The "Heart of Darkness" conjures up alluring yet terrifying visions in my mind of being lost in an imperceptibly dense and living jungle labyrinth. Luckily for us, we're only talking about a fountain pen ink and not Joseph Conrad's depiction of the African wilderness.
Noodler's Heart of Darkness is my staple black ink for all my pens. You could call it my sweetheart ink, but that might be taking it too far. If a better looking black ink comes by, my loyalty will quickly vanish.
What is there to say about a black ink? Every black ink I've tried is similar. This is why it's so much fun to experiment with other color inks -- they have unique and beautiful properties that just don't exist in a black ink. But even though black can be "boring," it's also a beautiful thing in its own right. So, how does it differ from the other black inks out there?
In my experience, Heart of Darkness plays nicely with all types of paper. Sure, it will bleed and feather a tad on cheaper, thinner paper, but that's expected. It's a very lubricated, smooth ink, which is something I hear often about Noodler's in general.
The ink dries quickly in most cases. It took a bit longer to dry on my Rhodia notebook because of the paper properties. There's no shading qualities to speak of, and I had a difficult time producing any line variations. It also has a matte look once dried.
The main reason I like this ink and always come back to it is the color. It's a deep, deep black. Some of the black inks I've tried have hints of gray or brown in them. This ink is black like a moonless night in the African jungle (at least in my imagination). I've also found that it's extremely friendly when it's time to clean out your pen.
Another positive note about this ink is that it has no smell that I can detect. Both Pilot and Sailor black inks that I use have a very distinctive odor that I don't really enjoy.
Overall, this is an excellent black to keep on hand for when you need a solid, dark black ink.