Herbin Vert Empire
  8. Jingle Berry – Vinta Inks La Union
  9. Cardinal – Diamine Ho Ho Ho
  10. Dusted Truffle – Montblanc Swan Illusion
  11. Appletini – Diamine Kelly Green
  12. Memory Lane – Wearingeul Jane Eyre
  13. Upon A Star – Diamine Midnight Hour
  14. Three Kings – Diamine Golden Sands
  15. Pick Me Up – Diamine Winter Spice
  16. Serendipity – Diamine Yuletide
  17. Flame – Diamine Blaze Orange
  18. Olive Swirl – Krishna Ghat Green
  19. Silent Night – Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite
  20. Arctic Blast – Diamine Jack Frost
  21. Cosy Up – Private Reserve Shell Pink
  22. Deck the Halls – Diamine Damson
  23. Celebration – J. Herbin Corail des Tropiques
  24. One More Sleep – Sailor Ink Studio 343
  25. Best Wishes – Diamine Dark Forest

Other Dupes Suggestions

During the course of this series, I both had other possible Ink Dupes suggested, and found a few possibilities online. I’m providing them here for you to test out. Keep in mind, I haven’t compared them to the Inkvent inks, so I don’t know how accurate these are.

  1. Bliss – Montblanc Maya Blue
  2. Yule Log – No Additional Dupes
  3. Solar Storm – Straits Pens Ultra-Meh-Rine
  4. Spruce – Diamine November Rain
  5. Spiced Apple – DeAtramentis Carnelian Red-Copper, Diamine Classic Red
  6. Ghost – No Additional Dupes
  7. Alpine – Noodler’s Luck of the Draw, J. Herbin Vert Atlantide
  8. Jingle Berry – Ferris Wheel Press Double Raspberry
  9. Cardinal – No Additional Dupes
  10. Dusted Truffle – No Additional Dupes
  11. Appletini – No Additional Dupes
  12. Memory Lane – Ferris Wheel Press Little Robinia
  13. Upon A Star – No Additional Dupes
  14. Three Kings – Robert Oster Honey Bee, Kobe #21 Taisanji Yellow
  15. Pick Me Up – Montegrappa Coffee Brown, Diamine Kopi O Kaw
  16. Serendipity – Ferris Wheel Press Edwards Gardens, Akkerman’s Israel’s Zeeblauw
  17. Flame – Nemosine Solar Storm, Ferris Wheel Press Pumpkin Patch, Montblanc Ink of Joy
  18. Olive Swirl –Rohrer & Klingner Alt -Goldgrun
  19. Silent Night – Ferris Wheel Press Stroke of Midnight
  20. Arctic Blast – No Additional Dupes
  21. Cosy Up – No Additional Dupes
  22. Deck the Halls – No Additional Dupes
  23. Celebration – No Additional Dupes
  24. One More Sleep – J. Herbin Bleu Myosotis
  25. Best Wishes – Organics Studio BWIPS 2018

If you have a dupe suggestion, let me know so I can add it to this list.

Thank You

Thanks again to David D. from the DC Metro Pen Crew. Without him generously loaning me his Inkvent calendar, 25 Days of Dupes wouldn’t have happened this year. You rock, David!

Thanks for reading to the end, I hope you enjoyed my post. What did you think of this year’s Inkvent calendar? Do you any any other possible dupes to suggest? How did you feel about my weekly posts versus daily posts? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

Make sure to subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss any posts. I generally post at least once a week.


  1. roberta mosenfelder
    roberta mosenfelder

    I have been returning to Alpine for several more comments. I pulled out a Birmingham ink, Lichen Watermark and INHO its close enough to Alpine ( but without shimmer) to keep me happy. I also spotted an Everlasting ink, Black Spruce, on their site, that might be a good match, but I do not own that one so cannot be sure.

