Noodler's Habanero


When I went to my local stationery store a few weeks ago to buy ink, Noodler's Apache Sunset was the one I intended to buy. Sadly, they had sold the last bottle a few hours before I arrived, so I picked Habanero as a substitute.

I inked my Lamy 2000  with it as soon as I arrived home and loved the combination. It shaded excellently and performed very well on low-quality paper, but because of the ink's color, I didn't find myself using it very often. For a few weeks after I switched my Lamy 2000 to Edelstein Topaz, Habanero sat in my ink drawer unused.

Upon receiving my orange Montblanc Carrera as a gift, I decided to try it again. In the Carrera's much finer nib, the color appeared extremely vibrant and more orange than red. Now, that pen is always paired with this ink, and I use Habanero frequently.


Manufacturer: Noodler's
Color: Orange
MSRP: $12.50
Actual Price: $12-$14
Price I paid: I bought this ink for $14 from my local store. You may think this is a bad price compared to online retailers, but I didn't have to pay shipping and supported a local store.
Amount of Ink: 3 oz (roughly 90 ml)
Cost per ml: 13.8¢/ml at $12.50
Bottle: Glass; I encountered no trouble filling from it while almost full, but I imagine it would be difficult to fill from the lees.
Where to Buy: Noodler's ink is widely available and can be found at many stationery stores in the U.S. Online retailers that sell it include Goulet PensAmazon, and Anderson Pens. If you aren't in North America, this ink can be extremely hard to find, and your only choice may be to pay the high shipping fees from the U.S.
 * All prices are the prices at the time of this review's writing on July 9, 2014. 


Sheen: None that I can see, but this is highly dependent upon the paper and pen used.
Shading: Excellent, just as great as Apache Sunset, if not better
Water Resistance: Interestingly, the ink doesn't smear but changes to an extremely light pink.
Feathering: Minimal
Bleed through: None
Show through/ Ghosting: Minimal
Drying Time: Extremely long- I would not recommend this to lefties who aren't overwriters.
Wetness: Fairly wet
Lubrication:  Average
Staining: I haven't noticed any staining.
Saturation: Moderate
Cleaning: The ink cleans out of a pen with slight difficulty due to its saturation and average lubrication.
Okay on Copier Paper?: This is a fantastic choice for use on absorbent papers.

Writing Sample

Pen 1: Pelikan M200 Fine
Pen 2: Montblanc Carrera EF 
Paper 1: Levenger Circa Paper
Paper 2: Copier Paper
Paper 3: Black n' Red Notebook
Paper 4: Flashcard for the Extended Soak Test (3 hours)

Habanero is a great choice for absorbent, low-quality paper. It only bled through while applying more pressure or having three lines cross at once. Show through is practically non-existent in real life and in the scan also. Drying times become much more acceptable on copier paper with only five seconds for the extra-fine nib and ten for the fine.

This is where my troubles with Habanero's drying time began. Even with a dry extra-fine nib, Habanero still wasn't completely dry after 35 seconds. I can only imagine how much time the ink takes to dry on Rhodia or Clairefontaine paper.

Extended Soak Test (3 hours)
As you can see above, this ink doesn't smear when wet. Instead, it becomes a very light pink color. This leads me to speculate that Nathan Tardiff may have intended for this to be a bulletproof ink at first but ran into complications later on. Another even more insane theory is that Habanero is another Noodler's ink mixed with Whiteness of the Whale. I don't have a black light at the moment, but there are reports of Whiteness of the Whale becoming an opaque white after sitting for a while.

I'll be sure to test that theory later and update this post.


Habanero shades excellently from a light orange to a dark red. This ink also isn't so light as to be illegible but vibrant and fairly easy to read and performs very well on almost all paper. It has only one fault in my opinion- its atrociously long drying time.

 If I write letters or notes with this ink, I have to wait before proceeding to the next line to avoid smearing. Because of this, I can only recommend this ink with the stipulation that you don't mind smearing or slowing down your writing speed.

  • Excellent Shading
  • Well-performed on absorbent paper
  • Neither wet nor dry

  • Long drying times (35s+)
  • Not the most practical color

Possible Uses
  • Writing letters (The fantastic shading makes it an excellent ink for this purpose.)
  • Journaling
  • Calligraphy


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