Caran d’Ache Ultra Violet Review


Last year Caran d’Ache retired their much-loved line of inks in favor of a redesigned bottle and more saturated colors. Elaine at Jet Pens sent Ultra Violet for my first look at the current offering.

The current bottle design and packaging deserve a few remarks. The cap is overly heavy and unwieldy for me. The box top slips off with no way to secure it. Every time I pick it up, the bottom containing the bottle detaches. Luckily the bottle only fell a few inches onto my desk the first time it happened. Otherwise, it would have been a disaster. The slanted bottle and opening made it a little awkward to orient the nib in the ink.  While it may be attractive, the packaging is annoying if not impractical.

How does the ink fare? The purple has a slightly red bias and is highly saturated with no subtlety. The color looks slightly different on Rhodia than on Staples Sugarcane paper with the red component stronger on the latter. This doesn’t affect performance, but it is worthy of mention.

Depending on pen flow, some shading is possible though the Platinum #3776 Century SF used for the writing sample shades with most inks. As a Noodler’s and Diamine fan, I like saturated colors, but miss the more delicate shades that some companies have tossed aside. The discontinued CdA Storm was more to my liking. (Let me know if you have a bottle to sell, trade or know where one can be purchased.)

The ink seems a bit more thick than some brands though I have noticed no difference in pen performance. That  characteristic might contribute to its excellent coverage when used with a firm nib. Ultra Violet would be well suited to my Sailor Sapporo F or a Lamy EF. The degree of lubrication should be a treat with either nib.

So here’s what we have:

  • Purple with a slightly red bias
  • Highly saturated
  • Excellent coverage
  • Sightly more thick than some inks
  • Somewhat lubricating
  • Packaging and bottle are disappointing

Want a saturated purple ink? Caran d’Ache Ultra Violet might be the one for you. Just be careful with the packaging so the ink goes in your pen and not somewhere else. Well, unless you are fond of purple splotches where they don’t belong.

Much thanks to Jet Pens for providing this product. More purple ink reviews on the way soon.


  1. I agree the packaging is really annoying… I haven’t purchased one of this mainly for its price, but I do not like the actual colors either. I have Storm and Grand Canyon and think they were more beautiful and the bottle simple but useful.

    I will wait with no patience at all for your purplish reviews!😀


    • My kids independently called the box “magical” since the slanted bottle appears level no matter how you place it inside. Admittedly, that is a cool trick.

      Alas, the holidays plus dealing with year-end tax issues and the Obamacare problems, will keep me too busy to finish the reviews. I will be happy just to get the Pelikan 4001 Violet completed along with posting about a few other topics. This time of year is cRaZy!!!


  2. […] Caran d’Ache Ultra Violet Review : Caran d’Ache 잉크병은 그 자체가 Art인것 같다. […]


  3. There is another fundamental problem–the price! This is another example of fancy-like-perfume ink at a premium –and unjustified– price.

    Not for me, certainly not.



    • Agreed, Bruno. It is a pricey ink at $38.50 per bottle and in this case it really is for the bottle. Count it as another ink that engenders appreciation for the more economical brands, but for those who fancy a pretty bottle on the desk, Caran d’Ache will do.


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