After my original video on Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium (here), there was a little kerfuffle on the Fountain Pen Network over the definition of the term ‘bulletproof’ and what it means for an ink’s waterproofness. In a good faith effort to try to give everyone what they wanted (more waterproofness), I worked with Nathan on a reformulation as we had announced two weeks ago (here).

I don’t want to sway your opinion, so I will just give you the facts here and let you decide for yourself if you like the original or the reformulation. If you have 30 seconds to spare, I’d love if you could fill out a quick survey about which version of the ink you like better.

Go here to fill out the quick survey about Liberty’s Elysium. 

I will say that Nathan worked on many different formulas including ones using much more expensive components, and this one I show here was the best he could make that was the closest to the original color. Here are some tests I did:

Brian’s review of the original Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium formula

Brian’s review of the reformulated Liberty’s Elysium, better water resistance, but at a price. 

Water drip and smear test with both inks.

Ink dried for 1 hour, then submersed for 30 minutes in water. New LE is better,
but still not what everyone was hoping for.

Top shows rubbing with a  q-tip soaked with bleach until the paper began to
wear away (ink still is readable), bottom shows paper soaking in bleach for
10 full minutes. Both inks lost about 70% visibility, but remain readable. 

These tests, especially the ones with the bleach, are pretty aggressive tests that conventional fountain pen inks would not withstand hardly at all. Only the strongest of inks will withstand this type of testing and I’ll be the first to admit that other Noodler’s inks like Luxury Blue and Polar Blue are more impenetrable, but at what cost. The most permanent Noodler’s inks are flat, chalky-looking colors, and LE does not look like that at all.

After all of this reformulation and with extensive talks with Nathan on the phone, I now have a pretty good understanding of the relationship of the blue dyes in this color range. It would seem there’s an inverse relationship between the lubrication/color vibrance of Liberty’s Elysium and the permanence/waterproofness. The more vibrant the color, the less permanent it is likely to be, and the more permanent you make it, the flatter and more chalky the color appears, like Luxury Blue and Polar Blue.

So the story of the Liberty’s Elysium reformulation is one of give and take, and I’d love to know what you think. Take a second to take the poll and voice your opinion about whether we should move forward with the original or new formulation of this ink.
***Update as of 6/28/2012: The results are in, and it’s pretty conclusive! See what everyone thinks of the two inks here
Write On,
Brian Goulet