Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink bottle

Ink of the Week – Sailor Apricot

John BosleyFountain Pen Ink 7 Comments

This week we’re going to take a look at Sailor Apricot. Unfortunately, Sailor Apricot is not offered anymore, but a near-identical ink is Sailor Kin-Mokusei. Since this review is going to discuss Sailor Apricot, I can’t promise that everything will be the same with Sailor Kin-Mokusei, but if you’re a fan of the color of Apricot this should at least give you an idea of how you’d like Kin-Mokusei.

The original Sailor Jentle colors, including Apricot, were discontinued around 2014. That tells you how long I’ve had this bottle of ink. I really do love the color, but am not always in the mood for an orange ink. Still, this ink is somewhat legendary for a reason. Hopefully this review will give you an idea why people love it so much.

Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink doodles

Sailor Apricot

To start, let’s take a look at the ink itself. It is a bright orange color. It is rich enough that it doesn’t look like a highlighter, but not so rich that it feels autumnal. It really is a perfectly summery orange, just like an apricot!

It has fantastic shading, but not so extreme that it is hard to read. In a wetter pen it looks quite dark, while in a drier pen it is significantly lighter. I personally prefer the darker color and tend to only use it in wet pens. When a lot of ink goes down onto a page, you’ll be able to see some sheen. This sheen isn’t like other sheens, though. It is more what I would call a varnish. Some people call it a white sheen, but really I think it is just shiny and reflects the light, making it look white.

fountain pen ink sailor apricot

Sailor Apricot has what some people refer to as a white sheen, but it’s really just a gloss that reflects light.

This ink doesn’t have a very interesting chromatography. A bit of yellow does separate out, which could make a pretty neat fire effect, but overall it looks about the same. Unfortunately, it is not very waterproof. Most of the ink came off of the page when it got wet, so I wouldn’t use this for archival purposes.

Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink chromatography

You don’t get a lot of color variation with the chromatography

Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink waterproof

This ink is not very waterproof

Dry times are on the longer side. This is a very wet ink and if you’re using a wet nib you should expect to have to wait for it to dry when writing or doodling with it. On my doodles for this week you can see where I smeared some of them because the ink was still wet. Once dry, it will smear a bit if your hands are a little damp, but not as easily as some saturated, sheeny inks.

The Pens I Used

Each week I choose five different pens to fill with the ink I’m testing. My goal is to get a variety of nib sizes and styles, as well as a mix of modern and vintage pens. Here are the pens I chose this week and some writing samples from each:

Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink pens used

Pens for this week (L-R): Pelikan M205, Pilot Metropolitan, Leonardo, Parker Challenger, Pelikan 500

Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink nibs

Nibs for this week (L-R): Pelikan F, Pilot M, Leonardo M, Parker M flex, Pelikan OB flex

Pelikan M205 – F nib

This Pelikan nib is a bit drier, but definitely not the driest of the week. This ink still looks good and dark, even though it doesn’t have as much shading as some of the other nibs. Given the wetness of this ink, I didn’t mind this combo at all.

Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink pelikan m205

Writing sample with F Pelikan nib

Pilot Metropolitan – M nib

This Pilot nib is definitely wetter than the Pelikan, but the ink doesn’t look significantly different. In fact, I don’t know if I’d really be able to tell the difference between the two if I saw them side by side. It doesn’t show a lot of shading, but still looks quite nice.

Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink pilot metropolitan

Writing sample with Pilot M nib

Leonardo Officina – M nib

This Leonardo nib is quite dry and you can see it in how light the ink looks. Surprisingly, it still shows some shading. I personally don’t like the way this ink looks when it’s so light, but I’d imagine this color might really appeal to some people.

Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink Leonardo M nib

Writing sample with Leonardo M nib

Parker Challenger (vintage) – M flex nib

This vintage Parker nib is quite wet and has a good amount of flex. It made the ink look nice and dark with a lot of shading. This was probably my favorite combo of the week for writing.

Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink vintage parker nib

Writing sample with vintage Parker nib

Pelikan 500 – OB flex nib

This vintage Pelikan nib is very wet and also quite flexible. The ink looked quite dark with this pen. While it isn’t the most practical nib to write with, it was still fun to use.

Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink pelikan OB nib

Writing sample with vintage Pelikan OB nib


On cheap paper, this ink bled through with most of the pens. I didn’t see any feathering. On fountain-pen-friendly paper, it performed quite well. I saw no feathering on any of the papers. I only saw a very tiny amount of bleedthrough on the Stalogy paper and none on the Leuchtturm or Fabriano EcoQua.

Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink fabriano ecoqua paper

Writing sample on fabriano ecoqua paper

Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink leuchtturm

Writing sample on Leuchtturm paper

Sailor Jentle Apricot fountain pen ink stalogy paper

Writing sample on Stalogy paper

Cleaning The Ink Out Of Pens

What a pleasant surprise! Cleaning this ink out of my pens this week didn’t take long at all. I was worried about the orange sticking around, but even in my vintage pens it came out quickly and easily. The initial rinse was very orange, but it quickly faded to yellow and then to nothing. Even if a bit were to stick around, I think it would just be a very slight yellow that would be covered up by pretty much any other ink you might want to use.


Sailor Apricot is one of those classic ink colors that many people (myself included) love. Sadly, it isn’t made any more, but that probably just fuels their love of it even more. Fortunately, Sailor Kin-Mokusei is quite close in color. I have never used it, so I can’t comment on how it performs, but most people seem to be happy using it as a replacement. This also makes me realize I need to get a sample to see how it compares. While Sailor Apricot has long dry times and isn’t very waterproof, the wonderful color and shading make up for it.

fountain pen doodle sailor apricot

Comments 7

  1. How in the WORLD did you make that doodle at the end?.!! That’s gorgeous!

    That actually shows he true beauty of this ink!

    Little demo (in any color) would be appreciated. 😋

    1. Post

      Thanks for the comment, Deborah! I actually did that doodle a while back. It’s not nearly as difficult as it looks. I’ll see if I can come up with an instructional blog post for some of my doodles.

      1. I’ve taken Zentangle classes and never ran across one quite like that.. It appeals to me! And it really does work well with fountain pen doesn’t it?
        I’m still mooning over the Sailor ‘Spring Rain’ pen. But truly, how can one justify
        a 360.00 price tag??? 🙄

        1. Post
  2. Oh, the Sailor Jentle inks… Love them. Managed to snag bottles of Epinard and Peche right before everyone began hording them. You’re making me long for Apricot precisely because I love orange inks. This is nothing like Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki, the ideal orange if ever there were one. So different. So beautiful. Great post! Thank you!

    1. Post

      Yes, I had just purchased this bottle before Sailor announced that they were going to stop making them. I didn’t bother getting any others and now somewhat regret it. Oh well! I do also really like Fuyu-gaki, but they are very different oranges.

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