Rohrer and Klingner Scabiosa: Ink Review

Rohrer and Klingner Scabiosa purple fountain pen ink

Rohrer and Klingner Scabiosa is a German ink that comes in a 50ml bottle. It’s popular for two reasons, the first being that it’s water resistant since it is iron gall, just like Salix. Check out what Wikipedia has to say about it, but know that this ink is not the same ‘pure’ iron gall that is known to be corrosive to metals, rather it is a modern formulation that behaves much more like conventional fountain pen ink. Rohrer and Klingner does recommend that you clean the ink out of your pen every week, and be aware that iron gall inks aren’t ideal for all pen types and models.

Rohrer and Klingner Scabiosa purple fountain pen ink review

Rohrer and Klingner Scabiosa purple fountain pen ink

Rohrer and Klingner Scabiosa purple fountain pen ink

Scabiosa’s water resistance and ease of cleaning are every bit as great as Salix. There is one aspect where Scabiosa has a leg up on Salix, and that’s dry time. Salix had about a 25 second dry time, but Scabiosa dries quite a bit faster, only about 10 seconds on Rhodia paper, which is quite ink resistant. This is a huge plus given that it’s a pretty wet writing ink. And the shading is great, too!

Scabiosa is a great color, a dusty purple much like many of my favorite colors. Here are some of the other colors that are like Scabiosa. The only other purple that really has any water resistance in this color range is Noodler’s La Reine Mauve, and that ink looks a lot ‘dustier’ and washed out on the page. Scabiosa has great vibrancy and shading like Purple Heart and Blackcurrant, but with the bonus of the water resistance. No wonder it’s up there with Salix as the best selling Rohrer and Klingner color. Check out the other inks similar in color:

Check out the other Rohrer and Klingner reviews I’ve done:

Blau Permanent
Blue Mare

You can find Rohrer and Klingner Scabiosa in a 50ml bottle available at for $11.95 or as a 2ml sample for $1.25.

If you’ve used Scabiosa before, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!

Write on, 
Brian Goulet

2017-10-11T14:38:38+00:00 January 26th, 2012|Ink Reviews|12 Comments
  • I'm surprised how different this ink is from Salix in terms of saturation, wetness, and dry time. How do these two inks behave on more "ordinary" paper?

  • I was a bit surprised at how different the two are as well. I haven't used them extensively on other papers, but you can expect shorter dry time, a little less shading and perhaps a little darker color if the paper is more absorbent. 

  • This is my everyday ink!!!!!!!!!

  • Bradie M.

    Did you try comparing it to La Reine Mauve from Noodler's? That might be similar.

  • Yes, in fact I specifically mention LRM in the review because it's the only other waterproof dusty purple I know. LRM is not as vibrant, and has no shading at all, it's quite flat and chalky looking, as really all of the Noodler's eternal inks are. Scabiosa is a much more attractive color than LRM, and it's actually, believe it or not, more economical, too!

  • I think it is for a lot of people! And for good reason, it's just a great all-around ink. 

  • Nicky

    The first thing I noticed was the similarity to Poussiere de Lune. If anything, the shading appears to be even better. To me, it looks like the water resistant version of dusty purple and that sounds pretty useful.

  • Nicky

    Forgot to say that this is the first ink to jump out at me when I first saw the Rohrer and Klingner swabs. I love purple inks, especially those on the dusty side. 

  • Scabiosa is a similar hue to PDL, but it's a more saturated color. I don't know if I'd say it has more shading, but the shading stands out more because the color is a little darker. It's absolutely delightful!

  • Vinstor

    Sounds like an interesting ink. What are some of the pens that are okay to use with it?

  • Chris

    I use this ink for work in a Lamy 2000 and a Lamy al-Star (both pens are fine nibs). I’m a bit torn on this one. The huge plus for me water resistance, which is an issue for me and I can sign documents with this ink. The thing that bothers me most is the colour. To be precise the combination of cheap copier paper and a fine nib. It lacks shading and saturation and always looks “washed out”.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Sadly, that seems to be an issue with a lot of inks on cheap paper. I have noticed that myself. The ink absorbs and sinks into the paper, dulling the color, instead of sitting nicely saturated on top of the page as it does on better paper.