When I set out looking for a nice dark, but still red color fountain pen ink, I took a look at the Pilot Iroshizuka line because of some past good experiences with it, and knowing that other folks have enjoyed it as well. With a description like “Autumn Leaf” I was expecting this to be somewhat of a burgundy type color, similar to what is on the actual label of the box shown above. As you might be able to infer from the first two sentences of this review though, that wasn’t exactly the case once I started using the newly acquired Pilot Iroshizuku Momiji (via Amazon).
My first sign that something might be a little off from my expectations was when I cracked open the lovely glass bottle and looked at the inside of the cap. The ink has a very bright red and almost pink tone to it inside the cap. Many inks tend to look different once on paper though so I figured this was just one of those cases where I’d start writing with it and it would be more true to the Autumn Leaves description or the label on the box that you see there right above the cap.
Writing with the nice smooth and very small fine nib of my Pilot Professional Gear Imperial I was starting to think that maybe things weren’t so bad, but as I looked closer I saw that the pink tone of this ink was just too hard to ignore and that my first impression about the bottle cap was dead on. Bummed at the prospect of having a pink ink now that is completely not what I was looking for, I still wanted to check out the other properties of this otherwise great ink. It definitely flowed nicely with absolutely no skipping or feathering on the smooth white paper of the InkJournal Black, and the dry time was even quicker than expected at about 5 seconds. The ink does offer quite a bit of bold color, which does translate into having quite a bit of show through on the other side of the paper though.
After a little more time writing with the ink and realizing that it wasn’t just going to suddenly start writing in a darker shade of red no matter how much I wished for it in my brain, I decided to give it a shot on some different paper and with a different pen…hoping for different results. I broke out the trusty old Black n’ Red notebook (Still only $2.99 on Amazon) and my TWSBI 1.5mm stub nib to see if I’d get any different results. The best I can say here is that with this combination of ink, pen, and paper, there did seem to be a slightly darker look to the ink, but it still had a very noticeable pink tone that I just couldn’t get past.
Close up you can see that the Pilot Iroshizuki Momiji handles pretty well. Besides the respectable dry time, there is a lack of any sort of feathering and if you like pinkish red inks, the intensity and saturation if actually pretty nice. One thing you won’t get too much of with this ink though is any shading. Don’t let my disdain for a pinkish ink sway you though, if this color works for you, then a bottle of Pilot Iroshizuki Momiji (via Amazon) is an excellent choice for a nice vibrant color that is very well behaved.