Lamy Dark Lilac: Ink Review

Purple ink splatter in Lamy Dark Lilac ink written with a Lamy fountain pen.

Hello, everybody! Madigan here, bringing you an ink review of the insanely beautiful Lamy Dark Lilac ink. I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this ink, but as soon as I saw Whitney’s Monday Matchup, I couldn’t wait to get it in my pen. It is a deep, dark purple with just a hint of sheen. From the second the nib of my Lamy fountain pen hit paper, I fell into deep, dark purple love. This ink exceeded every expectation I had! This is one that I will absolutely be adding to my ink collection because, not only is it a gorgeous color, it’s limited edition and won’t last long. Read on to find out why I’m so in love with this ink.

Handwritten ink review of Lamy Dark Lilac ink showing a smear test, drip test, and swabs.
Close up of Lamy Dark Lilac ink, written on Tomoe River paper with a fountain pen.
Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):

  • Medium– Pretty standard dry time here. Under 30 seconds, so it should be good for notebook writing. If you are a lefty though, this might not be a good ink for you.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):

  • Low– This is not a water resistant ink, so keep it out of the way of sudden storms or spilled beverages. That being said, when water is applied, it goes from deep purple to a pretty pink. It would be great to use in ink washes!


  • Medium-I gave this a medium in saturation because the sheen didn’t show up until the second swab. If you are basing it on the purple color alone, I’d give it a high rating.

Ease of Cleaning:

  • Easy– This ink washes quickly and easily out of your pen!


  • Medium-You can definitely see some shading, especially in flex or stub nibs.


  • Medium– Perfect flow. Not to wet, not to dry, the nib glides effortlessly across the page.

Unique Characteristics:

  • Sheen– You read that right! This is a purple ink with some sheen. Like other sheening inks, you’ll want to lay out a lot of ink to see that extra glimmer. Tomoé River paper and flex or stub nibs will give you the best chance of seeing it. Watch Brian’s video on his Top Sheening inks for more tips.

Packaging and Aesthetics:

  • 50ml glass bottle with 2ml ink samples also available.
  • Well designed, pleasingly round bottle with blotting paper in the base
  • Large round opening making it easy to fill your pen.

Inks similar in color:


If you are a purple ink fan, I highly recommend purchasing Lamy Dark Lilac. I’ve reviewed several purple inks, and I can safely say I’ve never seen anything like it! And while it is breath taking in art, it’s also dark enough to work in a work or school setting. It would be great for notes, journal writing, or letter writing. Still not sure about it? It’s also incredibly affordable! Seriously, this ink wins on every level for me. I usually stick to ink samples, but I’m purchasing a full bottle of this spectacular ink for my collection.

You can find Lamy Dark Lilac ink at in a 50ml glass bottle for $10.50, a pack of cartridges for $4.50, or a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.

Will you be getting a bottle of Lamy Dark Lilac? What’s your favorite purple ink? Let me know in the comments below!

Write on,

2018-01-03T16:50:09+00:00 May 31st, 2016|Ink Reviews|24 Comments
  • Thudthwacker

    (Reads review) Aw, man, why would there be *another* great review of Dark Lilac if it’s *still* out of…
    (Checks store)
    (Finds Dark Lilac back in stock)

    • Thudthwacker

      It really is an out-of-this-world ink — I missed the bottles last time around, but was fortunate enough to land a sample, so I was able to write with it for a couple of days and confirm that, yes, I wanted a full bottle. Hopefully, Lamy will, in the fullness of time, opt to bring this ink into its normal rotation. Having such a gold-plated winner on your hands and deciding to never make it again seems, from a business perspective, daft. And also a little mean. =)

    • Tom Johnson

      I thought the same but checked and now have pen and ink ordered! And I just got two bottles of new inks a few days ago.

    • Haha! We wouldn’t do that to you. I just got 2 bottles myself… It’s seriously such an awesome ink!

      • Thudthwacker

        I decided to keep to one; I have a bad tendency to want to corner the market on things I like, and if I’m honest, a single bottle is likely to last me a few years, as it goes in and out of rotation. I shouldn’t empty the piggy bank to get five bottles of an ink I’d almost certainly never use even three of, and in the process make it that much harder for other folks to get some. Besides, if I spend all my stationery budget on ink, I won’t be able to get that pen I’ve had my eye on.

        • Love your discipline. And you are entirely right- one bottle goes a long way. I think I may try to do some art with it, so I expect to use quite a bit. 🙂 What pen are you looking at?