    December 31, 2022
  2. Chris Bruner
    Chris Bruner

    Rachel, I appreciate the effort you put into these comparisons. However, I have to say that I have a problem with your criteria’s ignoring shimmer. For example. While the base color of Deck the Halls may be similar to (or even identical to) Damson, these are very different inks. Deck the Halls is a festive, sparkly ink, while Damson is very subdued. Saying that these are dupes is like saying a diamond is just a dupe of a lump of coal because they are both carbon. That isn’t fair to the manufacturer, and, as someone who DOES seek out shimmering inks, it’s not fair to at least some of your readers. Please consider revising your criteria for next year.

    Thank you, and Happy New Year!

    December 27, 2022
    • Hi Chris,

      I understand and appreciate the point you’re making. You’re right, a shimmering ink and a non-shimmering ink aren’t identical. But, they can be color dupes.

      I don’t try to dupe shimmer or sheen because that would make it impossible to find matches for every color (I’ll get back to that in a moment). I make it clear that I’m not attempting to dupe these properties — that I’m only looking for color dupes — so that no one is misled. Diamine puts colored shimmer in the Inkvent inks, which can be nearly impossible to dupe. Sheen is based on the dye used, so you may have the same base color but a different sheen.

      Someone, like yourself, who is interested in shimmer inks and actively seeks them out would likely enjoy the Inkvent calendars for those unique shimmers. In that case, these dupe posts would be, at best, an entertaining or interesting read. Someone who is interested in sheening inks would probably do better just buying some.

      However, based on my experience with my corner of the pen world, the majority (even if it’s a slim majority) tend to avoid shimmer inks for the extra work they entail — either the issues with clogging, the extra cleaning necessary, or the need to consistently agitate your pen to ensure you have shimmer throughout the entire fill.

      On top of that, I’m just one person doing this for fun. I can’t afford (and sometimes don’t have the time, like this year), to buy all the inks in the hopes of finding dupes for those special properties.

      25 Days of Dupes started with my curiosity since the first Inkvent calendar to find out how true Diamine’s claims of creating unique inks are. I’ve found over the three years that they are almost certainly taking existing colors and adding/removing shimmer, increasing dye density to provide sheen, or minimally tweaking the recipe to claim they’ve created a new ink. I keep doing these because readers find it interesting and some find it helpful.

      December 27, 2022
      • Chris Bruner
        Chris Bruner

        Thanks for the quick response, Rachel! I understand you’re just doing this for fun and you’ve certainly been clear about stating what your criteria are.

        Diamine has some 400+ inks, so it would be very difficult for anything they produce to be *completely* new, as you imply. Adding shimmer makes a new ink, IMO, but I don’t insist on it.

        I enjoyed this year’s calendar more than last year’s. There were just a few inks I didn’t care for, and even those are at least interesting. I’ll look forward to next year’s, too!

        Thank you again for doing these. I’ve enjoyed reading the posts and seeing what’s similar!

        December 27, 2022
  3. Laurel Peace
    Laurel Peace

    Hi, Rachel! Great post! I had decided not to purchase the Inkvent calendar this year and you have just validated my reasons.

    I’m not a huge fan of shimmer inks, and I get really annoyed at being told how original or special something is only to find out it’s a regularly stocked item. If the colors aren’t actually new, Diamine shouldn’t advertise them as such in the Inkvent calendar. False advertising!

    I love your idea of a full palette of colors for next year. Maybe forward your post along to Diamine? 😉

    And weekly posts have got to be easier for you to manage. I’m a fan of anything that makes one’s life LESS stressful.

    December 27, 2022
    • I’m happy you enjoyed it. I’m very thankful I have pen friends who are willing to lend their calendar. I definitely wouldn’t be doing this otherwise.

      I would totally forward the post, except I don’t have an “in” with them, so it will almost certainly be ignored. 😐

      You’re correct, weekly posts are definitely easier to manage. I also feel like they let me have less repetition.

      December 27, 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *