Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A few words on J. Herbin Fountain Pen Inks

I think I've tested 24 of the 30 current Herbin inks. (Whew!)

In looking at this sample sheet - (See the original and download it Here) I wanted to toss out my 2 cents on how I see the samples versus how they looked to me when I tested them.

I've done my best to maintain some kind of baseline when I test inks, for the most part, I've been using two different kinds of paper. One absorbent, (Canteo) and one smooth and shiny. (Clairefontaine 90g) I am not always using the same fountain pen to test, and sometimes I'm using different nib widths, which will affect the saturation on the paper. I would not consider any of my pens to be dry writers, but my medium nibbed Sapporo is a wet writer.

Anytime I try an ink, there are many considerations on whether or not I will like it. I have to like the color. It has to be saturated "enough" for my tastes. It has to be free flowing, and as I like to sometimes use ivory paper, I like an ink that looks good on paper other than white.

That being said, these are my reactions to the Herbin sample card versus my actual findings. If it says, "Previously Reviewed" look to the left hand side of my blog to find the link to the review.

  • Gris Nuage - Not Tested (Do not have)
  • Perle Noire - A very black, black. Great flow. Review forthcoming. Love it.
  • Bleu Azur - Not Tested (Do not have)
  • Blue Pervenche - Image pretty accurate. A pretty saturated turquoise. A keeper. Previously reviewed.
  • Bleu Myosotis - Not Tested (Do not have)
  • Eclat De Saphir - Sample showing more saturated than it is. A nice medium blue. Previously reviewed.
  • Bleu Nuit - Sample showing more saturated than it is. The color of washed denim. Great flow, review forthcoming.
  • Rouge Caroubier - No where near as saturated as the sample. Thin and dry. Previously reviewed.
  • Rouge Bourgogne - Nice color, nice flow, but for some reason- I let this one go. Previously reviewed.
  • Vert Pre - Fairly saturated lime color - hard to see on paper I tested. Very dry. Review forthcoming.
  • Diabolo Menthe - very, very, very light. Very dry. Sample showing much darker than I tested. Review forthcoming.
  • Vert Olive - Sample showing darker than tested. Nice color, hard to see on tested paper. Free flowing. Previously reviewed.
  • Lierre Sauvage - Sample is pretty accurate. Bright shamrock green w/ hit of yellow. Free flowing. Review forthcoming.
  • Vert Reseda - Sample pretty accurate. Nice flow, Review forthcoming.
  • Vert Empire - Sample showing darker & greener than tested. Previously reviewed.
  • Ambre De Birmanie - Sample accurate. Free flowing. Review Forthcoming.
  • Lie De The - Sample showing darker, this is a yellowish brown. Previously reviewed.
  • Cacao Du Bresil - Not Tested (Do not have)
  • Cafe Des Iles - Not Tested (Do not have)
  • Terre De Feu - Sample showing much, much darker than tested. A light-medium earthy brown. Very nice flow. Review forthcoming.
  • Poussiere De Lune - Sample not accurate as tested. Poussier De Lune is more of a gray purple than tested. It's also pretty saturated. Previously reviewed.
  • Bouton D'Or - Sample accurate. Free flowing. Very hard to see on any paper tested. Review forthcoming.
  • Orange Indien - Sample inaccurate. It's more of a rusty orange. Previously reviewed.
  • Rouille D'Ancre - Sample fairly accurate. Very, very light, more of a band-aid color than the sample shows. Very Dry. Previously reviewed.
  • Rose Tendresse - Not Tested (Do not have)
  • Bouquest D'Antan - Sample showing darker than tested. This is a very light, very dry pink.
  • Rose Cyclamen - Sample is close - but the shade actually leans more towards a bit of blue. Very saturated, great flow. Love this color. A keeper. Previously reviewed.
  • Rouge Opera - Sample inaccurate. Ink is more mauve than pink as shown. Nice flow. Review forthcoming. Similar to Larmes de Cassis.
  • Violette Pensee - Sample just a wee bit lighter than actually tested. Nice flow. Review forthcoming.
  • Larme De Cassis - Actual ink much lighter than sample shows. Lots of shading. Free flowing. Previously reviewed.
Take my comments for what they are worth and always remember - Your Mileage May Vary. Your computer monitor may show the colors differently, your pens may write dryer/wetter than mine, and we might be testing on different quality paper. I do my best...


Scarfaholic said...

The Perle Noire looks interesting. It looks like a black plum from the above scan, but then scans can be quite deceiving for inks. I look forward to your review of it.

Biffybeans said...

Pearle Noire is a very black ink, though if you look at it in the bottle, it does have a very slight dark reddish purple hue to it. If you look on my left nav bar, I did a comparison of 4 black inks with it. I will also be doing a separate review of it.

ethernautrix said...

I love the Perle Noire! And I insist on very, very black, blackety-black inks! I'm looking forward to your review, Stephanie.

TAO said...

I just increased my Herbin ink collection markedly the other day and your reviews were a great help. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

i have the gris nuage, and i was worried that it would be a washed out grey, barely visible. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's actually quite dark, with some nice shading. Goes very well with dark purples.

Liz B

TAO said...

Liz B: I just bought the gris nuage but not used it yet. Thanks for you comment I look forward to using it since most greys leave me...um...blue. (sorry for that.)

PeteA said...

I'm going to give gris nuage a try. Not tried it before but like the idea of an ink that is softer than black. Thanks for your review.

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