It's been a while since I've talked about a new ink on the blog! It's not for lack of trying new inks, I think I've just been a bit distracted by all the other things going on in the shop. We're trying to keep on a bit more of an organized schedule for the blog, but since it's mostly my responsibility, the blogging gets a bit haphazard every now and then. Here's the latest ink that's been in my trusty Parker Sonnet: Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses. It's right up my alley in the warm and brownish red family.

Noodle's Black Swan in English Roses Ink Review Wonder Pens fountain pens stationery shop Toronto Canada

Black Swan in English Roses is less well known than Black Swan in Australian Roses, but I think I prefer the English. Australian Roses has a bit more of a reddish-purple-burgundy colour to it, whereas English roses is a bit more reddish-brown-burgundy.

Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses Wonder Pens Fountain Pens Ink Review Toronto Canada Stationery

It's a gorgeous, warm, deep, rich, fall kind of ink. It's a good ink for notes or editing on the side without being too glaring or aggressive, but it's also dark and rich enough to write a thank you note or a letter. It writes well, and it's smooth and wet, especially in my Sonnet which is on the wet side to begin with. But, like with most inks that I love, it's the shading that really gets me.

Black Swan in English Roses Shading Inks Wonder pens fountain pens Toronto Canada

Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses Ink Review Wonder Pens fountain pens ink sample Toronto Canada

The 'Black Swan' part of the name comes from the idea that the ink should have a black or darker outline, especially when using it with very wet or broad or flex or dip pens. In my writing samples, I have it in my Parker Sonnet with a fine nib. The shading is super with just my fine nib, so I can only imagine how it would do with a flex nib.

Noodle's Black Swan in English Roses Writing Sample fountain pens wonder pens ink review Toronto Canada

Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses Noodler's Tiananmen Diamine Syrah fountain pen ink samples Toronto Canada

The only caveat I would have to say about this ink is that it takes a long time to dry. On coated papers or if you have a really wet pen, it can take a minute or longer for the wettest parts to not smear when touched. I think it's the nature of more saturated inks. The ink itself is a wet ink, which is great for writing, but sometimes not so great for dry time.

On another note, the paper I'm using is my Leuchtturm1917 Pocket notebook, which I use as my everyday to-do lists, random thoughts, phone messages, things to write about later, shopping lists and doodling notebook. I know the Leuchtturm hardcovers in the A5 size are very popular, especially the dot ruling, but I love the softcover as my pocket notebook because I can slide it into the pocket of my coat or apron, and it bends completely open.

I use everything in it, fountain pens, gel pens, pencils, markers, and the paper is top-notch. You wouldn't be able to put a flex nib with a super wet ink on here without some bleeding or feathering, but here's a picture of the back of the page of the writing sample.

Leuchtturm1917 Pocket Notebook Memobook  wonder pens toronto canada

I had been meaning to write this post for some time, mainly because Australian Roses is so popular that English Roses sometimes gets overlooked, which is a shame for such a beautiful ink. Someone from our monthly Letter Writing Club happened to mention that she also favours English Roses over the Australian, and I felt like I had met a kindred spirit in the wild, although that may also have to do with just being kindred spirits in general. The few but mighty.


Interesting things going on behind the scenes here:

The furnaces here in the building are broken again, just in time for our winter storm, so we set up some heat fans. However, our lights just went out in the apartment, possibly related to the heat fans being plugged in, so I'm writing this in the dark and by the light of my screen, while Jon tries to turn the lights back on. I just overheard the words "this is a disaster," though, perhaps a crisis of confidence.

The lights in the packing area are still on, so I guess it's currently a choice between going into the frigid packing area with no heat, or staying in the dark apartment, with the dark dog who's sniffing food like a thief in the night. At the very least, the dark thief has an abundance of fur and radiates warmth.



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March 03, 2016 — wonderpens



Hope said:

Oh, I think I found my new ink love ❤. I know what I’m ordering next payday!

Love the tone of the blog post. It gave me the chuckle that I needed this morning.


Anonymous said:

So glad to hear you enjoyed the post! Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to write. Hope you like the new ink, it’s a favourite of mine :)

Benoit Hamelin

Benoit Hamelin said:

It’s a great shade of ink. I like its bloodiness — it was perfect for marking student papers. However, it does not quite agree with my left-handedness. It takes more time to dry than Noodler’s black inks, or the J. Herbin inks I’ve tried. I therefore have to strap a paper towel to my hand to imbibe to overflow, so it does not stain my papers. A small cost to pay to mark in blood.


Anonymous said:

HAHA – it’s always a great start to the morning when a comment makes you laugh out loud! It is a great shade for marking paper, and I’m glad to see you’ve found a good compromise :D

Olivier Deveault

Olivier Deveault said:

I love a good ink that shades. It brings a certain visual depth to the written word. I think that that’s the very aspect that made me fall in love with fountain pens.

It’s good to see a red ink colour that hasn’t got the “I just corrected your term paper” kinda vibe to it. :)


Anonymous said:

Yes, I agree! There’s something about how ink shades from a fountain pen, even just very subtly, that gives it some depth and character!

I don’t know what it is, but I’m not as much a fan of really bright reds or colours! I like a lot of browns and greys and darker or warmer reds, and this is a real favourite of mine! Thanks so much for reading :) – and hope you had a happy birthday! :)


TeresaAngelina said:

I have that ink! It just arrived with my newest order – all wonderful. I bought the ink on a whim and very glad I did. It is so pretty and it has a lovely fad from red in the bottle to red/brown/black as you described. I’ve only so far tested it with a simple dip pen but will soon load it into my new TSWBI AL green… also from that order… should be a lovely pairing.

Hope you kept warm in your storm… we’ve had one here too but only rain and wind… it is Vancouver after all.

All the best!


Anonymous said:

I’m so glad to hear you are enjoying the ink! It’s one of my favourites, although I tend to be biased towards the red/brown/yellow family :) And I think it will look great in your TWSBI Al-Green.

Thanks for reading along with us, and taking the time to write! I am certainly looking forward to warmer weather – it’s just around the corner now!

Ying Y

Ying Y said:

Everybody snuggle around Super and bask in the warmth!
On another note, between Noodler’s Black Swan in English Roses and Noodler’s Nightshade, which do you prefer?

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