J. Herbin

J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir

The Color: A bright, standard blue with purple undertones.  It is quite similar to the color of the ink in many blue ballpoint pens. 

On Paper/Consistency: Very wet, saturated and consistent.  This ink flows very well and is always reliable.  I have never had a problem with it.

Overall: As a personal preference, it is not the type of blue I would normally buy.  However, I had bought a vintage pen on eBay and when I cleaned the pen, Eclat de Saphir almost exactly matched the dried ink in the pen.  The pen was from the 1950s, but I do not know the last time it had been inked.  In any case, I decided to stick with that color in the pen as a homage to its past usage.  Like I said, this ink is very reliable and it is a regular in my rotation.

Purchasing and Pricing: A 30mL bottle runs between $7-10 depending on the retailer and is available at most online retailers catering to fountain pen and ink users.



J. Herbin Rouge Caroubier

The Color: It is definitely red, but there are orange-toned reds and blue-toned reds and this red definitely skews on the orange side.  

Consistency: Mostly, very dry in flow and watery in saturation.  However, the color was quite vivid at more saturated moments.

Overall: Le sigh.  I love (LOVE!) J. Herbin inks, but I just do not like this one. While I normally prefer blue-toned reds to orange-toned reds, I could still like this color if not for the flow and saturation problems.  This ink is just too dry and doesn’t flow well.

Purchasing and Pricing: A 30mL bottle runs between $7-10 depending on the retailer and is available at most online retailers catering to fountain pen and ink users.

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Ink Review: J. Herbin Perle Noir

I am terribly behind in reviews and I apologize.  I will try to post more regularly, as I have a lot of reviews waiting to be posted.

The Color: BLACK.  It’s fantastic.  A black ink should be very black and a black-black rather than a bluish or greenish-black.  Perle Noir (“Black Pearl”) is exactly that.  If I had to say this black had a tinge of another color, it would be a purple or eggplant. 

On Paper: Wet, black and consistent.

Consistency: Very saturated, yet safe and gentle for pens — like all other J. Herbin inks.

Overall: Another favorite from J. Herbin.  This is THE black ink in my rotation.  Not only is it the perfect black color, but it is also safe for my vintage pens.  J. Herbin always flows well and I don’t have to worry about “gunk” building up in the pen or the nib.

Purchasing and Pricing: A 30mL bottle runs between $7-10 depending on the retailer and is available at most online retailers catering to fountain pen and ink users.

J. Herbin Rose Tendresse

I love pink.  What can I say?

The Color: Rose Tendresse is a perfect, feminine, light bubblegum pink.  It’s soft and girly, just as pink should be. 

On Paper: Somewhat wet, with lovely subtle shading.

Consistency: Saturated, yet gentle, like all other Herbin inks.  I first tried Rose Tendresse in a Reform 1745 and it was VERY dry.  I now have it loaded in my pink Esterbrook (!) and have used it with a 2314-M nib and a modified 1555 Gregg nib.  Rose Tendresse flows extremely well from both of these nibs, which makes me think the Reform might have been the problem instead of the ink in my first trial.

Other Considerations: Rose Tendresse translates to rose tenderness.  Just another reflection of this ink’s soft and feminine qualities.

Overall: Another favorite from J. Herbin.

Purchasing and Pricing: A 30mL bottle runs between $7-10 depending on the retailer and is available at most online retailers catering to fountain pen and ink users.








Ink Review: J. Herbin Vert Pre

The Quo Vadis blog had another green and orange ink giveaway for St. Patrick’s Day.  This giveaway is a bit special because I was sent J. Herbin’s Vert Olive at last year’s giveaway, which was my first review on La Plume Etoile.  Karen sent me Vert Pre to try this year.

The Color: Vert Pre is a bright and cheerful green that instantly evokes images of spring and summer.  It is similar to Vert Olive, but brighter and more casual.  Vert Olive has more of a yellow tone and has a more formal feel.

On Paper: The swatch below was done with an Esterbrook 2442 nib in a dipless set. Its flow quality is in the middle of the wet/dry spectrum.  Vert Pre’s shading really impressed me and I was able to get noticeable shading on different types of paper.

Consistency: Saturated, yet gentle, like all other Herbin inks.

Other Considerations: Not much to report here – the ink performed wonderfully when I tested it and is consistent with the quality of other J. Herbin inks.  I have read complains from other reviewers that Vert Pre has poor flow; but I have not loaded it myself yet to make that determination.  I need more pens to fill!

Overall: Another great ink from my favorite ink brand.

Purchasing and Pricing: A 30mL bottle runs between $7-10 depending on the retailer and is available at most online retailers catering to fountain pen and ink users.

J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche

The Color: This color is a great blue-turquoise color, but definitely more blue than turquoise. It reminds me of cheerful, summery blue that painters will often use to depict the ocean. It also looks exactly like the swatch on the box and as shown in the bottle.

