Penetralia ~ Fountain pen Ink review ~ Sample Smash 1

Doodle done on Clairfontaine paper

Robert Oster Rose Gilt Tynte with Leonardo Officina Italiana Furore (B)

This is an ink that’s behaves as stupidly as it’s spelt.

Despite the pleasant light lilac colour with it’s handsome shading properties, it behaves very inconsistently. Even through my broad Leonardo nib, >50% of the time there was no shimmer. Then all of a sudden a gush of a few shimmering lines of writing, and then gone again. Forget about shimmer if reverse writing.

Freshly inked, this looks more like a washed out pink or even grey but when things get flowing the colour does start to eventually show, you may just have to spend a while scribbling on scrap paper to really get it going. A waste of ink if you ask me.

In some areas of my doodle, I did multiple passes over a block coloured area just to get some shimmer deposited.

My pens usually never hard start, but there was a lot with this ink. Again, I don’t know for a fact it was this ink, but it seemed like it to me. I found I accidentally ended up pressing hard on my nibs to try and get some flow or having to constantly flood my feed to get it going again.

In longer writing it can be very light colour, and in the wrong lighting it can be hard to read. A mildly sweaty palm on 3 day old writing can smudge this ink. It is not waterproof at all.

Other reviewers have said they “love it”, I can’t see why. This is a pleasant ink at best in my humble opinion, and probably only good for doodling. Wouldn’t be my choice for any serious writing and definitely not any official work/signatures or even penpal letters.

This is not a GP’s ink at all and I’ll only be getting more of it for doodling use, not for the office. I don’t think I’d use it for penpal letters either, I worry if my penpal’s hand smudges it, or if the paper gets mildly wet, the letter is a goner. Pharmacists use a lot of purple, but don’t imagine this ink would cut it there either.

Diamine Winter Miracle with Leonardo Officina Italiana Furore (B)

I was very skeptical about this ink when I first used it. I literally couldn’t see why it was labeled a shimmer ink. Then I looked up what it should look like!

This is definitely an ink that grew on me. At quick glance it just looks like a black , look for a second and you see the purple around the edges but look for longer and in the right light and you see the green sheening and blue shimmer! Bloody amazing! A miracle… if you will!

However, a bit like the Rose Gilt Tynte one has to try pretty hard to both get the ink to behave like this and for it to be consistent.

I spend most of my day signing bits of paper that neither my patient nor the pharmacist is going to look at for more than 2 secs. The signature is there, that’s all they care about. So, I look for colours and inks that pop instantly and make the viewer stop. To slow down in their day and appreciate what they’re viewing. A prescription can be more than just a means to an end but also somewhere you can artistically leave your mark! So why not!

I really enjoyed writing with this ink, eventually. Once you see it’s magic (or miracle) you can’t un-see it and so it looks fantastic on longer form writing. It’s a bit more forgiving with the sweaty palms and so I’ll probably get a bottle, not for the office but more for penpals and notebook use on nice, very smooth, white papers.

Organic Studios Ralph Waldo Emerson with Leonardo Officina Italiana Furore (B)

For me, this ink was the most disappointing. It looked absolutely NOTHING like what other sites or online retail store swatches looked like.

If you super zoom in on my images you might be able to see some of the purple sheening, but I certainly had a tough time appreciating it.

On Clairefontaine paper it just looked like a dark blue but you can see from the smear it gets lighter. I’m thinking maybe they didn’t mix the bottle properly from which my 2ml sample was collected, because “monster sheen” this is not.

This is also hard to clean out of your pen. It took forever and despite soaking and shaking and even sucking on the nib to get all the ink out, it took forever.

It is however, more forgiving on the sweaty palms but long writing it just looked like a dark blue ink. It definitely doesn’t smear the next day like the Rose Gilt or Nitrogen (below).

Again, to my eye, this is boring, not eye catching at all and not going to be appreciated by anyone other than myself. I do have another sample set with this ink in it too, so who knows maybe that “mix” will be better. For now, this is definitely not a GP ink and not one I’ll get a full bottle for.

Organic Studios Nitrogen with Leonardo Officina Italiana Furore (B)

I have definitely saved the best for last! This ink blew my socks off!

It’s a beautiful Microsoft Windows blue with stunning purple sheen. It’s a consistent and smooth writer. Definitely also difficult to clean out of my Leonardo but worth it. It’s definitely not one I’ll be putting in any sack fillers!

I really enjoy writing long form with this ink and signatures too. It really pops on bright white paper. I tried this ink for a few days at work and had to stop using it. It takes a while to dry so I’m careful when handing back prescriptions to patients, so not to smudge it.

This is the big one when it comes to smudging even after days of drying. A mildly sweaty palm will smudge this ink and it’ll get all over your hands! Writing long form I made this mistake a couple of times and so I started writing with a blank page under my hands. Yes, for both my left hand holding notepad down and my writing right hand!

It is so hard to decide if this is a GP’s ink. On one hand it’s a beautiful writer and makes my work look awesome and unique and shine, but on the other hand it smudges like crazy and I can’t send out documents/scripts into the word with smudgy signatures and writing. So, all in all I have to say NO, this is not a Doctor’s ink. It’s great for penpal letters and your private journal/notepad. I’m looking forward to writing with it more and decorating my letters like crazy with, and around it too.

Concluding thoughts

None of the inks above exhibited any ghosting, feathering or bleeding. They were all mostly well behaved except for where I’ve mentioned inconsistent characteristics or hard starting. My first sample smash was fun!

I definitely enjoy getting samples and indulging them with some doodle art. The doodles show off their characteristics well. Naturally we’re most likely going to just be writing with these inks, but using the doodles to study the inks was not only fun, but kept my creative juices flowing. I think the line variations and coloured blocks in the art displayed the ink behaviour well and I found this method more informative than just writing alone. Hope you enjoyed it too. I’ll definitely try and get better images though, but I need to invest in a better camera etc. One day.

Thanks so much for reading and remember no matter who you are, “first, do no harm.”




An Australian GP with a love for fountain pens, writing, gaming and gardening, throwing in an occasional rant along the way!

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An Australian GP with a love for fountain pens, writing, gaming and gardening, throwing in an occasional rant along the way!

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