I like stationery products, I do! In Singapore I run to Borders and Kinokuniya and to the fifth floor of Ngee An City where there’s a huge Art Friend and a shop that sells cloth-covered notebooks and organizers. In Hong Kong I walk down alleys to spot mom-and-pop school supply stores (that also sell chops and brushes and bundles of fake money to burn at funerals). I spent my free afternoon in Shanghai practicing non-English on the friendly salesladies along Fuzhou Road, thrilled by finding Clairefontaine and Rhodia.
My last foray into Kinokuniya turned up Mnemosyne, a Rhodia-alike product by Maruman. I got one with a protective plastic cover.
It comes with two covers. The yellow inner cover explains who Mnemosyne is, in English and Japanese.
I think providing an explanation for the brand name is a polite gesture. Imagine if all brands explained their origins somewhere on the product. Most of them would run, “Vuitton/Adidas/Nokia/Coca Cola is named after the founder/the founder/the town of the founder/cocaine (when no one knew what it actually did)…”
I like using pens with high flow to test paper, and Mnemosyne paper is highly tolerant of major ink gush. Good news for fountain pen users who like Rhodia and Clairefontaine but might want to try an alternative.
During the same trip, I spotted notepads specifically marketed to fountain pen users.
These were on the shelf above blank postcards and pink stationery with kittens. I assumed the “Letter Paper for Fountain Pen” was 60% recycled. Recycled paper rarely stands up to fountain pens, so this made me even more curious. That, and the owl perched on top of the letter L.
The “Letter Paper for Fountain Pen” has ruled, textured paper. It’s a pleasing off-white.
I used the Pelikan M1000 with the 3B nib, and several flexible nibs. The paper held up without feathering. It is on the thin side, though, so no joy in writing on the reverse.
The plain paper also has texture, but not as obvious as the lined.
The plain paper buckled more due to the wetness of the ink – you can see it, somewhat, in this shot. (Note the base of the N, where ink has pooled, or the downstrokes on V and W.)
Both types were delightful to write on. Faint feedback from the textured paper was a plus, not a drag. Still, one must retain a sense of objectivity about these things. The owl paper is SGD11.55, the plain paper is SGD9.25, Mnemosyne was SGD9.65. I’ll buy the Mnemosyne again, but the others, though pretty and well-made for the purpose, are marketing novelties.