Notebook Comparisons: Taroko Odyssey, Taroko Mystique, Itoya Profolio
We “recently” got in some new notebooks, which is always fun. Actually we did recently get a whole bunch of really nice notebooks in (Life, Maruman, Stalogy both standard line and special edition), but I’m still playing catch up in life so you could perhaps expect a blog post outlining those new items sometime in 3-4 months.
As with everything else in life, notebook selection hinges upon many factors: size, purpose, aesthetics, paper quality, weight, brand loyalty. We stationery nerds, as a group, are not really known for being blithe about our notebook choices, so here I thought I would do some writing samples and photos so at least you can have a gauge on the paper quality.
The three notebooks are the
- Itoya Profolio B6 (available in a couple of different cover colours)
- Taroko Mystique with their own Taroko high grade fountain pen paper
- Taroko Odyssey with the Cosmos Air Light paper
Left to right: B6 Profolio, A5 Taroko Odyssey, A5 Taroko Mystique
Bottom to top: A5 Taroko Odyssey, A5 Taroko Mystique, B6 Profolio
First up is the Itoya Profolio. It comes in a couple of different cover colours, all B6, which is one of my favourite sizes. I find A6 as a pocket notebook to be quite pocketable, however, true Canadians of course have jackets with more sizable pockets, and the B6 is a good solid size for people who have abundant thoughts/anxieties/things that they are prone to forgetting, like me.
If you look closely at the writing sample you can see the unusual ruling, which involves dots, lines and very small vertical dashes. Gives you some guidance, and the vertical dots give you some spatial sense if you’re doing design work or sketching.
Paper quality is solid. It has a bit of tooth to it, so an interesting option for pencil as well. The small amount of texture to the paper doesn’t give you as crisp a line as say, smoother papers like Clairefontaine or (upcoming) the Odyssey and its Cosmos Air Light, but it is good with fountain pens.
The Taroko Mystique is another relatively new item in our shop, and it features its own Taroko Orchid 80 gsm paper, which is a “high grade fountain pen paper.” It’s a standard A5 so a good fit for any true to size A5 leather cover.
It’s not a heavily textured paper but it does have a little bit of tooth, which can be nice if that’s what you’re looking for, especially if you like having some feeling on the page, as opposed to the buttery butter feeling. It takes fountain pen ink pretty well, as advertised.
And the Taroko Odyssey featuring the luxurious Cosmo Air Light paper, 75 gsm. It’s a bit lighter than the 80gsm Taroko Orchid paper, however it is super smooth and ink is incredibly crisp and clean on it, a delight to write on if you’re looking for something smooth and to show off your inks. There are four pages in the back for ink swabs, a nice bonus.
The Cosmo Air Light paper is one of the most popular in the loose leaf Yamamoto form, in part because, while Tomoe River paper has long been a favourite for fountain pen use, sometimes it’s nice to have something a bit thicker. It’s very smooth. It’s really very nice paper, a very luxurious writing experience.
All of them are good for fountain pen ink and are well-made, a high quality journal. The B6 Profolio might be good for a bag or an appropriately sized pocket.
Currently reading: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring
Currently listening to: 18 grade 1 students trying to agree on something
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