  • Tom Johnson

    Madigan, between Whitney’s wonderful Monday Matchup (When the Deep Purple Falls . . . ) and your ink review, I broke down. The pen was in my wish list, but I’d just gotten two bottles of new inks not long ago, but the Dark Lilac color is just wonderful. You tipped the scales and both are now ordered and in the hands of Goulet’s precision Fulfillment Team now. Thanks for the review and catching me at a weak moment! Was the Al-Star pen you used for the review the new purple color?

    • Hi Tom! I used a Lamy Al-Star Blue for the review, but I do have the Lamy Safari Dark Lilac sitting in my notebook right now. I think you’ll like it! The matte finish is beautiful and the black trim is perfect. 🙂

    • Kathy

      Tom, the pen is gorgeous. Started to order another one, but finally talked myself out of it. I’ve pounced on the ink, and look forward to getting my bottle in the next day or so. It looks perfect! I’ve been packing my ink bottles and samples today. I have a serious ink problem, on a level with Mr. Goulet himself. I must stop buying inks. I must stop buying inks and pens. I must stop buying pens and inks and paper…but first, I wonder if anything has been added to the clearance items….

  • Rachel Leigh Smith

    I’ll be getting two bottles! At least. And will likely be very, very sad when they stop making it.

    I have it in my Dark Lilac pen in cartridge, with an EF nib. I don’t get near as much obvious variation in color as the wider nibs, but I’m still totally in love with it. The color change is still there with my pen, just subtle.

    • Hi Rachel! What paper are you using? I definitely saw a lot more variation on the Tomoé River paper (also sheen!) than on Rhodia or Leuchtturm paper. That being said, it’s still a beautiful ink, even without a lot of shading. It matches the pen perfectly. I’m happy to meet another ink addict. 🙂

      • Rachel Leigh Smith

        I use whatever paper is handy. Been using it quite a bit at work, which means regular copy/printer paper.

  • Giovanni’s Roomba

    I certainly didn’t need another dark purple ink, because I already have Diamine Deep Dark Purple and R&K Scabiosa, among others, but I bought a full bottle of Dark Lilac anyway. AND the pen. Didn’t need that either. But how long have we been waiting for a purple Safari? And it has a matte finish! Completely worth it. I like an extra-fine nib so there’s no sheen for me, but I do have a 1.1 stub I can swap in if I feel like.

    • Hi Giovanni! Exactly. The fountain pen world has been waiting a long time for this. I seriously love my pen and ink. You’ll definitely need to put a lot of ink out to see the sheen, so try your 1.1 or a flex pen on Tomoé River paper if you have it.

  • Robert

    I ordered the ink along with the Lamy Safari Dark lilac fountain pen. My very first (but surely not my last) order from Goulet Pens. Realized hours after I’d made the order that I’d forgotten to order a converter as well. It was too late to get it added to my first order. So my pen and ink arrived today (Saturday) and the converter isn’t due until Monday. I think I’ll order a bunch of different converters just to have on hand. And so my journey into the hobby begins.

  • Eric Johnson

    Noooo! I missed it again! Curses for not checking my email!

  • Ceiros

    So in the course of trying to save money for an upcoming trip, I decided that I wasn’t going to purchase any new inks or pens. With the caveat that I would buy this Dark Lilac as soon as it came in stock and maybe one or two others at that time to make the shipping cost worth it. Prepared myself to be strong and hold out against my mile-long wish list…

    Ink was in stock the very next day! So much for self-control 😉

  • D

    Is there anyone know deep dark purple like DARK LILAC? Except for that examples. I’m worrying about it’s obsoleting..

  • Jake L

    Does anyone know if bottled Lilac is ever coming back? Lamy is still selling cartridges still, but that’s expensive…

    • Nicollette Whitfield

      I’d like to know the answer to this question, too. This ink looks amazing.

  • claudia barcellos

    does anybody know where to find a bottle or even if lamy is relaunching the colour?

  • KLShelley123

    Ugh! There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a color (or product) AFTER it is already sold out. Apparently I discovered fountain pens about six months too late. 🙁

    • Napalm Candy

      Would you happen to be a frequent Redditor? You can request to buy a bottle from other people (there is one thread there currently where two people replied to someone’s request to buy).

      • KLShelley123

        Thank you for this tip. I’ll definitely look into it!! 🙂