This is the first installment in my Iroshizuku segment. Before I begin let me add a disclaimer: The goal of these reviews is to find inks that are similar in color and behavior to the Iroshizuku line but at a lower price point. This should not be construed as an attempt to find exact replicas. That is not possible. The Iroshizuku inks succeed at being unique. The only way you can get an exact match is to save up for the Iroshizuku. Whether or not these suggestions work for you is entirely up to you.
Yama Budo is one of my favorite Iroshizuku inks. It is a deep rich sort of mauve color. It is very reminiscent of grapes and wine. As with all the Iroshizuku Inks it is very well-behaved. The only problem for me is the price. Of the inks I have tried, Noodler’s Saguaro Wine comes the closest to being a substitute for Yama Budo. It is almost the exact color except that SW is a bit brighter and pinker than YB which is matte-er and redder than SW. As you can see from the scanned reviews, depending on the pen these two inks can be largely indistinguishable.
Here is a quick comparison card. Swabs have a way of highlighting the differences between similar inks, but those differences diminish when you run the inks through fountain pens.
Saguaro Wine is
- Pinker and brighter (try mixing in a little red to get the color closer to YB)
- Higher saturated
- Slower drying (you can fix this by adding a little water to SW)
- Smears on Rhodia paper (you can fix this by adding a little water to SW)
Reviews for each (click to enlarge the pictures):
All images were scanned in at 600dpi and then compressed. All images were adjusted in the exact same fashion.
Other suggestions for substitutes (from FPN):
- Private Reserve Plum
- J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen
- Diamine Claret
- Rohrer & Klingner Magenta
- Caran d’Ache Storm
If you have a moment please leave some feedback. Do you like this set up? Is there some other information you want me to include? Do you know of another substitute?
Thanks for looking. No Affil.