Thanks to Karen at Exaclair, I recently had the opportunity to try some very fun and fancy inks. J. Herbin’s Encres Acidulees Effet Scintillant are Herbin’s group of Pearlescent Inks. These inks are NOT for fountain pens, they are for dip nibs only. There are several colors, all of which have a shiny/glittery/pearlescent sheen. I discuss each ink in the group below.
The Colors (listed in the same order as the sample photo):
Pink: A lovely bubblegum pink color. When the ink is thinning on the nib, it can be sheer. Frequent dipping to have a lot of ink on your quill/nib is best.
Peach (Peach): A lighter, less pink color with more orange to it. Same properties as the pink.
Blue: A dark royal blue color. It was really nice and quite a surprise as I expected a sky blue color since the rest in the group are more pastel. As you can see, it doesn’t show up well on the darker paper. I suspect it would do fabulously on a lighter paper.
Yellow: Bright! Despite it’s brightness, the hue is more of a softer yellow rather than obviously neon.
Green: Also quite bright. Maybe a prime creamy avocado?
Consistency/On Paper: This ink takes a little trial and error to get it right. I had to try a few nibs, but then found it worked well with some of the very small Brause nibs (again from Karen and distributed through Exaclair) because the smaller nibs held the ink and allowed it to flow onto the paper best. The bigger nibs didn’t let the ink flow down well enough to complete a line. Even with the small nibs, I had to dip often to keep enough ink on the nib so that the ink stayed thick and didn’t thin out like you can see in part of the writing sample. I also had to take care in my pressure on the nib to avoid the ink transferring too quickly to the paper and creating blobs, as is a concern with wet ink. However, I found working with care and patience avoided this problem. This is definitely an ink to play with when you have some relaxing time to devote your attention without rushing.
Paper choice was also an issue. I’ll save you some time — you can avoid reaching for the cheap paper. This ink needs sturdy, thicker, high quality paper to support the thickness and composition of these inks. The brown paper in the photo is a sample of G.Lalo (again, distributed by Exaclair – this paper is great and a review is forthcoming). The inks were very happy to be paired with G. Lalo paper and you shouldn’t have a problem if you use G. Lalo or a similar high quality paper.
An additional note is to take care in handling your writing even after the ink has dried. As you can see in the photo, the pearlescence tends to smear a bit.
Overall: There have been some other blogs in the pen and ink world that have given these inks poor reviews. However, I really enjoyed testing these inks and plan to use them for special occasion items such as when writing someone a special card. I already used the yellow color to make an artistic name card for someone special (on grey G. Lalo paper in case you are interested – it was a lively combination!). I will be using these in the future. If you are interested in them , I would recommend giving them a chance and playing with the right nib and paper combinations. I have not tried other calligraphy inks that may be similar to these, so I cannot compare them to other brands. I also just learned there are a few colors (like coral red!) that I did not get to try. I must have that coral red!
Purchasing and Pricing: A pack of 5 assorted 10ml will run you around $20, depending on the retailer.