Starting this month, Sailor will be releasing an additional eight inks worldwide in its Four Seasons lineup. I bought three of them this summer from Japan, and Irori is the third, along with the previously reviewed Rikyu-Cha and Kin-Mokusei.
I used Irori in a Lamy Safari with 1.1 mm stub and in a Sailor Professional Gear with fine nib for over a month. I never saw a startup or flow issue with either pen, even if I didn’t pick up the pen for days.
I think the ink looks great in both pens. A Sailor fine is a very narrow nib, but Irori had the presence for that, writing a tight but clear and legible line even on very bright paper like this Rhodia.
The Safari is a dry writer, and I like the balance that gives a saturated ink like Irori. Here is the Safari with 1.1 mm stub on Tomoe River paper.
Irori is fairly saturated, and it does not shade much. It’s possible those two qualities would make Irori too much (for me) in a pen with a very wet, very broad nib. On the other hand, if you love juicy triple broad nibs, there may never be an ink that’s “too much.”
Normally shading is my favorite quality in an ink, but I didn’t miss that too much with Irori, because the color is so fun. It’s not a serious red. It’s an “I think I saw this on a black-velvet painting of Elvis” red.
I kept wondering what tint Irori has, exactly. Occasionally it looked like it leaned orange, and occasionally it looked pinkish. I settled on “I don’t know but it sure is cheerful.” Irori never looked like an angry red.
Here’s what it looks like on a larger scale, with both pens writing on Rhodia.
Sheen fans should be able to bring out some sheen with Irori.
Irori did well on poor paper with my pens. It did feather a bit with the Safari stub on my “everything feathers” copy paper, but feathering was under control on my everyday Staples Sustainable Earth. Here is a writing sample on Sustainable Earth.
Showthrough and bleedthrough were also very good on poor paper. I could write on both sides of the thin Sustainable Earth paper.
Cleanup was moderate, which is good for a red ink. I only used water for cleanup, but I did have to soak the Sailor nib unit a bit. Since I had kept both pens inked for five weeks, I thought that was quite good.
Irori has some water resistance, although not a great deal, on both absorbent copy paper and on Rhodia.
And here is paper towel chromatography of Irori.
Well, I see now why I kept wondering if Irori had an orange tint or a pink tint. And why it’s such a cheerful color. Very fun mixture.
I didn’t find an exact duplicate of Irori among my reds, and given the dye mixture, that does not surprise me. However, it did seem to fit in among cheerful reds.
It’s interesting to compare Irori with all those inks, but for me, especially Sheaffer Skrip Red and Stipula Florentine Red. Skrip Red is my most “standard red,” and compared to that, Irori gets a real lift from its pink and yellow. Stipula Florentine Red is a soft red with some pink, but lacks the saturation and the bright yellow that makes Irori more complex.
So that’s Irori. A red with pink and orange underpinnings that makes for a winning, slightly unusual color. Not much shading, but it has the oomph to work with very fine nibs.