Posted in Ink, Reviews, Stories

Majorelle Blue (Ink) by Any Other Name

In 1924, the French artist Jacques Majorelle constructed his largest artwork, the Majorelle Garden in Marrakech, Morocco. He painted the garden walls, fountains, features, and villa in a very intense shade of blue, for which he trademarked the name Majorelle Blue.

Let me tell you a story about myself. I love food! I used to frequently travel domestically and globally when I was a young man and I always made sure my hotel was an easy walk to a variety of restaurants. Fast forward, I am completely into a show called “Somebody Feed Phil.” Phil Rosenthal was the writer, producer, and creator of a sitcom called “Everyone Loves Raymond.” What makes the Feed Phil show interesting is Phil simply loves food. He probably cannot boil water. The show follows Phil as he travels through a city enjoying the local cuisine. He genuinely loves the people making the food, the other patrons, and it is simply a joy watching him eat! I was watching an episode, Phil was in Marrakech and the color of the houses resonated with me. Thus began an ink quest.

I searched and searched for pen ink by the name “Moroccan Blue,” “Marrakech Blue,” or “Majorelle Blue” to no avail. I stumbled upon a blue ink so intense as to “hurt” the reader’s eyes.

I searched and searched for pen ink by the name “Moroccan Blue,” “Marrakech Blue,” or “Majorelle Blue” to no avail. Then I stumbled upon references on FPN (Fountain Pen Network) of a blue ink so intense as to glaze upon it “hurt” the reader’s eyes, while others exclaimed they needed sunglasses when writing with it, but more on this ink later.

Really, this hurts your eyes, doesn’t it? Majorelle Blue has it’s own hexadecimal code, #6050dc. Or if you want to mix it in RGB, just add 37.6% red, 31.4% green, and 86.3% blue, while in CMYK color scheme would be made of 56.4% cyan, 63.6% magenta, 0% yellow, and 13.7% black.

Many color-oriented websites recommend Ultramarine (a strikingly vibrant hue) as a very acceptable alternative to Majorelle Blue. This color is readily available from Montblanc, Octopus Fluids, Diplomat (Octopus Fluids), and L’Artisan Pastellier. But honestly, only Octopus Fluids seems worthy.

But, thanks to the FPN, I stumbled upon Noodler’s Baystate Blue ink…a ”screaming out loud, [ink that] really does hurt eyes and ears.”

According to Vanness Pens Shop, Baystate Blue is a “vibrant blue permanent ink” with a purplish tendency [my edit]. Vanness offers the following warning: “This ink is a different formulation than most inks, and will stain your pen. We do not suggest using this ink in any valuable pens. Do not mix with any other inks or an undesired reaction will result.” With acolytes like this, how could I refuse?

Noodle’s Baystate Blue

My order arrived and I quickly got to playing with it. This is not the best example as the paper is textured for watercolors, sketching, etc. but, as you can see it is an intense worthy BLUE!

The bottle came filled to the very tippy top. I immediately set to work with an Esterbrook #9 Drawlet square nib. The ink is not water-proof (contrary to the claim it is permanent), it flows freely (wet), and subject to shading. I did not notice any peculiarities when using the ink – remember the ominous claims made by the pen shop – this is pretty much a normal ink. I will attest it stained my porcelain sink, but with a little effort, I managed to remove the stains. If I ink up a pen, I will not allow the pen to dry out prior to cleaning.

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I'm a loser as my wife likes to tell me, I enjoy researching dead cousins and playing with fountain pens.

20 thoughts on “Majorelle Blue (Ink) by Any Other Name

    1. The show is so different, he is a TV writer and he finds some of the most eclectic restaurants. It is a Netficks show. The color is amazing to me. I’m thinking about painting flower pots in that color (my neighbors will love me). Thanks for visiting.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That is one serious ink. That full to the top bottle is awaiting a displacement as soon as a pen goes in for first fill! When you mentioned staining the sink too. I read a bloggers Diamine advent calendar experiences with lots of inks with peculiarities, but none like this. There were a few which had added odours akin to coffees flavoured. Great informed write up. Nice to see you looking at inks. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gray. It is only a matter of time before I get to wear the ink. Used it with dip pens only, so far. I am considering the purchase of a really cheap Chinese pen and fill that. Imagine the ink would be beautiful in a demonstrator.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you got very close, vibrant indeed. I’ve always wondered if that show “Feeding Phil” was worth watching. Ok, you’ve convinced me, I’ll give it a try. There is a great show on making pizza, people from around the world are featured. Have you seen it? I forgot the name, it’s on Netflix.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the blue … it really is such a vibrant colour. I’m intrigued by the claim of the ‘undesired reaction’ if you mix inks … will it be like not feeding Gremlins after midnight?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is an amazing color. I too am intrigued by the variety of warnings. I told Gray I am going to buy a Chinese demonstrator pen so I can determine the extent of the staining and of course, I plan on mixing inks.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha, glad that you’ve joined the BSB gang. It stains everything, but comes out pretty easily with bleach. There’s just no avoiding it. You’re bound to stain something. I’ve stained floors, tables, light switches, kitchen counters—and I’m VERY careful when refilling! It hurts my eyes to reread in my journals though, so I just keep this for my pen-pals when I want to sear their retinas.

    Liked by 1 person

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