The Rhodia Ice Pad: It’s as Cool as Ice

There has been a lot of online buzz around the new Rhodia Ice notepad, and I have to say I was also swept up in the excitement.  When Margana the Inkophile recently hosted a giveaway for the Ice, I jumped at the chance to win one.  Luckily, I did!

Cover:  The cover is simple, pure white, with a metallic silver Rhodia logo.  For me, it’s very calming.  It is stapled at the top and has a few creases to fold back the cover for writing.  I’m a huge fan of the white/silver cover, my decor involves those colors much more than orange and black.

Size:  My Ice is a No. 16 notebook, which measures 5.8″ x 8.3.”  However, the Ice is also available in No. 11, 12, 13, 16, and 18 sizes.


Paper:  The notebook has 80 sheets of High Grade Vellum Paper.  I was given the graph paper with 5×5 mm squares.  The lines are a light grey, which makes them less obvious than regular Rhodia pads — a plus in my opinion.  However, I did notice that the paper in the Orange/Black pads is a brighter white than the Ice, something that might have been nice to carry over.   The notebook is also available in a lined version in addition to the graph paper.   My personal preference is lined, so next time I would definitely like to get one of those.

The paper is exactly what you would expect in a Rhodia pad — smooth and very fountain pen friendly.  All inks show up well and shade beautifully with minimal to no feathering.  In addition, there is no bleedthrough and very minimal showthrough so that both sides of the page can be used.  There is a tiny perforation line at the top of each page to tear out that page neatly as well.


Overall:  Another great product that I will happily use and highly recommend.  You can’t go wrong with anything from Rhodia, anything distributed by Exaclair, or anything with Clairfontaine paper.  The fact that there is a white and silver cover available in addition to the classic black and orange makes me even happier.   I’m grateful for the opportunity to have such an attractive pad that is a pleasure to use, and grateful that a wonderful company makes them.   The No. 16 Ice is available on Amazon here (grid) and here (lined), or you can also check a list of online pen retailers that stock it here.

View and purchase other sizes from the widget below:

Review: J. Herbin Vert Réséda Fountain Pen Ink

J. Herbin’s Vert Réséda has also been one of my favorite end of summer/beginning of fall inks.   The name translates as “reseda green” and the ink lives up to the quality I expect from J. Herbin.

The Bottle:  Like all J. Herbin bottles, the bottle is compact and has a much appreciated pen rest.  One newer feature is that the cap is shiny black plastic, whereas previous bottles had more of a matte plastic cap.

The Color:  This color is hard to describe, but it’s sort of a minty teal/turquoise.  It also matches one of my sealing waxes exactly, so that is a plus for someone like me who likes to color coordinate my writing accoutrements.

Consistency/Flow:  I found the flow to be moderate at first, but actually it got wetter the more I used it.  I started out testing the ink with an Esterbrook dip pen (nib 2442), and the flow was good.  Then I inked it in one of my vintage Vacumatics.  The flow started off just okay.  Now that I have refilled that pen several times with Vert Réséda, I have noticed that the flow has increased, the ink is wetter, and the color is slightly darker.  So this slightly darker color is what you see in the writing samples pictured, but note that you might experience the color to be a bit lighter and closer to the square on the top of the box.

Shading, Feathering, and Other Characteristics: I have not experienced any feathering with Vert Réséda.  At first, there was barely any shading at all.  I was slightly disappointed, but liked the color so much that I planned to continue using it even without shading.  However, again through refills and continued use, the shading has also increased along with the flow and wetness as described above.  As you can see the writing sample, it now has a fairly decent amount of shading.  This development is much to my delight, although I do not know if these results are typical for all users.

Writing sample close-up to see shading.

Writing sample close-up to see shading.

Overall:  I really like this ink and plan on keeping it in my regular rotation.

Writing samples written on Rhodia mini graph pad.

Writing samples written on Rhodia mini graph pad.

Purchasing and Pricing:  A 30mL bottle runs between $7-12 depending on the retailer and is available at most online retailers catering to fountain pen and ink users.  You can also purchase from one of the links below to help support La Plume Etoile.