The blog's been a bit heavy on ink reviews this week, but I'm still churning my way through the load of inks I trucked home from the D.C. Pen Show two weeks ago, and I'm writing reviews as I use them up (which I need to do, seeing that I have over a dozen pens inked right now). Hopefully I will get some pen reviews photographed and finalized this weekend. But in the meantime, here's today's review:
I held off buying this ink because I had a bottle of Pharmacist's Purpura Imperialis, which was a nice enough color but ended up being a bit too dry for me. (My review of that ink, from a long, long time ago, can be found here.) The Scabiosa is similar in that it initially writes in a purple tone but dries to a purple-black. I find, however, that the Scabiosa has slightly better flow and behaves more like Montblanc Midnight Blue (iron gall version). This is probably because those inks have less iron-gall content than the Pharmacist inks.
This ink also has been reviewed a lot, and is very popular, so I won't bore everyone with another lengthy discussion of its properties, but it does work well on cheap paper (most iron gall inks do) and dries fairly quickly. The ink also offers some nice shading, which I've attempted to capture in the photo gallery below, along with the color shift as the ink dries. You may notice that the "fresh" writing at the bottom of the handwritten sample is notably lighter than the writing at the top.
I should emphasize that you need to clean your pen out every two weeks or so while using this ink, especially if you use steel nibs and/or pens with metal parts that come into contact with the ink. Iron Gall can react with and corrode steel and some steel alloys over time, and if you leave a pen inked up for months on end and don't practice good pen hygiene, bad things can happen. Otherwise, it's perfectly safe to use and enjoy. I've been using iron gall inks for years without any ill effects.