Sailor has revised its line of inks to a very narrow selection. The staples of black, blue and blue-black remain along with the collection called The Four Seasons. The quality hasn’t changed – just the color variety.
Elaine at Jet Pens sent a bottle of Nioi-sumire or Sweet Violet for review. It is a dark blue that only hints at purple. Perhaps the intention is to provide a dark color for the workplace. Tilt the paper just so and the color shifts from blue to a vaguely dark purple. This may be just the right thing for the Japanese marketplace, but rather unimpressive compared to other lines of ink.
Sailor continues to have that odor associated with a good measure of biocide so it should remain fresh for a long time. The carton has the date of manufacture, an advantage when estimating shelf life. My bottle of Peach Pink is dated January 20, 2011 and is absolutely perfect after 3 1/2 years. My bottle of the long discontinued Sailor Brown does not have a date, but remains viable after ten years on my shelf. That’s no guarantee for the latest batch, but it is encouraging.
If you would like an ink that isn’t quite dark blue and offers quality and performance, Nioi-sumire should fit. There are seven other colors including a couple of promising greens and a plum, so grab one of those if you are a Sailor fan seeking something a little different. No pink, red or orange so look elsewhere for those colors.
The paper is Clairefontaine from my summer notebook and it is right fond of Sailor ink. Now that’s a combination I can highly recommend.