Ink Spot: Montblanc Lavender Purple

If I had to pick a favorite color family of fountain pen inks, greens would be first, followed closely by purples. I love my purple inks. Despite purple’s rank in my ink hierarchy, however, I find myself largely disappointed with many of the purple ink options that are available to me. My favorite purple, up until recently, has been the lovely De Atramentis Aubergine, which I have used significantly more than any other. But most of the other purple inks I have used have been too red, too blue, too “dusty,” to unsaturated, or too boring.


Prior to 2015, the one purple ink that had always intrigued me, but that I never tried, was Montblanc Lavender Purple. When I joined the fountain pen hobby in early 2013, Lavender Purple was out of stock everywhere, and nobody really seemed to know why. It remained on most retailers’ websites, but always out of stock. I looked in vain for a retailer that still had some, but was met with disappointment over and over again.

Then, late in 2014, I began to hear rumors that Lavender Purple was coming back, perhaps with a new formulation. Sure enough, right after the beginning of the year, I was browsing the Fountain Pen Hospital website, and noticed that Lavender Purple was back in stock. I put in an order immediately. And I’m very glad I did. I have a new favorite.


Montblanc Lavender Purple is a rich, saturated purple, that I have repeatedly described as the exact color of blueberry pie filling. Despite Brian Goulet’s continuing (and baffling) insistence otherwise, pie is clearly, quantifiably, and vastly superior to cake in every possible way. And of all pies, blueberry is my favorite. I’ve never been particularly tempted to taste my ink, but this one?  The looks of this ink, wet on the paper has almost left me with a purple tongue on more than one occassion.

Lavender purple is a deep, rich hue that goes on smoothly, and with a nice flow. If you’re a regular user of most Montblanc inks, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that it just writes the way a fountain pen ink is supposed to. They really seem to have gotten it right on this one. On the right paper, it can almost have the look of crushed purple velvet, with a lot of motion and depth. It’s a stunningly beautiful ink.


On the premium papers, this ink performs very nicely. There was no bleedthrough or noticeable feathering. The color remained rich and saturated. There wasn’t a ton of shading, but there was some. And I didn’t notice this initially (thus the low scores above), but on particularly wet pooling, there can even be hints of gold sheen.


While I like the way this ink looks on Rhodia paper, it doesn’t really hit the peak of its performance until you put it on some cream-colored Tomoe River paper. As this is a warmer purple (as opposed to a more blue-based violet), it likes the warmth of cream-colored paper over harsh, bright white.

On the down side, this ink has a fairly long dry time on the premium papers. There is also, essentially, no water-fastness to speak of. If you breath heavily on this paper, you might wash away the color.

Funnily enough, on cheap copy paper, the properties of this ink are almost exactly opposite of what they are on premium papers:



Using Staples 75gsm copy paper, this ink developer more a blue undertone. It has amazing dry times (sub 2-second). It’s almost completely waterproof. It has no shading, no sheen, it feathers like crazy, and bleeds like crazy. Usually at least some of the characteristics of an ink are preserved on cheap paper, but it is almost as if Montblanc Lavender Purple is a completely different ink if you don’t use it on paper treated to be fountain-pen friendly. (Suffice it to say, I kinda hated this ink on the Staples paper.)

Across the board, I found this ink quite easy to clean out of every pen into which I put it. This isn’t particularly surprising, considering it’s lack of waterproof characteristics, but I think this is an ink you could put in a clear demonstrator without having to worry about the possibility of staining your pen.

I still really like De Atramentis Aubergine, but it tends to run very wet consistent with many other De Atramentis inks I’ve tried. Montblanc Lavender Purple is very similar in color, but it is so incredibly well behaved on most of the papers that I use on a daily basis. Plus, you know, blueberry pie filling. It has taken over the #1 spot in my list of favorite purple inks.

  • Thanks for another great post. BTW, count me as another who prefers π to cake.

  • First and foremost, Pie is superior, Cake is inferior. How can anyone doubt this? I LOVE pie. Alright now I want pie, but I also want this Montblanc Lavender Purple. Black is my favorite color, except for fountain pen inks, and I love me a purple. I have been searching for a purple that I can really sink my teeth into, or nib. Now I do love Noodler’s Black Swan with Australian Roses, it was actually the first bottle of fountain pen ink that I bought along with Noddler’s Dragon Napalm, but I’m looking for something different and I think the Montblanc might just be it. I am going to have to buy me a bottle of the Aubergine too.

    Another great video and I love the written review as well. You and your reviews and videos are always appreciated Matt. Have a great weekend.

  • Nice review and video. Also you are correct about pie.

  • Clifford Hughes

    Hi Matt, that slightly husky voice gives you a certain gravitas.
    A great review. Love the chromatography and the detail. Isn’t that colour just delicious? I’ve never used a MB ink but I think Lavender Purple will be my first if I can find it out there.

  • Ted

    beautiful color indeed

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  • Denise Rogers

    I am going to have to get a bottle now, darn you. 🙂

  • Glenn Higley

    Very attractive ink. I was surprised to find purple to be my third favorite range of ink color behind brown and (pre-vert) green. I’m particularly fond of purple/blue inks such as P.R. Tanzanite and Chesterfield Cobalt. This MB looks like another must-have. Thanks for the thorough and engaging review, Matt.

  • TASTE IT!!!!!!!!! (PS Doesn’t taste like pie filling.)
    Also, I lurves your Waterman.
    This is one of my favorite purples 🙂
    This was a very disjointed comment. My apologies.

    • Nah, tasting ink is your thing. Goodness knows everyone always says I’m just ripping off other reviewers as it is :). And I still think that we need to try to meet up at some point in real life to play with each others’ pens. (That sounded dirtier than I intended it to…)

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  • pepperpath

    hi matt what other purple is MB lavender purple similar to? thanks

    • The two in my collection it’s closest to are Pelikan Edelstein Amethyst and De Atramentis Aubergine.

      • pepperpath

        I recently tried a sample of the P E Amethyst and really like it…easier to buy here in Canada than MB inks, thanks!

  • pepperpath

    how about some ink shoot-outs for future reviews (eg mb lavender purple vs p e amethyst) …just an idea!

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  • Elise Mauceri

    Matt, thank you for all of your very thoughtful videos. I have a tough question for you. I am new to the fandom of fountain pens and have been subsisting on ink samples. I plan on buying my first bottle of ink so, would you go for Montblanc Lavender Purple, Akkerman Voorhout Violet, Pelikan Edelstein Amethyst, or De Atramentis Aubergine? This is for letters and personal notes on good paper.

    • Honestly, all four of those are spectacular. I think I would personally go for the MB Lavender Purple, followed by the Akkerman, The De Atramentis, and the Pelikan. But honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of them.

      • Elise Mauceri

        Thank you!