An ink from Louis Vuitton!!! And no attempt to find out why it got the name it did.
It seems Louis Vuitton (LV) made writing instruments until the mid 1990s then phased them out. Trying to find out why has been nigh on impossible BUT in 2012 they announced they were re-entering the market. The plan was to make fountain pens, stationery, inks and crystal ink wells.
The pens were to be made by S.T. Dupont and to go on sale December 2012 in the Paris store. So what has happened since especially to the inks?
In 2013 the Paris LV store had 8 different inks for sale:
Gris romantique - a grey ink
Blue sibyllin – navy blue-black ink
Violet malicieux –
Blue rêveur – blue violet
Rose espiègle – pink
Rouge gourmand –
Or audacieux – gold
Brun ténébreux – this is the classic LV colour of their canvas bags and luggage
The company said the inks would go on sale in the USA in 2014, I think they did but not as early in the year as had been planned.
There are now 12 different colours available though they are hard to find as not many of the LV shops carry the ink, I’m not sure about the flagship store in Paris. Like many other things around the LV foray into luxury brand writing paraphernalia a lot of searching revealed very little. I can not find anything about the inks on any LV website and even going into a shop in Australia to ask was a struggle for the staff, they found one bottle of Rouge Gourmand (red) and one pen. This was only after I insisted that LV made and sold inks as they knew nothing about it and it was a long hunt “out the back” to find the one bottle they did. Apparently I could order them.
If you search on the internet there are a few reviews for the inks predominantly written 2014 / 2015. I am not sure how I came across the inks but once I did I wanted to try them - problem was how to get hold of them – enter friend who picked some up on a trip to the USA.
For those that think the packaging is as important as what is contained within the bottles the LV bottles fit the luxury aesthetic. The bottle is simple but well cut and heavy with the LV logo stamped around the rim of the cap – you just know looking when you look at the bottle the ink is going to cost a lot of money.
The bottle contains 50ml of ink and currently retails in the USA for $52 a whopping $US1.04 per ml – definitely a luxury. The ink retails for $60 Australian dollars.
I am not a black ink fan, my only black ink is a bottle of Quink so I am not sure what I was expecting here. I don’t equate LV with pens and ink but it’s a luxury brand and I would expect them to have spent money to create a great product but I didn’t like the ink. Its not because the ink didn’t perform well I just found the colour a bit meh.
A drop of ink on absorbent paper held such promise for what this ink would do. Loving my purple inks the violet tones really excited me.
The swatch that followed was a dull greyish black which did surprise me – I couldn’t see any of the promised violet tones and its wasn’t the wow black I had been expecting before starting this review but there was some shading.
I used a Parker sonnet with a medium nib. Surprisingly the colour of the ink seemed to be better the cheaper the paper. On cheap note paper it was very black but with Tomoe river it was greying up, though some nice shading was apparent.
This ink did not rock my boat colour-wise but it handled quite nicely in a pen I don’t really enjoy using. Having said that were this ink really held its own was when I tested it to see if it was waterproof. This ink is not marketed as waterproof and yet it was pretty impressive when put to the test.
I dropped water onto my swatch then wiped it with a finger – the results are below. There was some smearing of the ink as you can see but it was quite colourfast.
I then decided to put it under a running cold water tap and was very impressed with the result. There is obviously still water on the swatch in the photo and the colour has faded out quite appreciably but the amount retained for something held under a tap is quite good. In the small puddles of water sitting on top of the swatch you can also now see the violet tones I so wanted to see in the ink when I was using it.
I am actually glad my search to find this ink in a LV shop in Australasia failed – I don’t like the colour and I would have been disappointed if I had spent $US52 on a bottle. It does handle extremely well but still not good enough for me to justify the price tag. I now have some blue sibyllin to try which could be interesting.