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25 Days of Dupes 2023 – Wrap-Up

Posted in Ink

Phew, that’s a wrap on another 25 Days of Dupes! I’ll have to come up with something special to do for next year since it will be the 5th anniversary. If you have any ideas, let me know.

Doubtless, these Inkvent inks will get released as full bottles next year as all the others have. Hopefully this series helped you decide which — if any — to get.

Differences and Lessons Learned

This year’s 25 Days of Dupes was significantly more work since I swatched the inks on an additional paper type and created YouTube shorts.

Let’s start with that first item. I chose bad paper for the swatches. The Kokuyo paper couldn’t quite handle the heavy ink application and feathered/bledthrough with multiple inks. On top of that, the grid on the Kokuyo paper and the dots on the Franklin-Christoph and Iroful paper were obstacles to editing the swatch photos to be true-to-life.

I need to make sure to use blank paper for next year’s swatches. Let me know if you have any suggestions for easy-to-buy paper that can handle the ink quantity.

The videos, while all under a minute, still took extra time to film, edit, and upload. I hope they were useful (please let me know), but I don’t know if I’ll do them again next year. You can watch all of the shorts together on my 2023 Inkvent playlist.

Comparing the Inkvent Calendars

I enjoyed this year’s Inkvent calendar enough to get my own — the first time since 2019. I appreciate that the calendar was released earlier again this year. It gave me the opportunity to order ink samples during the Fountain Pen Day and Black Friday sales to save myself some money. I purchased 72 ink samples in addition to the ones I already owned, so even a few cents each really start to add up.

Diamine definitely improved from last year. I only matched two inks to other Diamine inks, and none matched to previous Inkvent inks. That’s certainly a relief after last year’s poor showing. If you count the “close second” inks, then Inkvent inks and Diamine inks as a whole make a significantly greater appearance (four and eight, respectively), but that seems unfair.

There were even a handful of inks — 5 actually — that I didn’t dupe. And, in all but one case, that wasn’t for lack of trying.

“Running the Numbers”


I continued last year’s format, counting the 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.

Surprisingly, Diamine didn’t incude any sheening inks this year. Instead, they upped the shimmer inks from 13 to 15.

Standard7 (28%)10 (40%)13 (52%)12 (48%)
Sheen4 (16%)6 (%)9 (%)
  Sheen & Shimmer143
  Chameleon & Sheen2
  Scented & Sheen1
Shimmer15 (60%)13 (52%)10 (40%)7 (28%)
  Sheen & Shimmer143
  Chameleon & Sheen2
  Star Bright1
Scented2 (8%)2 (8%)
  Scented & Sheen1

In a complete 180 from previous years, this didn’t bother me. I’ve learned to appreciate shimmer inks — as long as I can fully disassemble the pen to clean it. More on that in a future post. I also like that the chameleon formula color shifts are more noticeable this year.

However, I despised the Star Bright formula. I’ve seen comments from people who enjoyed it, saying that it worked well for them. But, I couldn’t even get a full word out of my pen without it clogging.

Regardless of a new appreciation for shimmer inks, I would have liked to see mroe multi-shaders. There was only one — maybe three if you have really good paper and an extremely wet nib — and you had to lay down quite a bit of ink to see it.


The color variety is excellent this year. None of the color categories got left out, and there wasn’t an overabundance of blue inks!


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 listed the top ink dupe on Kokuyo paper. If you want to see the comparison swabs or the other dupe options, you can click through to the corresponding post.

  1. Fortunes Gold – Colorverse Gluon
  2. Cashmere Rose – Robert Oster Plumb Nut
  3. Early Dusk – Taccia Classic Blue Jeans
  4. Masquerade – Van Dieman’s Bengal Tiger Blaze
  5. Nightfall – Aurora Blue Black
  6. Bucks Fizz – Monteverde Topaz
  7. Sweet Dreams – No dupe
  8. Jacaranda – Kobe 56 Rokko Shichidanka and Birmingham Pen Company Wisteria
  9. Moon Beam – No dupe
  10. Velvet Emerald – Monteverde DC Supershow Teal
  11. Glacier – Vinta Lucia
  12. Bah Humbug – Wearingeul Metamorphosis
  13. Weeping Willow – No dupe
  14. Rainbows End – Jacques Herbin Violet Impérial
  15. Walnut – Diamine Espresso
  16. Merry & Bright – J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage and Octopus Fluids Write & Draw Green Eagle
  17. Lavender Frost – Colorverse Iris Nebula
  18. Blizzard – J. Herbin Vert de Gris
  19. Cinnabun – Diamine Golden Brown
  20. Astral – Troublemaker Polar Lights
  21. Tranquility – No dupe
  22. Tinsel – DeAtramentis Oriental Red
  23. Fireside Snug – Robert Oster Whiskey
  24. Sugar Snap – Robert Oster Jade
  25. Raise a Glass – No dupe

Other Dupes Suggestions

The following inks are either ones I saw suggested as similar in other Inkvent posts, didn’t buy a sample of because I had already found a good match, or couldn’t get a sample of. I’m providing them here for you to consider and/or test out. Keep in mind, I haven’t compared them to the Inkvent inks, so I don’t know how accurate these are.

  1. Fortunes Gold – Ferris Wheel Press Queen and Castle
  2. Cashmere Rose – Diamine Maroon, Sailor Ink Studio 530, Sailor Ink Studio 437
  3. Early Dusk – Organics Studio Potassium Lavender
  4. Masquerade – No other suggestions
  5. Nightfall – Robert Oster Midnight Sapphire
  6. Bucks Fizz – Nemosine Solar Storm
  7. Sweet Dreams – No other suggestions
  8. Jacaranda – Monteverde Purple Mist, Organics Studio Vanadium Purple, Robert Oster Gogo, Sheaffer Purple
  9. Moon Beam – DeAtramentis Green Grey, Robert Oster Grun=Schwarz
  10. Velvet Emerald – No other suggestions
  11. Glacier – No other suggestions
  12. Bah Humbug – Organics Studio Edgar Allen Poe
  13. Weeping Willow – Stipula Musk Green
  14. Rainbows End – Organics Studio Vanadium Purple
  15. Walnut – Colorverse Jupiter Flyby
  16. Merry & Bright – No other suggestions
  17. Lavender Frost – No other suggestions
  18. Blizzard – Organics Studio Barkley’s Blue Teal
  19. Cinnabun – Pilot Iroshizuku Ina Ho
  20. Astral – No other suggestions
  21. Tranquility – DeAtramentis Bordeaux Rot, Pen Saijiki Ebizome, Robert Oster Australian Opal Mauve
  22. Tinsel – DeAtramentis Carnelian Red Copper
  23. Fireside Snug – No other suggestions
  24. Sugar Snap – No other suggestions
  25. Raise a Glass – No other suggestions

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

You may also want to take a look at the 2023 Inkvent blog series by Mountain of Ink and Writing at Large, and video series by The Wet Pen.

A Fun Addition

Some of you may know about my Makeup Monday posts. For funsies, I decided to match to each week of Inkvent inks and the calendar itself. Each image below is linked to an Instagram post that shows the eyeshadow look in more detail, if you’re interested.

Thank You

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

Also, I really have to applaud Diamine on their calendar this year, but please leave out the scented inks in the future.

Thanks for reading to the end, I hope you enjoyed my post. What did you think of this year’s Inkvent calendar? Do you have any other possible dupes to suggest? What paper should I use for swatches next year? 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.

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