De Atramentis ‘Topic’ Inks Test


These ‘Topics’ inks are part of the De Atramentis gift range and are dedicated to a host of famous people from a diverse range of backgrounds. Call me a cynic if you wish, but as far as I can tell, these are the standard inks with a fancy label. However, I have been told that every topic ink is unique, just like the wine inks (which are indeed unique). BUT I’m not totally convinced because Sebastian Bach and Mahatma Ghandi are as good as identical to the Standard Sepia and Yellow Orange – have a click on the link and see what you think? Please forgive me, but I’m not going to describe these inks as I’m testing the standard range at the moment and many of them, in my opinion, are the same.


So, let’s have a chat about money instead! If, like me, you are an inkophile, money matters. Inks aren’t cheap. I have circa 800 vials of fountain pen samples. So, looking at a cross section of product and taking an average price for a 50ml bottle of ink at circa £8.50 a bottle – that equates to £6,800.00 (GB), and this is a conservative estimate and doesn’t account for any shipping costs. Where am I going with this? I have no issue with re-badging products and adding smells. If it helps keep the manufacturer in business and enhances the writing experience then fine. But in this particular case, it is irritating, when you end up paying for duplicates, so unless money isn’t an issue, you may wish to inspect the swatch cards over the next few posts carefully so you don’t buy the same ink twice!

Inks sourced from and

All tests on Bockingford 200lb watercolour paper using Frankenflex pen Jinhao 159 with titanium zebra G flex nib.