Monday, June 16, 2014

Sailor Colors of Four Seasons

Sailor fountain pen ink rank very high on my personal list, for the hues are saturated and can transform any scratchy nibs into fine buttery ones due to their lubrication.  However, no new addition was made to the Jentle ink line for quite some time, so you can imagine my ecstasy when Sailor announced the reissue of limited edition ink from the past, under the series Colors of Four Seasons.  Three colors from this series are purchased:  Nioi Sumire  (Sweet Violet), Shigure (Drizzle), and Tokiwa matsu (Tokiwa pine).

While I was making samples out of these ink, I could not help but to observe the similarities between ink from Color of Four Seasons and the soon-to-be-retired Jentle series.  Since I have Ultramarine from the previous series, I decided to do a quick color comparison.  

Nioi Ultramarine
Writing done by J. Herbin glass dip pen on Tomoe River paper

For the lack of better example for Sailor Epinard, I only found a message that I wrote to myself on the Hobonichi planner with that ink.  You can still see the similarities between the two.

To my eyes, Nioi Sumire does not have as much purple undertone as Ultramarine, while Tokiwa matsu has resemblance to Epinard.  As Paper and Hand kindly explained to me, Nioi Sumire was released back in 2010 as a limited edition ink. It seems that Sailor renamed it to Ultramarine when the Jentle line was introduced.  Now the old favorite is reinstated (in a sense) in place of the replacer.  Oku-Yama is identical to Grenade (a written comparison can be found here on Fountain Pen Network, notice the chromatographic similarities between the two).  Souten, as I suspect, might be very closely related to Jentle Sky High.  

What does this finding  tell us?  From the Colors of Four Seasons, it appear that the only colors that are truly retired are Apricot and PĂȘche.  I cannot personally vouch for PĂȘche, as it was described to me as a pale pink with brownish undertone (found here, Gentian's beautiful ink art), but Apricot is simply gorgeous.  It reminds me of a ripe Aprium, with rich and subtle orange hue.  Do not worry if you have not gotten all colors from the Jentle line; most of them will still be around, with a few new exciting colors!

The new line up can be found at Pen Boutique, Gold Spot, and Anderson Pens for $18 a bottle.


  1. Nice colors and I love the creative naming. I really need to put Sailor on my list of inks to try. I have boxed myself in with too much of the D and N brands. Thanks for the review!

  2. I'm really sad to see Apricot go, it's such a vibrant and lovely shade of orange. It always cheers me up inking up a pen with that sample of ink you kindly sent me :) But still, good to know some other colors are taking a "new life" so I may get a chance to pick up Grenade in the future. Thank you for sharing these comparisons with us :)

  3. Ever since a friend kindly shared her limited edition Sailor ink with me, I was enamored and hooked. Let me know if you are interested in some samples!

  4. It is so intriguing that Apricot has that effect on multiple people I know, and it would be sad to see it go. Based on Sailor's track record, maybe it will be reintroduced under another alias? It is interesting that Sailor has many more variations of ink line in Asia, but not here in the US or elsewhere. I am hoping that it will introduce more colors to its already exciting color range.

  5. Your handwriting is unbelievably beautiful. I just like to stare at the screen and admire your writing. :-)

  6. You might be my one and only fan. Thank you for the compliment :)