On Paper: Like most J. Herbin inks, it looks great on paper and lives up to its expectations. If you have tried the disposable Pilot Varsity in the similar color, Bleu Pervenche is just a bit lighter and less saturated.

Consistency: Fairly saturated and consistent. It flows well and exhibits some slight shading. The first writing sample shown was written with my J. Herbin glass dip pen on Rhodia paper.


I wrote the next sample with a Pilot Varsity refilled with Bleu Pervenche on card stock.


The photo editing makes these writing samples look a bit washed out.  They are brighter and more vibrant in reality.

Other Considerations: Bleu Pervenche means Blue Periwinkle in French. Using this ink in business is “iffy” because on the one hand it is blue, but on the other hand, it’s a bit more fun. This one stays in my personal rotation and is a great, cheerful alternative to blue.

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J. Herbin Glass Dip Pen

Appearance: This pen is BEAUTIFUL!  It is an intricately crafted spiral and a lovely darker purple that matches J. Herbin’s Poussiere de Lune ink.  While the tip is clear, it does sometimes reflect the violet color of the body.

Weight: Comfortable and well balanced.

Functionality: The spiral in the lower body (near the tip) functions almost like a grip.  The grooves in the tip beautifully hold the ink and writes between two and three lines before having to dip again.   The pen does need to be rotated while writing to get the most longevity out of each dip.

This pen provides wetter and more saturated lines than most fountain pens, and I have been using it to test all my new inks.  It provides a quick and easy way to test inks, especially when I am anxious to try a new one!   Because of the increased wetness, the inks appear darker and have more shading than they do when loaded in a fountain pen.

This is a gorgeous pen and I am happy to have it as part of my collection.  Now I want more…

Please see below for detailed photographs of the pen and ink on the tip of the pen.  Click on the thumbnails for full size shots.

J. Herbin Violette Pensee

The Color: This color is a true violet color, with more blue tendencies than pink.

On Paper: This ink shows up well on paper. It is not bright, but more bright than dull. It is just right.

Consistency: Saturated and consistent. It flows well and shades with wetter-writing pens. The writing samples shown were with a glass dip pen (review coming soon) on Rhodia paper, but loaded in a Reform 1745, it can sometimes be a bit dry.

Other Considerations: I originally thought Violette Pensee meant “violet thought, which I thought was a nice sentiment.”   It turns Pensee is also a flower, and that is this ink’s reference.  (Thanks JFT.)  Either way, this ink is pleasant, calm and attractive.

Here’s the flower:

The ink:

J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune

I was so excited about trying J. Herbin’s Poussiere de Lune ink and it has lived up to my expectations. Is it possible for me to have a new favorite J. Herbin ink?

The Bottle: Same as all the other J. Herbin ink bottles

The Color: This color is best described as a dark plum color. However, it is more plum when wet and more of a dark purple when it dries. In French, Poussiere de Lune means “moon dust.” Even though the moon is not plum colored, “moon dust” is the perfect description for this color. I cannot explain it more than that; it is more of a feeling that accompanies the look of the color.

On Paper: This ink is pretty consistent on different papers. No feathering and very light to no shading. The writing sample in the photos was taken with a glass dip pen, so there is more shading than when writing with a fountain pen.

Consistency: Saturated and consistent. It flows well

Other Considerations: I realize this review is slightly shorter than normal, but I don’t know what to say about this ink other than I really love it! I am consistently excited to use it and have to resist filling all my pens with it in order to give some of my other ink colors a chance.

Review: J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen

Here is another winner from my new favorite brand of ink, J. Herbin.

The Bottle: It’s just like the other J. Herbin bottles — small, cute, French and has a depression to rest your pen.

The Color: Rose Cyclamen is a bold magenta/fuschia color, much like the flower for which it was named. The ink color is almost exactly like the color of the flower below.

Photo by jam343

Photo by jam343

It has very little shading and feathering. If you examined your writing VERY closely, you might notice the slight feathering, but most people would not examine anything you wrote that closely. Unless, of course, they are ink-obsessed like us.

On Paper: It shows up well on all papers I have written, including plain white paper and a yellow legal pad. As to be expected, the ink has a brighter color on the white paper than the yellow.

Consistency: Unlike my last review of J. Herbin’s Vert Empire, Rose Cyclamen is bright, bold and saturated. It is not thin or like a watercolor.

Other Considerations: According to this site, the Cylamen flower symbolizes resignation and goodbye. This is a sad sentiment that does not match the cyclamen’s bright color. Aside from this symbolism, J. Herbin’s Rose Cyclamen is fun, bold and cheerful. I would also guess this is a woman’s ink, as I don’t know many men who would use this color.

Rose Cyclamen is definitely a new favorite! Photos are below.