Up today is Iroshizuku Tsukushi (IT) and MB Toffee Brown (TB). I have to admit that I had very limited interest in trying Tsukushi until a friend of mine offered to give me a sample. In general, I’m not a fan of red browns, and all the scans I’d seen online showed a very red component to IT. I much prefer a straight brown like CdA Grand Canyon or Noodler’s #41 Brown. Once I’d tried IT I found it to be a cool toned medium saturated brown with an understated red component.
I actually stumbled upon TB as a Tsukushi substitute while at lunch with an FPN friend of mine. She had a pen filled with IT and I had one filled with TB. It was actually a bit difficult to tell the two apart. There are some differences though.
MB Toffee Brown is
Darker that IT
Higher saturated than IT
a little more red than IT
warmer/more golden than IT
Although the swabs highlight the differences between these two inks, if you take a look at the writing samples you can see a bit more of the similarity.
Another possible alternative to Tsukushi is De Atramentis Sepiabraun, however, I haven’t had to chance to try De Atramentis Sepiabraun, so I can’t really comment on how close it actually is.
If you have another suggestion for an alternative to IT please leave a comment below!
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.